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Re: RFC: OpenRC as Init System for Debian

On Fri, 27 Apr 2012, Jon Dowland <jmtd@debian.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 07:05:55PM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> > Init is about the boot of the computer, right? Who is stupid enough to
> > put in a usb stick _during_ the boot? We need to separate boot from
> > adding/removing peripheral devices!
> I've no idea why that would be stupid.
> If I were booting a computer and intended to use some USB peripherals, I
> may very well do the plugging prior to boot finishing. Whilst I go off and
> make a cup of tea, because the boot STILL takes too long.

Yes.  It's not THAT uncommon that I'll boot a laptop for the sole purpose of 
reading data from a USB stick and I expect that others do the same.

Also there's the possibility of booting a laptop/netbook from a USB stick and 
then using an encrypted root device.  This prevents an attacker who has 
temporary access to the system from subverting the boot process on disk, the 
attacker could still subvert the BIOS but that's more difficult.  In the case 
of such things you would have the USB device seen early in the boot and then 
removed during the boot process.


Anyone who reads Planet Debian would have seen the above two posts I wrote 
about using USB flash devices for all storage in a system.  While that is an 
unusual use of a system it's really nice if we can make things just work so 
that the user gets a full range of choices about how their system works.  
While I don't expect that the kernel and udev developers and package 
maintainers (who are really very busy) would go to extra effort to make my 
particular corner case work I'm sure that they are quite happy that their good 
work results in all manner of unusual corner cases just working for various 

> What sounds stupid to me is having a brittle system that can actually be
> disrupted by plugging in a USB stick whilst it's booting!

Every version of Debian is released with some bugs, it's the way that software 
development goes.  If the worst bug was that plugging a USB stick at the wrong 
time could disrupt the boot then I think that most people would consider it as 
ready for a release.

The real problem is when people start claiming that such things aren't bugs.

As an aside, my monitor has some sort of SD card reader built in.  I've never 
used it but it registers as a SCSI device.  This means that the order of 
switching on my monitor and inserting a USB stick affects what the device name 
will be.  With a static /etc/fstab this doesn't work too well for me.  
Hopefully I will find a better solution.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
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