Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-kernel (148 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-kernel] Squashfs
  • From: Jeff Mahoney <jeffm@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:50:31 -0500
  • Message-id: <496F6957.8030605@xxxxxxxx>
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Matt Sealey wrote:
On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 10:29 AM, Rob OpenSuSE
<rob.opensuse.linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
2009/1/15 Matt Sealey <matt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:53 AM, Rob OpenSuSE
<rob.opensuse.linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The problem that seems to be overlooked is that, SquashFS is only just
making it into the mainline kernel. initrd's are from kernel hacker
point of you, non-broken and functioning perfectly satisfactorily
using the cpio/gzip format.
Squashfs support has been built in and built from every kernel package
I've seen on SUSE since somewhere around version 8.

It is not like it is not ready on peoples' systems *right now*. Only
vanilla kernels won't see it, which may cause some problem for people
who love to use vanilla kernels, but that gets fixed when squashfs is
mainlined.
The linux kernel team "kernel hacker" use all kinds of distro's not
just SuSE, and as Greg KH said

This is an openSUSE mailing list. I'm not talking about all kinds of
other distros. Although if I was I'd note that a bunch of them do use
squashfs for initrd (and root filesystems unioned under hard disks)

It's only Fedora and Debian which don't but this is most of a factor
of "we've been using mkinitramfs since 1997 anyway, and didn't want to
change it to a system which needed a kernel patch". Time has changed!
No patch required for modern kernels. And the current kernels are
already patched anyway.

Except that up until 2.6.29, this would fail on vanilla kernels. It's
easy to hand wave away that requirement when you're not using them - but
we use them as a debugging tool with users in Bugzilla all the time.

If you loop mount a squashfs kernel, too, you don't need any special
tools to extract files from it - this is how the LiveCD installers
work. You just copy the files to the target.

I'd hardly call gzip and cpio "special" tools, but I'm listening.

I don't really buy your arguments about consolidation by using squashfs
everywhere. mkinitrd and mkinstallimage (or whatever it's called) are
different tools. The latter is just totally overkill for what most users
need, and it's not as if the cpio code is untested or a maintenance burden.

What I am interested in are performance numbers. Can you show me how
much memory a system booted into the initrd uses? Can you show me how
fast it got there? I'd like numbers for both cpio.gz and squashfs. Using
the same data set.

- -Jeff

- --
Jeff Mahoney
SUSE Labs
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