Dracut HostOnly or ConfigurationOnly?

Harald Hoyer harald.hoyer at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 14:51:14 UTC 2013

On 09/05/2013 04:10 PM, Vratislav Podzimek wrote:
> 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

host only means, it only works on that machine (kernel modules) with that disk
layout (including language and keymap for disk passwords).


This Fedora release builds an initramfs tailored especially for your computer
hardware. If you change your machine or partitions or significant hardware, you
might have to boot with the "Rescue" boot entry and execute "dracut
--regenerate-all". If you want your initramfs to be hardware independent,
install the "dracut-nohostonly" rpm package. If you don't want rescue images at
all (like in virtual machines), install the "dracut-norescue" rpm package.

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