Dracut HostOnly or ConfigurationOnly?

Vratislav Podzimek vpodzime at redhat.com
Thu Sep 5 14:10:22 UTC 2013

Hello, everybody,
I'd like to know your opinion on one issue we have hit on live
installations due to the DracutHostOnly feature [1]. Long story short:
1) Anaconda installs the kernel package
2) installation of the kernel package triggers dracut to generate initrd
3) dracut now generates so called "host-only" initrd, which, among the
other things, means, that it contains only one keymap -- the one that
was set in /etc/vconsole.conf at the time dracut was triggered to run
4) Anaconda configures the installed system based on the values set
during the installation.

The actual result is that if users type in their LUKS password with a
keyboard layout different from 'us', let's say 'gb' they cannot type the
password again on boot, because the initrd has only the 'us' keymap (set
by default in the configuration file), even if there is
'vconsole.keymap=gb' as a boot option. 

There are two basic approaches how to fix this on the installer side:
1) write out keyboard configuration before packages are installed
2) regenerate the initrd at the end of the installation

Both these solutions are not ideal from my point of view. And even if
one of them is accepted and applied, there would still be the problem
with systems, that have an initrd that blocks functionality of boot
options (maybe there are more than vconsole.keymap, I don't know).

So, is it a right thing to do to generate 3 MB smaller initrd's (the
summed up size of all keymaps) not supporting some boot options? Does
HostOnly mean the initrd works only with a specific host or that it
works only with a specific configuration of a specific host? I
understand having firmware for hardware that does not exist in the
system might be useless, but not supporting boot with a different
configuration options seems to me as a different thing.

[1] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=994180

Vratislav Podzimek

Anaconda Rider | Red Hat, Inc. | Brno - Czech Republic

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