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SubjectRe: Query about initramfs and modules
Greg KH writes:
> But how do you always know what is "needed"? Wouldn't it be nice to
> just select "compile all SCSI PCI and IEEE1394 and USB drivers as
> modules" and then have your "real" root partition's controller be
> automatically found before you try to mount your "real" root partition?

One knows what is needed because one knows or determines what it takes
to access ones real root partition.

> Say your SCSI PCI controller dies, and you buy a new one. Plop it in,
> reboot, and everything works. No having to build a new initrd, or build
> in _all possible_ SCSI PCI drivers.

Except that what you have just proposed requires that you "build in
_all possible_ SCSI PCI drivers" as modules in the initramfs. Little
gain, except that some things won't be retained.

Further, I don't thing I would expect a system with a changed SCSI PCI
controller to boot on a kernel specifically built for the previous
controller. I don't think I would even want it to boot. Better I
think to get out a rescue disk of some sort, boot from that,
reconfigure a built kernel for the new hardware (in the new case,
simply reconstructing the initramfs), and reboot from that.

> Right now you can't have your "real" root partition on a USB drive,
> without a horrible "let's wait forever" patch to your kernel.
> This also solves the "coldplug" problem, where you need to load
> pci/usb/foobus drivers _after_ init has started. To do this you need to
> rely on scanning the busses from userspace and loading the needed
> drivers. Why reimplement this scanning logic, as the kernel already did
> all of this (and usually did a much better job at it) during the boot
> process before init started.
> And this allows lots of horrible "boot over NFS" and other network
> code/hacks in the kernel to be moved out of kernel space, and into
> userspace, where it really belongs.

Well, I agree that the new solution does solve some problems.

What I am worried about is not *allowing* user mode code in the
initramfs, but *requiring* it.

--David Garfield
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