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Re: from / to /usr/: a summary

+++ Marco d'Itri [2011-12-08 20:16 +0100]:
> On Dec 07, Stephan Seitz <stse+debian@fsing.rootsland.net> wrote:
>   - the platform does not support an initramfs
>     * I am still waiting for somebody to enumerate them, but I believe
>       that I can design a suitable workaround

Anything that needs to boot fast (which is a lot of consumer-oriented
equipment like TVs, phones, pdas, VOIP kit etc). One good way to do
this is not waste time with an intramfs that will soon be superceded
with a pivot-root.

However in practice it is very hard to support this sort of thing in
Debian anyway, because the way you get fast booting is by removing all
the generality in scripts which check what sort of hardware and then
load appropriate modules, drivers, programs and firmwares, and
pre-configuring as much as possible. This approach directly
contradicts the 'universal OS' approach of making things as generic as
possible, and the requirments of a binary distro which has to build
binaries to support 'everything'.

So there probably aren't too many people who both _really really_
don't want/can't have an initramfs and _also_ install Debian.

Most arm bootloaders _can_ load an initramfs, or at least can load a
combined kernel+initramfs image (I'm not sure that debian tools can
_make_ a combined kernel+initrd image - I've always used another tool
like buildroot to do that?), so the number of platforms that can;t
support this at all is very small.

There are quite good reasons why you wouldn't want to do thing that
way though. We should at least do our best not to make things
unreasonably difficult for people in this situation, even if we chose
not to really 'support' it. 

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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