In preparation for 2.6.13 - initrd issues
As you probably know, the 2.6.13 kernel is out, and we are facing some
problems with packaging it for Debian. A major change compared to 2.6.12
is the discontinued support for devfs, which, I understand, renders
current initrd-tools unusable. As I see it, there are two major problems
which need to be taken care of:
1. Choice of the alternative tool for initrd generation and management.
The alternatives I've heard about so far are yaird and initramfs (it
appears that initramfs is not only the name of the new initrd filesystem
but also the tool which is used to generate it). Yaird is heavily
advocated by Sven Luther, but it would be nice to hear all pros and cons
of both packages. It appears that both of them generate initrds in the new
(initramfs) format which is essentially a cpio archive of all files. One
difference mentioned is that yaird may be configured to do the
install-time detection of required modules, and included only them into
the initrd (similarly to initrd-tools). It is also claimed that the
yaird code is easier to maintain. On the other hand, initramfs can only
build an initrd using a fixed set of modules, so we'll need to include all
the modules on initrd if we choose to go that way (is it actually true?).
That clearly may have undesired consequences for low-memory installs.
2. What changes need to be done to integrate a new initrd-generating tool
into the kernel packaging infrastracture. It might be as simple as
switching the postinst of kernel packages from running mkinitrd to running
yaird. I have no idea what issues may arise in d-i because of that.
The intention of this message is to first identify the changes which need
to be done, and then discuss how they should be implemented to satisfy all
interested parties (most importantly, the debian-installer team). Please
share all the related information, so that we can come up with a reasonable
solution and implement it together, so that our users may enjoy the
benefits of the latest kernel in Debian.
Thanks and best regards,
Jurij Smakov email@example.com
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