Re: IDE -> ATA DISK (fwd)

Riley Williams (
Sat, 5 Dec 1998 16:08:14 +0000 (GMT)

Chris: Your server rejects mail from me, so I have no other means of
reaching you...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 14:57:54 +0000 (GMT)
From: Riley Williams <>
To: Chris Siebenmann <>
Subject: Re: IDE -> ATA DISK

Hi Chris.

> You write:

>> Most Unix tools include basic sanity checks, and that's one area
>> where the Linux kernel could be improved. The following sanity
>> check should not be that hard to do:

>> Q> Complain if the configuration selects file systems without
>> Q> also selecting somewhere to mount them, as there's little
>> Q> point to a kernel supporting (say) ext2 without supporting
>> Q> any form of disk drive to use it on.

> I think this should be at most a warning; it should not be a fatal
> error. It's possible to boot such a kernel using an initrd, after
> all.

I'd agree there, but the current configure scripts make it nigh on
impossible to produce effective warning messages, but very easy to
produce error messages.

> The other warnings I can think of offhand that might be useful are:

> - no non-modular binfmt (or perhaps it should be more
> restricted than that, not counting java or the like that
> requires another binfmt module to get very far)

> - no non-modular filesystem

> maybe

> - no initrd support when there is no non-modular disk driver

> and any 'prerequisites' of things selected as non-modular (such as
> say NFS non-modular without non-modular networking).

It's been suggested to me that this sort of thing would be best
implemented as a separate "make checksane" step in the compilation
that produces a report of any questionable option combinations, and I
tend to agree with that, so will be looking into doing that over the
Christmas break...

Best wishes from Riley.

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