:: Re: [DNG] Avoid the merge
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Author: Steve Litt
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] Avoid the merge
Didier Kryn said on Tue, 13 Dec 2022 12:33:53 +0100

>Le 12/12/2022 à 23:09, Steve Litt a écrit :
>> I agree. Not all of us want to use an initramfs. The traditional Unix
>> way enables one to boot using only a few static programs.
>     Hi Steve. You should specify what you mean by "static" because
> one
>common understanding is "statically linked". Linux distros based on
>statically linked programs are seldom. Actually I don't know any one.

I meant statically linked. If you can only open your root partition at
the start, executables can't depend on loadable libraries. I'm pretty
sure that "sbin" originally stood for "static binaries".

>     In /lib, you always find the dynamic libc and the dynamic linker
>and this allows the whole distro, including init itself to be
>dynamically linked.

Putting the libs in /lib is another good way to enable boot before any
mounts have been completed. And it's probably what's always done today.

> There are no static programs in /bin and /sbin in
>Debian/Devuan. There might be a few ones in the whole distro,
>including the dynamic linker itself because of a chicken-and-egg
>issue. With the merge, all of this goes to /usr of course.
>     It is possible to build a statically linked  installation
> compiled
>from source. It may be convenient for a server with limited
>functionality but is not easily maintainable.
>     For what concerns initramfs, it is mandatory because the kernel
>does not contain the drivers needed to mount the root filesystem (and
>/usr in case of merge).

I think it's a shame most distros don't compile the Ext4 driver and
maybe zfs and a few other common ones into the kernel, so an initramfs
isn't necessary for simple setups. This is how most distros were set up
around the turn of the century.

> I think initramfs and the merge are unrelated
>questions. Initramfs just hides part of the init work under the hood.

Hides is a good word for it. It's hard to get a test probe in there to
troubleshoot early boot problems. Anyway, my point is this: If all
executables such as the mount command and all the libraries are under
/usr, and /usr is its own partition, then you're FORCED to have an
initrams, no matter what drivers you compile into the kernel.


Steve Litt
Autumn 2022 featured book: Thriving in Tough Times