[DSE-Dev] The future of the boot system in Debian

Henrique de Moraes Holschuh hmh at debian.org
Sat Sep 26 15:12:13 UTC 2009

On Sat, 26 Sep 2009, Russell Coker wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Sep 2009, Gabor Gombas <gombasg at sztaki.hu> wrote:
> > The original announcement said that Fedora is already using upstart.
> > AFAIK Fedora is also commited to using SELinux. Do they use a similar
> > patch? Can they help convincing upstream?
> In terms of the upstream SE Linux developers there is a difference of opinion 
> as to the best way to do some things.  Manoj and I have some different 
> priorities (such as supporting people who don't want to use initrd and 
> systems that can't use initrd) to the other upstream developers.

For which I am very grateful.  The backlash against über-fragile and
over-complex boot environments has already started, and you could see it
really well in LKML (refer for the tmpdevfs threads, for example).
RedHat's initrd has often been refered to with strong words there, I
don't think we should commit to *requiring* something like that.

Also, RedHat could care less for the smaller boxes, they don't optimize
for anything that doesn't have hardware RAID.  That's fine for RHEL user
demographics, but we're not like that, our user demographic is not like
that, and our values are not in perfect sync with theirs.  What's good
for RedHat is not necessarily good for Debian.

IME, simple initrds that don't really impact on your hability to boot
are fine (and great to load firmware, CPU microcode and kernel modules),
but anything else (like root on lvm or on non-auto-started md arrays)
will cause trouble sooner or later.

It is great that in Debian, no-initrd or simple-initrd setups are only a
simple kernel-compile away (you just need to do away with some
modularity).  We shouldn't lose this flexibility over RedHat's

> This issue essentially is, do we do what Red Hat does and refuse to support 
> the people that Red Hat doesn't support - or do we do things our own way?  

Please don't.  We should retain our independence, and do things our own way
since it is obvious that RedHat is taking shortcuts that are not good for

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

More information about the SELinux-devel mailing list