[arch-dev-public] Mkinitcpio replacement with Dracut

Ike Devolder ike.devolder at gmail.com
Tue May 21 05:24:20 UTC 2019

On 21/05/2019 04:41, Giancarlo Razzolini via arch-dev-public wrote:
> Hi All,
> Recently, Dave announced his intention to step down as mkinitcpio
> maintainer. I have been
> handling a few things on it, made some small changes to our
> mkinitcpio-busybox [0], closed a few old
> bugs, while also made sure some of the other bug reports are still
> valid. [1]
> I have been testing a few patches to mkinitcpio for a while to fix those
> bugs, but last week Dave
> and I had a discussion on IRC and we agreed that we could spend better
> time contributing somewhere
> else than keeping working with mkinitcpio.
> Currently mkinitcpio cannot boot from NFS properly, mknitcpio-nfs-utils
> [2] uses very old code. Even
> though ipconfig works, it has several drawbacks compared to using more
> modern tools. Not to mention that
> we have two use cases for mkinitcpio, which are base and systemd enabled
> initramfs. Even though we use
> by default our base enabled initramfs, we have to support systemd
> related issues and we have to keep
> developing our systemd hooks.
> I have been looking into dracut for some time now, I copied some stuff
> from them on a few of my own
> scripts and they also have an actual test suite, that we currently can't
> use on Arch, but I plan to
> change that.
> With this in mind, I have packaged dracut for Arch and put it on Extra
> [3]. I have been using a dracut
> initramfs for a while now to boot my encrypted partition. Surprisingly,
> I only had to create a small patch
> to one of the dm-crypt module scripts [4]
> In this initial phase I want to ask as many of you to test this as a
> replacement to mkinitcpio in your setups,
> as many as possible, and in as many scenarios as possible. We will
> probably have to keep both packages on
> our repos for a long time, but once we are confident it's a good fit, we
> can replace mkinitcpio on our iso and base,
> so new installs get dracut by default.
> Please, drop in your comments as well.
> Regards,
> Giancarlo Razzolini
> [0]
> https://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/commit/trunk/PKGBUILD?h=packages/mkinitcpio-busybox&id=489fbd6f2ed1defd1c7f1b57e7d6edd25185e6d8
> [1] https://bugs.archlinux.org/index.php?string=mkinitcpio&project=0
> [2] https://git.archlinux.org/mkinitcpio-nfs-utils.git/
> [3] https://www.archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/dracut/
> [4]
> https://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/tree/trunk/0001-90crypt-Change-the-module-setup.sh-to-use-uname-r-in.patch?h=packages/dracut

Without looking at dracut yet, I have a few questions:
- Is there a description how to move from mkinitcpio to dracut?
- Does dracut support what mkinitcpio has? all the hooks and stuff
- did you already add pacman hooks for dracut as we need for mkinitcpio,
or is that not needed?

When I have some time to spare I certainly will try it out.

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