[arch-projects] [mkinitcpio] mounting /usr from the initrd

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Tue Aug 2 11:40:06 EDT 2011

Am 02.08.2011 17:10, schrieb Tom Gundersen:
> This website created by the systemd folks sums it up nicely (just
> replace "systemd" with "initscripts" everywhere):
> <http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/separate-usr-is-broken>.

Heh, doesn't the "separate-usr-is-broken" in the URL say it all? (Didn't
read it yet, will have to soon.)

> The solution they propose, and which I agree with, is to mount /usr
> from the initrd just as we mount / (an alternative solution is to just
> declare separate /usr as not supported, but I guess that would not
> make us popular).
> Before working up a patch, I wanted to hear if there are any
> objections to this approach, and in particular that Thomas agrees that
> it is the right way to go.

The purpose of the initrd is to do as few things as possible to get to
the "real" system. If we can support a system that gets to the point of
mounting /usr without needing things from /usr, we do it. If we can't
support it, there is no point in ugly workarounds - if it's broken by
design, don't do it.

I won't accept any patch that modifies the mkinitcpio core to support
this. I might consider a patch that does this in a hook and thus keeps
things modular, if you think it is necessary. For example, write a hook
that adds a new mount handler:

run_hook() {

usr_mount_handler() {
 # mount /
 default_mount_handler "$@"
 # mount /usr
 [ add code here to mount /usr ]

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