[arch-dev-public] Mkinitcpio replacement with Dracut

Giancarlo Razzolini grazzolini at archlinux.org
Fri Feb 19 17:38:13 UTC 2021

Hi All,

I'm revisiting this thread to clarify the current situation Arch is in,
regarding the initramfs.

When this was suggested, mkinitcpio was without a maintainer, and dracut
was the obvious choice for replacement.

In the almost two years this has been proposed though, I have maintained
mkinitcpio, it has gained features and had bug fixes over this time, as well
as it has seen a lot of activity from the community on github (issues and PR's).

In this meantime, dracut as well got a number of releases and the dracut package
is maintained, but dracut doesn't have alpm hooks to install the kernels to /boot
and re-generate the images, mainly because there's no mkinitcpio profile equivalent

Also, Anatol has created booster, which is extremely fast and creates very small
images. Currently, you can have all 3 of them, mkinitcpio, dracut and booster installed
on your system at the same time. booster does come with alpm hooks and it's currently
doubling the work mkinitcpio hooks do, so the kernel gets copied to /boot twice.

I plan to separate the mkinitcpio hooks and have all 3 initramfs generators to use the
same hook, that way we can avoid them competing with each other, while also allowing
them all to be installed at the same time.

Having said all that, there are no plans at this time to change the status quo, so
mkinitcpio remains the default, but users now have 3 options, which is always good.

Giancarlo Razzolini

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