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SubjectKernel setup()
Hi Marcelo,

I am lacking some understanding concerning the setup() routine of Linux

If I understand it right, then with kernel version 2.4.19, some novelties
concerning the handling of initrd and rootdevs has entered the kernel.

The same "linuxrc" program, e.g., can work with a 2.4.18, but not with a

I have thought (and the initrd documentation in the Documentation/
directory states it, too) that the pivot_root mechanism is the "new one",
whereas the change_root machanism which automatically takes place if the
linuxrc programs exits for some reason, is the "old one".

Now have a look a the following example linuxrc sniplet, taken from

--- mk_initrd Tue Mar 4 14:13:43 2003
+++ mk_initrd Tue Mar 4 14:14:43 2003

mount -n -t proc proc /proc
+echo 0x0100 > /proc/sys/kernel/real-root-dev
mount -n -t $rootfstype $rootdev /mnt
rm -f /mnt/.initrd 2>/dev/null
mkdir -p /mnt/.initrd

The point is that without the "echo ..." line, the mounting of the
__real__ root device (harddisk partition) won't work for kernels >=2.4.19.

On the other hand, this should actually not be necessary if using a
pivot_root call.

Recent distributions now handle the problem by just having linuxrc loading
the necessary modules and exiting all of a sudden, and everything works.

My question is: is pivot_root deprecated by now? I just am quite dazzled
and want to know how to __cleanly__ handle the mounting of a new root

Best regards


Dr. Oliver Tennert

+49 -7071 -9457-598

science + computing AG
Hagellocher Weg 71
D-72070 Tuebingen

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