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Re: support for merged /usr in Debian

On Jan 05, Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

> > Depending on the operation involved, we consider this to be a bug:
> > https://wiki.debian.org/ReadonlyRoot
> Well, perhaps.  My point is that currently there are real
> configurations that work well with ro /usr but require rw /.
> Abolishing the distinction between /usr and / will break systems that
> have been set up that way.
I think that you are a bit confused, because on a merged /usr system you 
can continue having a read only /usr and a read write /.
If your goal is to have read only system binaries then a merged /usr 
system will be better for you, because then *all* system binaries will 
be on a read only filesystem.

> What is causing all the heat is the suggestion that
Part of the problem is that misinformed people keep suggesting that 
a merged /usr system is about all kind of things which is not or will 
break all kind of things that it will not, and then they get all worked 
up about their own misinformation.
So I am quite tired of having to reply again and again to strawman 

> support might be withdrawn for
> currently working configurations which _do_ have a /usr
> vs / distinction,
I do not think that this is being proposed.

> or which do mount /usr using / rather than initramfs, or some such.
And this has already not been supported for many years, even if it works 
in some cases, so it does not matter because it is hard to ask to keep 
support for an already unsupported configuration.
And this would only matter if using a merged /usr were mandatory, which 
at this point has not been proposed anyway.

> It seems to me that enough people want Debian to retain the
> flexibility which is gained by the /usr vs / division, that we as a
> project should continue to provide it.
For all practical purposes a merged /usr system strongly improves the 
/usr vs / division.

> That does not mean that every user has to have a separate /usr or that
> /usr can't be mounted by the default initramfs.  It does mean that
> package maintainers need to continue to place files in / or /usr as
> appropriate, respond approprately to reasonable bug reports, etc.
As explained, we stopped doing this long ago since it is hard work with 
no significant benefits.


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