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Re: kernel, devfs and /proc/partitions question.

On Tue, Dec 16, 2003 at 12:38:18PM +0100, Gaudenz Steinlin wrote:
> Am Die, den 16.12.2003 schrieb Sven Luther um 11:46:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I have some questions concerning the kernel and its devfs usage.
> > 
> > If i understand correctly, all kernels used for debian-installer should
> > have the devfs built, but not the devfs-automount stuff loaded.
> > 
> > My understanding was that when doing that, and booting the kernel with
> > no special option, then devfs is supposed to not be activated, and this
> > is what we will use for the sarge installed kernel.
> > 
> > When using the same kernel for debian-installer, we need devfs, and thus
> > either enable the auotmount option, or use the command line devfs=mount.
> > 
> > Is this correct ? What do other people do here ?
> To my best knowledge this is correct and d-i willuse devfs=mount
> > 
> > Furthermore. If devfs is not mounted, devfs should have no influence
> > whatsoever on the running kernel, right ?
> > 
> > The problem is that i am running the powerpc kernel without any devfs
> > option, and not built with devfs-automount, but altough the df output
> > seems ok, /proc/partitions seems to show the devfs volumes.
> AFAIK this is correct too, but should not do any harm. Any tool dealing
> with /proc/partitions has to be able to deal with devfs and non-devfs
> names anyway and if this does not work it's a bug in this tool. 

Well, the only problem i see is the human reader expecting to see non
devfs names there, and not understanding why he doesn't see it, and
maybe not able to do the relation between the devfs names and the normal

I also know that boot-floppies did break with such /proc/partitions, but
we don't care anymore for boot-floppies.

> As your output below shows, the content of /proc/partitions is not
> strictly a valid path and should probably not be used as such without
> prior checking. It's called "name" in the title.
> All i386 kernels have devfs enabled but not mounted on boot at least
> since the release of woody. so I don't expect many problems here.

So, this will also be the case for i386 kernels ? If so fine, i still
think it is a kernel bug. And i expect many of the sarge users will too.

> > Is this the correct and expected behavior ? What do other people
> > (popwerpc users or not) see here ? And can this be safely ignored, or
> > will it cause problems later with non devfs mounted kernels ?
> I see the same. 

Ok, cool. Only problem remaining on the Pegasos kernels is the
CONFIG_RTC issue i posted on debian-powerpc. Would it break on pmac if i
set it ? If so, we need to either fix this in the kernel or have an
additional configuration for those.

Also, i think i fixed the kahlua.o missing symbol. Is this driver really
used on powerpc ? It seems to be a Cyrix/mediaGX stuff.


Sven Luther

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