[klibc] initrd / initramfs future

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Wed Sep 15 15:28:43 PDT 2004

Dave Dodge wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 10:25:31PM +0200, Olaf Hering wrote:
>>root on nfs
>>root on iscsi
> There are probably some other networked options.  For example root
> on nbd has been tried here:
>   http://borderworlds.dk/projects/#nr
> How about copying root into a ramdisk from an ftp/tftp/http server?
> Someone in a thin-client environment might try something like that.
> Also: root on encrypted loop.  There are several basic encryption
> options, including (I think) whose module you use.  There are lots of
> ways the key might be acquired: interactively from keyboard, floppy,
> USB storage, smart card, and so on.

One thing about having a "standard" initramfs solution: it needs to be 
flexible enough to allow customizations.  After all, one of the big 
advantages to pushing this stuff into initramfs is that it's a lot 
easier for people to modify than mucking with the kernel directly.

I'd go even stronger: I think a "standard initramfs" needs to have 
well-defined hooks, so one can upgrade to the next initramfs image 
without having to re-do all the customizations.  This is pretty easy, 
it's usually a matter of looking for subfiles and invoking them if present.

One more thing that worth nothing: I have been warned that there are 
some platforms with some pretty egregorious limits on the boot image 
size.  Thus, there needs to be a solution for the people who simply 
cannot add a large amount to the kernel image size.


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