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Re: RFC: Support Linux command line variants in grub-mkconfig

From: Martin Orr
Subject: Re: RFC: Support Linux command line variants in grub-mkconfig
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 11:01:52 +0000
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.0.5)

On Tue 19 Jan 22:26:51 2010, Robert Millan wrote:

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 09:03:53PM +0000, Martin Orr wrote:
I would like to be able to choose between alternative Linux command
lines in my GRUB menu (specifically, I want a "selinux=0" option, but I
can imagine that people might want other things).  I could add an extra
script to /etc/grub.d to do this, but then I have to copy the logic in
10_linux to detect what kernel versions are available, and they do not
appear in the correct place in the menu.  It would be simpler if you
could specify variant command lines in /etc/default/grub and have them
handled automatically in 10_linux.

The attached patch allows (for example) the following configuration in
GRUB_LINUX_VARIANTS="noselinux kms"

GRUB_LABEL_LINUX_noselinux="SELinux disabled"

GRUB_LABEL_LINUX_kms="KMS enabled"

This patch is only intended as a demonstration: various details of the
implementation still need to be sorted out, such as
internationalization.  Suggestions of wildly different
approaches/configuration interfaces are welcome.

I think this is growing severely overengineered.  It is already more
complex than it needs to be.

The scripts in /etc/grub.d *are* config files.  There's no reason you
can't edit them to suit your needs.

I agree that my solution does seem rather overengineered.

My problem is that while /etc/grub.d/* may be config files in some technical sense, they don't behave like them. In particular for most config files, changes you make are largely "orthogonal" to the rest of the file whereas my changes to /etc/grub.d are mixed in with complex logic which I have no interest in changing. Combined with frequent changes to the default version of the file, this makes merging new versions a burden.

My patch reduces the configuration needed to set up variant command lines to a few lines in /etc/default/grub, which are indeed orthogonal to the rest of the file.

To specify more precisely what I dislike about just editing 10_linux, the change that I would want to make (and I would guess that this is the change people would most often want to make) is to add an extra call to linux_entry. But linux_entry is an "internal" interface which could change its arguments in arbitrary ways, and it doesn't even provide the features I need (specifically a label argument, added to the title of the menu entry) so I end up having to patch linux_entry itself as well as adding a new call, and keep these matching whenever the default linux_entry changes.

Best wishes,

Martin Orr

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