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Old 11-19-2017, 09:50 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2009
Distribution: Slackware,Linux From Scratch
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could an initramfs / initrd mess up a bedrock system?

So ages ago (or so it seems) I'd bedrocked my slackware system and it ran nice and stable for a while.

I attempted to bedrock a Crux system and that had some weirdness. It ran, but not with a high confidence level.

Bedrocked my LFS system and that did not end well.

Now, my setup is kind of complicated in that everything Linux is on LVM volumes that are in turn on a LUKS encrypted partition. Naturally, one has to use an initrd in order to mount the partitions. Slackware has a built in system of generating a needed initrd. Crux, as far as I could tell, does not. Neither does my LFS. So I used betterinitramfs ( The build of that was automated and ran without problems. It is not tied to a particular distro: one initrd has been re-used for more than one install. I used it for Crux and LFS. Runs fine, boots fast. All is well, right?

Now, after quite some time, a thought occurred to me: my failed bedrocks all used betterinitramfs and my successful one did not. could some non-obvious interaction of the betterinitramfs and bedrock be causing problems? Has anyone else used this combination?

Last edited by jr_bob_dobbs; 11-19-2017 at 09:55 PM.
Old 11-20-2017, 06:01 AM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2016
Distribution: Bedrock Linux
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Technically, it's quite possible for an initramfs to mess up any distro. It could format your harddrive, or leave processes behind that randomly spike the CPU or consume most of your memory, it could mess up permissions on the filesystem, etc. It's a process with unlimited permissions that runs before any other userland processes else that could have constrained it. It can do just about anything that's possible to do with a computer, both good and bad.

I've not heard anyone explicitly state they've used Bedrock Linux with better-initramfs, successfully or otherwise, and so it's quite possible there's an incompatibility there. For example, the current Bedrock Linux release requires the initramfs mount the root filesystem read-write; perhaps the relevant Bedrock Linux installation instructions section which attempt to do so don't work with better-initramfs. Going forward I'm going to see if I can remove the initramfs read-write requirement, but for the time being that's a possible source of issues.

It's very difficult to say with any certainty whether or not your issues were related to the initramfs, especially without more information about their symptoms. If the problem you're having was that the brn menu was hitting a read-only file system, then yes, that's likely the culprit. If the issue is you get a parsing error when trying to run brs, it's likely a typo in a configuration file. It sounds like there's also a correlation between Bedrock+Crux and your issues - maybe that's where the problem lies, independent of the initramfs. I need much more information to say with any certainty.


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