Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26 - Debian

This is a discussion on Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26 - Debian ; Are you sure that this won't break things elsewhere? Other packages might use /etc/mtab with inotify to watch mount events (especially for removable media). They would have to switch to a different method, since /proc does not support inotify and ...

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Thread: Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26

  1. Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26

    Are you sure that this won't break things elsewhere? Other packages
    might use /etc/mtab with inotify to watch mount events (especially for
    removable media). They would have to switch to a different method,
    since /proc does not support inotify and udev doesn't help either.

    Radim



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  2. Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26

    On Thu, Aug 07, 2008 at 02:19:33PM +0200, Radim X. wrote:

    [please CC the submitter as well as the bug number, or else they don't
    get a reply!]

    > Are you sure that this won't break things elsewhere?


    Yes; the whole point of this change is to stop breaking things that are
    currently broken, including a whole plethora of bugs in mount(1).

    > Other packages
    > might use /etc/mtab with inotify to watch mount events (especially for
    > removable media). They would have to switch to a different method,
    > since /proc does not support inotify and udev doesn't help either.


    Do you have any examples of packages which use /etc/mtab in this way?

    I checked KDE 3.5.5 and it seems to be working fine. Note that inotify
    is very new, is Linux-specific, and all of the common desktop
    environments are portable to many different platforms and hence will
    detect changes using mechanisms other than inotify. IMO this is not
    a stopper for moving to a symlink.


    Regards,
    Roger

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  3. Bug#494001: debian-installer: /etc/mtab must be a symlink to /proc/mounts with linux >= 2.6.26

    > [please CC the submitter as well as the bug number, or else they don't
    > get a reply!]


    Oops, sorry. For now, it's To: you plus cc to BTS. Should I cc debian-boot
    as well?

    > Do you have any examples of packages which use /etc/mtab in this way?


    No. But...
    > I checked KDE 3.5.5 and it seems to be working fine. Note that inotify
    > is very new, is Linux-specific, and all of the common desktop
    > environments are portable to many different platforms and hence will
    > detect changes using mechanisms other than inotify. IMO this is not
    > a stopper for moving to a symlink.


    .... inotify is probably going to stay with us. Being better than polling, many
    packages might just consider switching to inotify (since it is a new thing). Not
    the huge ones like KDE and Gnome and the like (they have dbus/hal). Smaller
    packages which do not want to use dbus/hal would have little choice after
    this change.

    It's not only that inotify was imho introduced just to deal with this kind of
    things, but the kernel developers are also considering to move away from
    atime. Plus, support for mount/umount events was dropped from udev...

    Aside from Gnome/KDE/..., I guess it isn't so much of a problem of inotify being
    Linux-specific, many of the smaller packages often don't even think of being
    portable to other kernels.

    I perfectly understand your reasons, but please do consider waiting with this
    change, speaking to the kernel people about inotify support in (parts of) /proc,
    or... whatever. I admit, I don't have a really good solution ready.

    Regards,

    Radim



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