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pterjan's diary


2009-08-19

  Mandriva mkinitrd in Mandriva

We traditionally had a lot of patches on mkinitrd (and even had a real fork for years before rebasing on Fedora's version about two years ago).

Six or seven years ago a patch was sent by our maintainer on redhat bugzilla and it was merged about 1 year later, after 1 year without any reply. Now we tend to send them by mail with not much more success...

I had a patch merged last year and Olivier had one more recently, but we had little success overall getting our work upstream as mkinitrd is not a "real project" but more developed as internal tool by redhat, without a ML to discuss with its developers, etc.

We are now managing our patches in git so I could create easily a for-upstream branch with 18 patches that I think can be merged.

I sent last week an email about this branch to the last bunch of redhat's people who had released versions of mkinitrd as there does not seem to be an official maintainer, hopefuly they will pick some of the patches :)

The other patches are mostly splashy support (but we'll be able to drop this soon hopefuly, as plymouth seems to be working nice) or to reduce boot time.

Regarding improved boot time, we had patched mkinitrd before 2009 Spring to only wait for needed devices (the / partition, the disks under the lvm or soft raid containing /, the partition under the encrypted one containing /...) instead of waiting for all devices to be there. This saves several seconds on most machines. I did not put this part in for-upstream branch as there are two known bugs in current version adding some delay and I did not yet have time to investigate them:

  • When using virtio, nash does not see that the device is already there and waits until the end of timeout (1 minute)
  • When some disk which is part of a dmraid (or lvm on non partitioned disk) change name, we wait for the wrong disk.This is because UUID are only used for partitions, not for whole disks, and this happens when people had an USB key plugged during install which was sda and shifted other disks. This adds 1 minute delay per disk which does not exist, usually only one.

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 5) [Add a TSUKKOMI]
  Adam Williamson (2009-08-20 01:11)

Fedora is dumping mkinitrd for dracut as of Fedora 12:<br><br>https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Dracut<br><br>so that's one reason we're not really maintaining mkinitrd very actively, and it's not likely to change much in future (actually you'll just find there's no Fedora mkinitrd to base off, after a while). So that's worth bearing in mind :/

  Jeremy Katz (2009-08-20 03:59)

As Adam said, for Fedora 12, we're intending to move to dracut. Joining the dracut mailing list where we're trying to much more run things with a larger community and really meet the needs of more distros would be great -- more hands make lighter work and all that :)<br><br>(also, I saw the patches in my inbox, but am just back from vacation so haven't really had a chance to look at them as the little initrd time I've had since I got back, I spent on a few dracut things instead :)

  Pascal (2009-08-20 08:25)

Wow I have been on the list since it exists but was still waiting for things to cool down. I have seen a lot of patches over last few months bringing back needed features of current mkinitrd (like support for LVM over raid) but I did not expect the switch to be so soon!<br><br>We'll evaluate it more before writing 2010.1 specifications (which schedule should match Fedora 13). The nice thing (for us) will be that Fedora 12 will be out so it will get large testing before we switch :)

  Adam Williamson (2009-08-21 20:16)

"Wow I have been on the list since it exists but was still waiting for things to cool down. I have seen a lot of patches over last few months bringing back needed features of current mkinitrd (like support for LVM over raid) but I did not expect the switch to be so soon! "<br><br>The Fedora attitude is more or less "Stability? Conservative approach to major functional changes? ... We've heard of that idea, yes. Didn't like it much." :)

  fasmz.org (2011-05-10 19:14)

Fasmz.. Super :)


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