As was posted earlier mkinitrd is a script. And Suse may have their own version of that script. If you just type mkinitrd without parameters it should spit out some usage help, if you could do that and post it here. It looks to me like it is thinking /boot/initrd.2.6.3.img is the path to a /var/tmp directory instead of the name of the initrd file. Maybe Suse has the parameters in a different order. With Mandrake it is:
mkinitrd [options] <initrd.img> <kernel ver>
Posted by jong357
But honestly, what other practical use is there to using an initrd image besides having a "pretty" background to your bootloader?
I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of uses for initrd of which I'm not aware, I just said that bootsplash was one instance where an initrd image was required and not an option.
Since you asked...
- Suppose you have a system with minimal ram and harddrive space. You can't even keep kernal sources on it so you build your kernel on another system and download it to this system. You build a modular kernel because of memory restraints and use initrd to pass modules needed for booting to the kernel. Then you can remove the modules when not needed and free up memory.
- You are a wannabe kernel hacker designing a new foobar adapter module. You don't want to build a new kernel every time you modify the module but the module is required to boot. So you put it in initrd and when you modify it you just make a new module and a new initrd and you don't need to make a new kernel.
- You have a scsi drive you use to transport large amounts of data to work and home. So sometimes you want to boot your kernel with scsi support and sometimes you don't (when you forget and leave the drive at work). You just modify /etc/lilo.conf and in the "Linux-scsi" section you put an initrd=/boot/initrd-scsi.img
Well thats just a couple instances I thought of off the top of my head, and probably there are many other. Using initrd is just another choice you have in Linux, it's there if you want to/need to use it.