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Re: Get rid of /etc/mtab ?

On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 10:22:02AM +0200, Goswin Brederlow wrote:
> Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> > In chiark.mail.debian.devel, you wrote:
> > 
> > >/proc/mount should reflect the systems state and with devfs enabled
> > >but not used the entry is just broken.
> > 
> > So should typing "mount -t devfs devfs /devfs" change /proc/mounts, or
> > only "mount -t devfs devfs /dev"? If I mount devfs inside a chroot,
> > should /proc use devfs or traditional names? Howabout a /proc inside the
> > chroot?
> Idealy /proc/mounts should change. In a chroot /proc/mounts should
> also only contain entries inside the chroot and relative to it.

So the contents of /proc/mounts should change depending on the root
directory of the process reading it? That sounds like a recipe for
disaster. Imagine a cdrom mounted outside the chroot. Inside the chroot that
would be invisible yet the drive will not open. If an umount /dev/cdrom is
executed within the chroot, should the kernel fail it?

I still maintain that /etc/mtab and /proc/mounts serve completely different
purposes and trying to merge them will just cause problems.

What if a secure filesystem needed a keyfile to authorise mounting and other
things. mount could store the name of that file. Should the kernel store
that name also in /proc/mounts. If the kernel never needs the file but it's
all handled by a userspace process, why burden the kernel with it?

> But asking /proc/mount to change when something is mounted on /dev is
> probably too much to ask. The layout of the new /dev (you could mount
> anything there) could be completly random and/or incomplete. Should
> the kernel not show entries because your missing device nodes? One
> could make an exception for devfs on /dev probably but who would write
> the code?

Say I decide to go against the grain and rename my /dev directory to
/devices. Now /proc/mounts will be completely wrong, as you state. However,
/etc/mtab will contain the proper device names.
Martijn van Oosterhout   <kleptog@svana.org>   http://svana.org/kleptog/
> There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that can do binary
> arithmetic and those that can't.

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