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SubjectRe: Boot messages (Was: Re: Ideas for v2.1)

In an effort to divert all this energy into something useful...

This is kind of a vague idea, so bear with me.

I think it would be neat if the messages from a boot could be saved
(dmesg>/etc/goodboot for starters...) and the booting kernel could
essentially do a "diff" between the messages from a "good" boot and the
messages from the current boot.

This _could_ be done with LILO and would be easier and far more useful than
morphing penguins or whatever.

Lilo could store this (it's only say 4k, right?) block of ASCII text, and
then display only messages not found in the "good boot".

I am thinking of several modes here, set in lilo.conf/whatever but
switchable with boot line parameters.

1. Only show text not previously appearing.
2. Show text that disappeared with "--text" and text that is added with
3. Show all boot text output, but mark the different lines "++".
4. Same as 3, but also insert disappeared lines as well with "--".
5. (you guessed it) Color the text .. this would simply replace the "--" or
"++" of options 2 - 4 with color change (and change back) sequences.

NOTE: The output of say dmesg should not change, only what parts of the info
display to the screen.

This would be good for beginners (pre configured systems) and it would also
be nice for experts, for example kernel hackers, who would probably lean
towards number 4 or 5.

Really verbose boot messages would be a good thing.
Debugging : newbies would know what to report.
Hacking: kernel hackers would be more aware of any side-effects even after
watching 2 MB of boot messages with sleepless eyes.

Data must be stored in a text file and LILO must be run for each
configuration change.. In effect, sysadmin must approve all changes or else
watch them on each boot. (Not necessarily a bad thing, tho.)

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both
incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by
twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
-- Rod Serling

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