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Re: possible mass-filing of bugs: many shared library packages contain binaries in usr/bin

On Thu, May 09, 2002 at 09:20:45AM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:
> * Thomas Bushnell, BSG (tb@becket.net) wrote:
> > Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> writes:
> > 
> > > Can you shadow between a local / and an NFS-mounted /usr?
> > 
> > Of course, there's no reason not.
> I assume you mean once someone's actually implemented it.

With all the bug riddeness and wrong semantics, you can still do it today. 
We have an NFS client translator (we even have a server), we have ext2fs and
we have a functional although unoptimized and insecure prototype of shadowfs
(maybe you can even get the 0.2pre version of the rewrite of shadowfs from

If all you want is to see a directory that has / and an NFS mounted /usr,
that is indeed possible the way I just said.  If you really want to use it,
you will notice the following problems:

You will not be able to run programs from NFS-mounted /usr, because there
is a new bug in the exec server (that appeared when we made the ABI switch
two weeks ago) that I haven't come yet to hunt down.

You can not have this shadowfs as your boot filesystem. 
But it shouldn't be too hard to implement this feature (it just requires
going through the boot protocol carefully and checking where it is safe to
start the shadowfs translator).

All of these issues is being worked on, they are just have a lower priority
than other stuff.  Feel free to hack it and send us patches.  I suspect that
I could get it working on a lazy afternoon or so (just to give you an idea
of the amount of work it requires to debug exec and then to fix the boot
protocol).  Most of the time involved in fixing this stuff is actually
setting up the debugging and test environment (I would do all this not by
rebooting the machine etc, but by starting a second Hurd and debugging this
from the other Hurd running in parallel.  However, I have not had time to
set up a second Hurd system since the ABI switch).


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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