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Early bootup cross-distro collaboration - Dave Jones


Dave Jones works for Red Hat as the Fedora kernel team lead. After five years of maintaining the Fedora kernel, he has seen all sorts of disasters in both kernel and userspace. He is currently based in Boston,MA. When not hacking Linux, he collects and makes strange noises with modular analog synthesizers.


The early bootup stage (before the kernel hands off to /sbin/init) should be an incredibly dull, dreary process which does unexciting things like finding root partitions, and mounting them.

It is strange then, that every distribution sees fit to reinvent the wheel, and do something completely different. Why is there a need for innovation in possibly the most dull part of a Linux distribution?

With so much divergence between implementations, this talk will investigate whether it is possible for a 'one mkinitrd to rule them all' by determining the feature sets of several existing implementations, and pointing out areas which may prove challenging to address.