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19 November 2012, 10:46

Gentoo developers start udev fork

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Tux/Linux icon The Gentoo developers are working on a udev fork based on the code of a current systemd variant of udev. Initially called udev-ng and subsequently renamed eudev, their fork is designed to allow a system to be started even if the /usr/ directory hasn't been mounted yet. Systemd does not officially support this functionality and warns if it detects it – according to the developers, one of the reasons for this is that many background services don't fully support such a configuration. The eudev developers say that the decision to fork was also motivated by an email in which Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticised the udev developers regarding a firmware loading problem.

In a Google+ post, Kay Sievers, who has been one of the main udev contributors in recent years and is also one of the main systemd developers, criticised the eudev developers for removing a dependency to kmod, a component that is used by udev to load other modules, as one of the first modifications they made. Sievers said that, because of this modification, eudev will need to start an external program 100 to 150 times during every boot process; however, the eudev developers have indicated that they plan to reintroduce the feature as an option. Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the original creators of udev and a major Linux kernel developer, expressed his amusement over the fork in a Google+ post; in comments to his post and in contributions on the Gentoo mailing list, the developer also voiced a more critical opinion. Commenting on Sievers' postings, Kroah-Hartman said that the "saddest part of this whole thing" is that the eudev developers are now integrating the support to mount /usr/ separately, but that this doesn't fix the flaws that caused the udev developers to exclude the support of such a configuration.


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