2003 | Abstracts

initramfs, klibc and early userspace

H. Peter Anvin

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Currently the Linux kernel contains a large amount of once-off routines to handle things that would normally be done in userspace. These are in the kernel only because they are run before root is mounted. In the Linux 2.4 kernel series, the kernel core was simplified by by creating a synthetic root filesystem at a very early stage, which is later overmounted by the user-visible root. In the Linux 2.5 kernel series, work is currently underway to remove these once-off routines by populating the synthetic root filesystem with small user-space programs. This will result in a more familiar programming model for most developers, less risk of bugs, and more flexibility.

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