Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (602 mails)

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[opensuse-factory] Re: [PLEASE SPEAK UP] Disabling legacy file systems by default?
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2019 19:19:49 -0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <q3264l$1qnt$>
On Fri, 01 Feb 2019 12:26:18 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

I'm going to reorder this for clarity.

On 1/31/19 9:50 PM, Jim Henderson wrote:

If I
need a file system that isn't installed,

How does a non-expert user know that this is the problem?

There's no such error message, AIUI.

AFAICT it merely says "unknown FS".

Well, as it happens, I ran into this recently. I got a new microSD card
that was formatted exfat, and I got whatever the standard message was.

My solution - STFW for what was needed to run exfat. Search the repos
for anything exfat related, and install them. Then try again and look at
the logs.

And guess what - I got it working. Took all of about 15 minutes.

But I'd also be inclined to RTFM for information like that, too.
What manual? How do you know what to look for?

I dunno, "hpfs not mounting"? Look under filesystems and make sure this
change is documented? Ask the doc writers to include it. Include it in
the release notes. There are lots of options.

my approach would be to look to see if it was included in the kernel

How would they do that?

FWIW, as a Unix user for 31y and Linux user for 23y here, I'm not sure
that *I* would know how to do that.

Well, I've only been using Linux since 1995, but I managed to figure it
out with exfat. It isn't rocket science, and with proper documentation,
we make it pretty clear for the dozen people who need hpfs because they
still want to run OS/2 and Linux on the same box.

(which it sounds like it would be),

How do you know that? Do you think a non-expert would know that?

I think people should be able to figure it out, yes. Why do we assume
that people are stupid or unable to ask questions when they run into
problems? Isn't that what the community is for?

Instead of looking for hypothetical problems for something that hasn't
been implemented yet ("this isn't documented" - well, sure, it isn't NOW
because it hasn't been implemented.)

and then to look at why it isn't auto-loading.

How would one get that far in the troubleshooting sequence to work out
that this was the problem?

See my exfat example above.

That seems like common sense to me.

I can assure you, no, it is not! :-)

It's not common sense that if you have a problem that you should look at
the log files? Then we need to educate users how to perform really basic

Because if they're having problems with this, IMNSHO, then they're having
problems with things like how to log in and enter their passwords
correctly. Using dmesg and other logging systems should be second
nature. It's like looking at the event viewer in Windows when a service
doesn't start.

Yeah, my mother wouldn't know to do that - but she would know to ask
someone who knows more, and that's what the community is for.

But we're talking here about a change that affects more technical users -
my mom isn't going to run a combined OS/2 and Linux box and need hpfs
support. People who run that kind of combination are not causal users,
they're people with a specific need and a specific skill set. We
shouldn't treat them like idiots.

What doesn't seem like common sense to me is to load it on millions of
installations where it isn't needed

Then all modern OSes must dismay you, because that is how they work:
including tens of thousands of drivers that 99% of people will never
need, just so that they are there and the software works for the 1% who
need them.

Yes, thank you, Jeff clarified already how it works in practice. I
generally don't worry about stuff like this because I'm not one of the
dozen users who needs hpfs support. Like I said before, I don't have a
horse in this race.

It just seems silly to me to cater to a relatively small minority of
users who have a specific need. We don't, to my knowledge, support
parallel-port scanners out of the box either, do we? (Honestly don't
know). But there may be more people who want that configuration than
need hpfs or some of these other filesystems.

because a hundred (thousand, whatever small percentage use OS/2 in
dual-boot configs with openSUSE)

Yes, I think it probably _is_ a very small proportion.

OTOH, *SUSE is one of the oldest distros, and OS/2 is one of the oldest
PC OSes, dating back to 1988 IIRC. Hardcore OS/2 users are old-timers.
They are the sort of market *SUSE might appeal to.

And those users, as I stated above, have some technical chops because
they have a specific need for that combination. I mean really, we're not
just talking OS/2 fans. We're talking OS/2 fans *who dual boot* and need
to support hpfs in order to access data shared with a local OS/2

That's a pretty small audience no matter how you slice it.

To be fair, I doubt we'll attract many new switchers from OS/2 now. I
doubt there's anyone left.

can't be bothered to uncomment a line in a blacklist file.

What I am getting at is that to come to this conclusion requires an
elaborate process of elimination that I suspect I could not complete
myself, and I am not a newbie.

With respect, I don't see that as an "elaborate process of elimination".

"Oh, I just installed OS/2 on this SUSE box" or "I just installed SUSE on
this OS/2 box".

"I need to mount this HPFS partition in Linux because <x>"

"It didn't work. Why didn't it work?"

<check logs>
<check community>
<check documentation>
<check release notes>

"Oh, it's blacklisted, and I can fix it by removing it from the blacklist


What other *possible* steps would need to be explored to get to that
conclusion? I can't see this as an "elaborate process" by any stretch of
the imagination. It's troubleshooting 101-level stuff.

So, if the issue here is removing old code that is not likely to be
needed, then the real problem is not "what do we remove/disable" but
"how to we give meaningful error messages that this is what has been

Sure, meaningful error messages are helpful, and I'm in favor of that.
But again, my issue having done this with exfat on Leap 15 didn't really
need that, and I somehow managed to muddle through in about 15 minutes
and get that microSD card mounted so I could copy some music files over
to it in order to listen to them on my phone.

Jim Henderson
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