Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1239 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Re: new network interface naming scheme (result of systemd & initrd)
  • From: "Brian K. White" <brian@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 03:22:41 -0400
  • Message-id: <>
On 6/11/2013 2:23 AM, Per Jessen wrote:
Linda Walsh wrote:

Roger Oberholtzer wrote:
On Fri, 2013-05-24 at 16:14 -0400, Adam Tauno Williams wrote:

die initrd die; eliminating it just eliminates a potential failure

On one hand I agree. On the other, I wonder about things like
diskless installs that boot over the network. Accessing a kernel and
an initrd file via tftp is no problem. More than that seems
Machines in the 80's and 90's did it all the time.
They didn't have the luxury of having enough RAM to put a file system
on RAM. It's more straight forward than booting from an INITRD --
as you boot the kernel which already had all the drivers it needed for
your hardware built-in.. Then it mounted a remote NFS root and
brought up services from that.

Now that we do have the luxury of enough RAM, it's difficult to see the
advantage of not using an initrd. From my (even if somewhat limited)
perspective, loading one or two files over the network for a PXE boot
makes no big difference. (yes, I have a number of boxes that boot over
PXE, plus some that have root on NFS or iSCSI).

I have encountered a few different situations where the bios or the nic-bios could successfully load one file, but then that one file couldn't load anything else, or there wasn't all that much ram available for real-mode boot code even if there was many gigs installed.

So, maybe the bios could load grub, but then grub couldn't load any kernels or initrds. Well if I had a kernel with the right drivers built in I'd be fine, the bios could load the kernel and the kernel could handle the rest. A kernel can be made to support infinitely more things than grub or any other bootloader can. grub2, being modular, is a start, sort of, but then how many hardware and filesystem and abstraction layer makers build grub2 modules to match their kernel modules, or worse yet their windows dll's? And you stiil have the problem of loading the modules which the initial part of grub can not do!

Or maybe the bootloader can load both kernel and initrd but it's freedos, needed by firmware update flashers for everything from individual hard drives on up, but something about the motherboard is incompatible with freedos in grub or syslinux "memdisk" and it just crashes if you try to load either ems or xms drivers to access memory above 1M.

In short, asking why someone doesn't want to use an initrd is the wrong question to start with. Just as wrong as it would be to ask why someone WOULD want to use and initrd. The answers are unpredictable and infinite in both cases.

The question is what is the excuse for removing functionality and adding dependencies? There is none.


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