Re: [GIT *] Allow request_firmware() to be satisfied from in-kernel, use it in more drivers.

From: Willy Tarreau
Date: Wed Jul 16 2008 - 00:43:33 EST

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 08:43:07PM -0400, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Linus Torvalds wrote:
> >
> >On Wed, 16 Jul 2008, Frans Pop wrote:
> >>Where did you get this strange notion that mkinitrd is the _only_ (your
> >>emphasis) thing people use?
> >
> >Heh. Maybe from the fact that I don't personally use modules or initrd at
> >all, and have no interest in doing so ;)
> >
> >Ok, so people use other things. Grr. I guess we can't just require updated
> >tools, because we don't know what the tools are.
> Yes, that's part of the problem :/
> Everybody seems to love rolling their own stuff in this area, partly
> necessitated I suppose by the wide variety of ways to boot on various
> platforms.

Exactly. To give you an idea, I have a lot of servers running on a
"firmware" which consists in two parts :
- a bzImage containing an initramfs with modules and a few scripts
- an initrd which is in fact the rootfs

When the kernel boots, it mounts the initrd, does a pivot_root and mounts
its modules into /boot/$(uname -r). All my kernels run modules from /boot
and not from /lib/modules, because it makes them more convenient to add
and remove. So /lib/modules is just a symlink to /boot.

The above process is very convenient, as it is compatible with a lot of
boot methods : hard disk, CDROM, USB stick, PXE, etc...

And moreover, I can have multiple kernels with only one rootfs (SMP, etc).
Introducing firmware there would mean a major thinking and rework of the
build (and possibly boot) process. The least invasive would probably be
to stuff them next to the modules in $(uname -r)/firmware, but even then,
it will take a lot of time to switch to a new system.

And judging from what I see around, I'm far from being the only one not
using mkinitrd.


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