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Bug#893886: partman-auto: increase max size of /boot on amd64+i386?

Source: partman-auto
Version: 144
Severity: wishlist
X-Debbugs-Cc: vorlon@debian.org


I get lots of user feedback from Ubuntu users that /boot is "too small"
and quickly becomes full.  That's been the case for at least 3 years.

There are a few aspects to this:

 1. if a user chooses full-disk encryption, the size of /boot is not
    adjustable;  only by manually creating that, dm-crypt and LVM
    instead, but that's not easy.

 2. it's really painful to enlarge /boot once a dm-crypt partition is
    created alongside it and filled with user data.

 3. users of Software Center / Synaptic install kernel upgrades, but
    usually aren't that aware that old, unneeded kernels remain
    installed;  the GUIs have no autoremove function, and autoremove can
    sometimes remove things a novice user didn't intend.

Some aspects are Ubuntu-specific:

 4. they bump the ABI number in every kernel update, IIRC something
    related to the signing machinery for Secure Boot.  (vorlon@ in Cc
    can maybe explain?)

 5. they store both signed and unsigned kernel images in /boot,
    so each installed kernel ABI version requires more disk space.

Thinking ahead, the latter two points might also apply to Debian
someday.  The kernel itself and initrds may also become bigger over the
next years.

If that happens, and users have an installed system with full-disk
encryption, they may be unable to increase the size of /boot, and so be
obstructed from upgrading to the next Debian (or Ubuntu) release, or the
one after.

That the actual, root causes persist in Ubuntu after 3 years, despite a
huge install base, good user support channels and paid developers, is
slightly sad, but makes me think it merits working around (or preemptive
action in the case of Debian), even at the expense of 256MB disk space.

So in recipes-amd64-efi, is it feasible we double the max. size of /boot
from 256MB to 512MB?

    "640K ought to be enough for everyone."

Thanks for consideration,
Steven Chamberlain

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