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Re: PPC64

From: Pavel Roskin
Subject: Re: PPC64
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:52:11 -0400

On Thu, 2008-10-23 at 10:06 -0500, Hollis Blanchard wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-10-23 at 01:25 -0400, Pavel Roskin wrote:
> > Actually, I would prefer all files that don't have to be on HFS or on  
> > the raw partition to be on the native partition, so that they can be  
> > easily accessed.  That includes grub.cfg.
> FWIW, I ran for years with an HFS partition "natively" mounted
> on /boot/grub, and I never experienced any instability. Do you have
> reason (other than hearsay) to mistrust the Linux HFS driver?

HFS support is marked experimental in Linux 2.6.27, unlike HFSPLUS.  I'm
not sure about the quality of fsck.hfs.  However, it's not that I
distrust any drivers or utilities.  The HFS driver may be missing from
the kernel.  It doesn't even have to be a Linux kernel.

> > Anyway, I think it's too much to ask from users to change the existing  
> > partitioning or mount points.  GRUB can be more compatible with both  
> > its i386 implementation and with yaboot by keeping modules in  
> > /boot/grub on ext2 or another native filesystem and placing the  
> > minimal core to the machine specific boot partition (whether it's HFS  
> > or raw or something else).
> Actually I don't remember if I had to change the partitioning scheme at
> all: isn't GRUB + modules small enough to fit into the typical "ybin
> boot partition"?

It would fit.  But it's better to keep modules and grub.cfg on a
filesystem that is easier to access.

> I don't think asking the user to add an entry to /etc/fstab is an
> onerous restriction. After all, they are trying to replace their
> distribution's bootloader in the first place, so they almost certainly
> have some familiarity with the boot process. Once distributions use
> GRUB2 of course, no user intervention would be required.
> My basic point is that requiring grub-install and this mystical "hidden
> partition in the mist" is just silly. It's completely unnecessary on
> systems with filesystem support in firmware, and it's silly to
> artificially limit those systems by imposing historical x86 restrictions
> onto them.

I can imagine that there are some real issues why the HFS boot partition
is not mounted.  HFS may lack some security mechanisms that other
filesystems have.  It may not have a good fsck.  Anyway, whatever the
reasons, I don't think switching from yaboot to GRUB would change those
reasons.  For GRUB to be a compelling replacement, it would be
beneficial if it could fit the existing systems.

Pavel Roskin

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