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Manual page for UNCONFIGURE(8)

unconfigure - reset the network configuration for a Sun386i system


/usr/etc/unconfigure [ -y ]


Available only on Sun 386i systems running a SunOS 4.0.x release or earlier. Not a SunOS 4.1 release feature.


unconfigure restores most of the system configuration and status files to the state they were in when delivered by Sun Microsystems, Inc. It also deletes all user accounts (including home directories), Network Information Service (NIS) information, and any diskless client configurations that were set up.

After running unconfigure, a system halts. Rebooting it to multi-user mode at this point will start automatic system installation.

unconfigure is intended for use in the following situations:

unconfigure is potentially a dangerous utility; it does not work unless invoked by the super-user. As a warning, unless the -y option is passed, it will require confirmation that all user files and system software configuration information is to be deleted.

This utility is not recommended for routine use of any sort.

Resetting Temporary Configurations

If users need to set up and tear down configurations, unconfigure can be used to restore the system to an essentially as-manufactured state. The main concern here is that user accounts will be deleted, so this should not be done casually.

To reset a temporary configuration, just become the super-user and invoke unconfigure.

Upgrading Standalones to Network Clients

Systems that are going to be networked should be networked from the very first, if at all possible. This eliminates whole classes of compatibility problems, such as pathnames and (in particular) user account clashes.

Automatic system installation directly supports upgrading a single standalone system to an NIS master, and joining any number of unused systems (or systems upon which unconfigure has been run) into a network.

However, in the situation where standalone systems that have been used extensively are to be joined to a network, unconfigure can be used in conjunction with automatic system installation by a knowledgeable super-user to change a system's configuration from standalone to network client. This procedure is not recommended for use by inexperienced administrators.

The following procedure is not needed unless user accounts or other data need to be preserved; it is intended to ensure that every UID and GID is changed so as not to clash with those in use on the network. It must be applied to each system that is being upgraded from a standalone to a network client.

The procedure is as follows:


unconfigure deletes the following files, if they are present, replacing some of them with the distribution version if one is supposed to exist:

/etc/.rootkey      /etc/ethers    /etc/localtime   /etc/publickey
/etc/auto.home     /etc/exports   /etc/net.conf    /etc/sendmail.cf
/etc/auto.vol      /etc/fstab     /etc/netmasks    /etc/syslog.conf
/etc/bootparams    /etc/group     /etc/networks    /etc/systems
/etc/bootservers   /etc/hosts     /etc/passwd      /single/ifconfig

and all files in /var/yp except those distributed with the operating system.

unconfigure truncates all files in /var/adm. All user home directories in /export/home are deleted, except those for the default user account users, which is shipped with the operating system. All diskless client configuration information stored in /export/roots, /export/swaps, and /export/dumps is deleted.


chgrp.1 find.1 group.5 passwd.5 adduser.8 chown.8


More of the system configuration files should be reset.

This does not yet support taking a workstation off the network temporarily, for example, to take it home over the weekend for use as a standalone, or to move it to another network while traveling. This should be the default behavior.

The procedure for upgrading standalones to network clients should be automated; currently, only upgrading a standalone to a master server is automated.


The Network Information Service (NIS) was formerly known as Sun Yellow Pages (YP). The functionality of the two remains the same; only the name has changed.

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Created by unroff & hp-tools. © by Hans-Peter Bischof. All Rights Reserved (1997).

Last modified 21/April/97