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Re: /usr/-only image

Luca Boccassi <luca.boccassi@gmail.com> writes:
> On Sun, 10 Sept 2023 at 18:55, Nils Kattenbeck <nilskemail@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I am looking to generate a Debian image with only a /usr and /var
>> partition as per discoverable partition specification. However, it
>> seems to me like the omission of /etc leads to several issues in core
>> packages and logging in becomes impossible.

>> Is this an unsupported use case and if yes, is there ongoing work to
>> eventually support this?

>> Many packages in Fedora for example are already configured to support
>> this using systemd-sysuser, systemd-tmpfiles, and other declarative
>> means stored in /usr/ to create any required files upon boot.

> It is being slowly worked towards, but we are still at the prerequisites
> at this time. Hopefully we'll have some usable experiments for the
> Trixie timeline, but nothing definite yet.

Just to make this explicit, one of the prerequisites that has not yet
happened is for Debian to agree that this is even something that we intend
to do.

So far as I know, no one has ever made a detailed, concrete proposal for
what the implications of this would be for Debian, what the transition
plan would look like, and how to address the various issues that will
arise.  Moving configuration files out of /etc, in particular, is
something I feel confident saying that we do not have any sort of project
consensus on, and is not something Debian as a project (as opposed to
individuals within the project) is currently planning on working on.

That doesn't mean we won't eventually do this, or that people aren't
working on other prerequisites, or that it's not something that we're
considering.  But I just want to make clear that we are so early in this
process that it is not at all clear that we are even going to do this at
all, and there is a substantial discussion that would need to happen and
detailed design proposal that would need to be written before there is any
chance whatsoever that Debian will officially support this configuration.
(This does not rule out the possibility that certain carefully-crafted
configurations with a subset of packages may work in this mode, of

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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