:: Re: [DNG] Devuan with usr merge?
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Author: Steve Litt
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] Devuan with usr merge?
John Morris via Dng said on Fri, 12 Nov 2021 17:26:52 -0600

>On Tue, 2021-11-09 at 01:56 -0500, Steve Litt wrote:
>> The logic is still the same. I need a guaranteed place on the root
>> partition to find the programs necessary to mount all the other
>> partitions, or else I'll need to run an initramfs.
>Been following this debate. Admit that a few years ago I'd have
>reflexively said keep /bin and /sbin but now? The assumptions have
>changed so much it no longer makes much sense.
>The size of the OS is just so small now, compared to storage media and
>data files. Even a small SSD will easily hold all of /usr for all but
>the most bloated installs on old obsolete storage media. So simply
>including /usr in the root filesystem makes sense for almost all use

I see what you mean. In fact, I use an SSD for /usr, /etc, /lib etc and
mount everything else on spinning rust. As a matter of fact, on my Void
Linux installation:

[slitt@mydesk ~]$ ls -ld /usr
drwxr-xr-x 10 root root 4096 May 5 2021 /usr
[slitt@mydesk ~]$ ls -ld /bin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 May 4 2021 /bin -> usr/bin
[slitt@mydesk ~]$ ls -ld /sbin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 May 4 2021 /sbin -> usr/bin
[slitt@mydesk ~]$ ls -ld /usr/sbin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 May 4 2021 /usr/sbin -> bin
[slitt@mydesk ~]$

So I've been using usr merge for years and I'm still alive.

Which brings up another beef I have: Why don't they build Ext4 and
maybe a couple other mainstream filesystems into the kernel, so if I
want, I can boot without initramfs? What would it cost?

Everybody is ooohing and ahhing about sytemd's boot speed. If you want
to REALLY improve boot speed, get rid of initramfs and just do mounts
and encrypting from files on the root drive. Of course, this means you
can't have an encrypted root drive. Well, if you want an encrypted root
partition, use an initramfs.

> On the other hand, putting everything in /usr makes some
>interesting options possible, like making it a read only mount point
>except during updates.
>Back in olden days being able to reliably boot into a minimal
>environment for rescue and recovery was important. Now a rescue
>distribution on a USB stick is far more effective when things go wrong.

This isn't how I see it. Needing to look into a running initramfs is
awful. Of course, systemd has some kind of periscope to look into the
initramfs. If one drives on that side of the road.

I'm not saying initramfs (or initrd that preceded it) is completely
without use. It brought us Knoppix and all the live CDs that followed.
It enables us to have any conceivable encryption or filesystem or
filesystem addon such as LVM, on each partition, without jamming the
kernel with all sorts of seldom used stuff. All I'm saying is I'd
prefer distros don't make initramfs mandatory (without doing all sorts
of fancy footwork every time you upgrade your kernel), for those of us
with basic systems.

>So yes, it is time to eliminate /bin, /sbin and /lib.

I won't phrase it quite that strongly, but yeah, given your point about
not gaining much from a mounted /usr, it's not a big issue.

>Wish I could say the same thing about the X11 vs Wayland divide. See
>the cold logic and theory in the Wayland argument but keep looking at
>the current reality and Wayland comes up short.

As far as I know, Wayland is the child prodegy of FreeDesktop.Org, one
of the most effective sales organizations for systemd, and probably
*the* most effective proponent of massive, unnecessary
complexification. Hence, I'll ride the X11 train til the bitter end.
LOL, and the day I switch to Wayland, my dmenu stops working, and dmenu
is probably *the* most important component in my work flow. I use dmenu
over 100 times per day.


Steve Litt
Spring 2021 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques of the Successful
Technologist http://www.troubleshooters.com/techniques