Re: [PATCH] skip initramfs check

From: Matt Mackall
Date: Mon Nov 21 2005 - 10:52:53 EST

On Mon, Nov 21, 2005 at 09:04:46AM -0600, Rob Landley wrote:
> On Monday 21 November 2005 00:23, Marcelo Tosatti wrote:
> > Hi Rob,
> > > Query: is the problem that a big initramfs image is being unpacked more
> > > than once, or is unpacking an empty initramfs image (134 bytes) causing a
> > > significant delay?
> >
> > The problem is a big non-initramfs RAMDISK image (used for root mountpoint
> > on this particular embedded platform), that is decompressed more than once:
> >
> > - during the initramfs check, which fails because it is not initramfs.
> > - during the real RAMDISK decompression to memory.
> >
> > > I'm fairly certain that back in 1990 I could unzip 134 bytes on my 33 mhz
> > > 386 running dos in a fraction of a second. What's the use case here?
> >
> > So the issue is not the empty initramfs image (which BTW could probably
> > be made unecessary?), but a 10Mb RAMDISK image being decompressed by a
> > 48Mhz PPC, which takes quite a few seconds.
> >
> > Need to rework the patch to use a __setup option as Andrew suggested.
> It sounds to me like is the initial check (which is just giving a thumbs
> up/thumbs down "is this an initramfs", correct?) only needs to decompress the
> first page or so of data to make this determination. A quick glance at the
> code seems to imply it's just checking the header and the first entry, so 4k
> should be plenty for that.
> Some variant of lib/zlib_inflate... Ouch, bit of a mess there. Hey Matt: you
> know this area. Is it feasible to do some kind of:
> deflate_init(whatever)
> deflate_next_x_bytes(source *, dest *, length)
> To grab a the first X bytes from the initramfs image?

Not at the moment. But I think it is feasible to simply move the ramdisk
detection and unpacking inside the ramfs state machine. In other
words, add two new states:

- detecting type
- unpacking ramdisk

When the first few bytes are fed from the decompressor to the state
machine, we either transition to the normal ramfs unpacking or we
treat it as a ramdisk.

Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.
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