Will - Kudos and a Question

New About Yours API Help
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Benedict and Allan,

Great show! I really appreciate y'all's dedication every week. The
content you pick is great and I love the Q&A at the end of the show.
Your expertise is profound and yet you manage to make it accessible and
interesting to the newbs. While I'm not technically a newb, I
appreciate this approach. 

I have used unix since about 1991, but only as a regular user -
browsing, email, ftp, text manipulation, occassional programs in perl,
c, etc. Since 2005, I've used Mac OS, and become more of a power user.
A few years ago, I set up a FreeBSD server with ZFS on root and moved
my git repo and rsync backups to that server. There was a learning
curve, but it was short and the system has run flawlessly since I set
it up.

A month ago, I bought a used Lenovo Thinkpad T430 and recently
installed FreeBSD 11.2 on it as the main OS with a backup Linux 18.3
instance in case I need something and can't figure it out in FreeBSD.
My plan is to learn everything I can about FreeBSD, how it boots,
loads, does what it does, halts, etc. I am reading Kirk McKusick's
latest book and studying the internals. So far, it's been a blast. The
FreeBSD community is very inviting and helpful. Thank you both for your
part in making for a friendly but informed community.

In the process of doing my explorations, there have been not a few
mishaps... I've blown away my boot loader (or lost it somewhere, I'm
not sure what happened exactly, but it's unpleasant). I've
misconfigured my bootloader and not been able to use the correct
incantation to get it boot. I've mistyped kernel when backing up the
kernel and had to go hunting for it while reading up on boot, boot0cfg,
loader, etc...

My question for the zen masters of the BSD, is this:

Is there a simple, save the loader and it's config files here for easy
restore, type strategy that hardcore developers know about? If so,
please share it.

Currently, I have been writing the first 81 blocks of 512 bytes from
the first disk to a backup file, cuz I read it somewhere and it seems
to work, but I would like to hear about a better strategy from someone
I trust on this issue.

Regards,

Will
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