[arch-dev-public] ArchISO FTP Installer - Round 2

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Sat Apr 5 14:42:41 EDT 2008

Dan McGee schrieb:
> One is IDE drivers vs. PATA drivers. I can verify that my SiS board
> does not boot so hot with the current PATA drivers, so I am still
> using IDE. I think two initrds might be a great idea here.

Thank god my SiS board is broken :)

> The next issue is the "remember what you chose and put it in the
> system's mkinitcpio.conf". How about "No"? Why on earth do we need to
> automate things for the users as long as we document it in the install
> guide? It isn't that hard to have a one-liner saying "if you booted
> with IDE drivers, you will want to modify your mkinitcpio hooks
> accordingly. This would save us a lot of hassle from stupid automation
> tricks that I really feel we don't need to do.

Because we don't want to produce broken installations, it's that easy. 
What a nice experience would it be if you told yourself "let's install 
this new distro" and it would just kernel panic? You would never try 
again, as it's a broken piece of software. Nobody will notice a 
one-liner in the installation guide, seriously.

And this is easily fixed. When we mount the unionfs in the initrd, we 
just add a file indicating which image was used to boot, and if the 
installer finds that, it does a simple sed on mkinitcpio.conf. Problem 

> The final issue was references to /dev/hda and such in fstab, which
> won't work for PATA drivers. Where are these even coming from? Are we
> autopopulating these, and doing it horribly wrong?

The fstab is generated according to what the installer mounted, so this 
isn't an issue.

You are missing the most important problem, one which you simply can't 
dismiss by saying it's the user's problem:
The ordering in which drivers for several controllers are loaded is 
changing with kernel updates, udev updates, or even randomly between 
reboots. Almost everyone has several controllers (for example, one 
onboard sata, one onboard ide, or in my case, one onboard sata, one 
onboard ide, one pci ide). When sda becomdes sdc at the next boot, and 
is then sdb and then sda again, then we have a basically unusable 
distribution. This is the issue we should be concentrating on (I 
proposed several alternatives already), not the ide vs. pata issue, 
which is - as mentioned - easily solved.

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