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I have both a desktop & a laptop running -current & kernel 22.214.171.124, vanilla from extra. My desktop has a separate /boot partition, formatted ext2, as it is less than 10 MB. The rest of the drive is formatted ext3. The only partition (except for swap) on the laptop is formatted ext3. Both of these boxes boot & run without an initrd. I assume that this is so ( on the desktop ) because of the ext2 formatted /boot directory. Running lsmod shows that the ext3 module is loaded. But why is the laptop working? Boot messages show the partition initially mounted ro & later changed to ext3 rw, but no ext3 module is loaded. Is it possible that despite showing that it is ext3, that it is mounted as ext2? Output of the mount command also shows it as ext3. I'm thinking of backing up the partition on the laptop, then adding a small /boot partition so it will be similar to the desktop. At least then they'd both be the same, except they probably wouldn't act similar! Any comments appreciated.
Remounting root device with read-write enabled.
/dev/hda2 on / type ext3 (rw)
The above quotes are from the laptop. which has no ext2 fs on it. The desktop does exactly the same, except running 'lsmod' on the desktop shows the ext3 module loaded, but not on the laptop.
I can remember leaving out the initrd after installing a Slack 2.6 series kernel & having to junp through a few minor hoops to get the system to boot. Now, it seems, I don't have to worry about that.
you would be correct, I must of read the README a little to quickly. It looks like your system is mounting it as ext2 during the initial startup, then it remounts as ext3 when all the support is loaded. ...But I'm sure you figured this out all ready. I'm not quire sure how this works exactly, but I would be interested in finding out.
Well, after a little more work, I think I have this figured. I have a 500 MB partition on my HD in which I have a minimal Slackware installation. I occasionally use it as a rescue partition, instead of using a live CD. I mounted it & renamed the modules directiory so that it couldn't be found, then booted into it. It gave me a warning or two about not being able to find modules, but quietly mounted the / partition, first as ext2 ro. Then, later, it said that it remounted it as ext3 rw. But I am fairly certain it didn't change the fs type. It would not mount any other partition ext3, using the mount command, but would give an unknown filesystem error. Restoring the modules directory & rebooting restored normal operation. I don't have another partition on my laptop to test whether it will mount another ext3 partition, but I may try to shrink the one that is there & find out. But, at least in my case, it appears that if there is a seperate ext2 /boot partition, an initrd is not needed to boot into an ext3 fs.