Debian Bug report logs - #599417
partman-btrfs: indiscriminately returns an error when there is no separate /boot partition

Package: partman-btrfs; Maintainer for partman-btrfs is Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>; Source for partman-btrfs is src:partman-btrfs.

Reported by: Benoît Knecht <benoit.knecht@fsfe.org>

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 13:54:02 UTC

Severity: important

Tags: d-i

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#599417; Package partman-btrfs. (Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:54:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Benoît Knecht <benoit.knecht@fsfe.org>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:54:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Benoît Knecht <benoit.knecht@fsfe.org>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: partman-btrfs: indiscriminately returns an error when there is no separate /boot partition
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:45:13 +0200
Package: partman-btrfs
Severity: important
Tags: d-i

On machines where the kernel and initrd are stored in a flash partition
(such as various Qnap TS-* devices, the Sheevaplug, etc.), there is no
need for a separate boot partition, even if the root partition is
formatted with btrfs. However, check.d/no_btrfs_boot always returns an
error in this case, regardless of the type of machine.

I don't know how easy it would be to detect whether the target system
has everything it needs in flash memory or not, but an alternative
solution could be to decrease the severity of the event from an error to
a warning, explaining in debian/partman-btrfs.templates in which case
it's okay to proceed and in which case it's not.

I was using the sid debian-installer on a Qnap TS-419P. Looking at
partman-btrfs' changelog, the issue seems to be present in all versions.




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#599417; Package partman-btrfs. (Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:00:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Martin Michlmayr <tbm@cyrius.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>. (Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:00:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 599417@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Martin Michlmayr <tbm@cyrius.com>
To: Benoît Knecht <benoit.knecht@fsfe.org>, 599417@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#599417: partman-btrfs: indiscriminately returns an error when there is no separate /boot partition
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:56:30 +0100
* Benoît Knecht <benoit.knecht@fsfe.org> [2010-10-07 15:45]:
> formatted with btrfs. However, check.d/no_btrfs_boot always returns an
> error in this case, regardless of the type of machine.

check.d/no_btrfs_boot says:
# grub and other bootloaders that read the filesystem do not support /boot
# on btrfs. (lilo should work). Detect and warn.

Obviously, this is quite machine-specific.  Many ARM machines boot
directly from flash and don't have this limitation.
check.d/no_btrfs_boot should handle this properly...

flash-kernel/debian/flash-kernel-installer.postinst contains info for
some ARM machines whether they boot from flash or disk; maybe this
should be moved and generalized somewhere.

-- 
Martin Michlmayr
http://www.cyrius.com/




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#599417; Package partman-btrfs. (Sun, 10 Apr 2011 20:42:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to dann frazier <dannf@dannf.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Install System Team <debian-boot@lists.debian.org>. (Sun, 10 Apr 2011 20:42:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 599417@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: dann frazier <dannf@dannf.org>
To: 599417@bugs.debian.org
Subject: also affects ia64
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2011 14:29:50 -0600
Note that ia64 also suffers from this artificial restriction because
the elilo.efi bootloader does not read files from the /boot directory.
Rather, these files are read from a separate disk partition - the EFI
partition - that is not mounted by the OS by default. The EFI
partition is updated by a kernel hook when boot files are changed. In
many ways this is similar to the flash-kernel case with the NVRAM
replaced by a disk partition.

It (perhaps naively) seems to me like the logical place to store this
data would be to have the individual bootloader installer packages
specify the list of filesystems from which they can boot, and have
partman disallow /boot to reside on a filesystem for which no
supportable bootloader is available.




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