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Re: dracut, or should booting a LiveCD touch the hard disk?

On 10/04/2009 11:35 PM, Chuck Anderson wrote:
Dracut currently tries to find and activate all RAID, LVM, and LUKS
partitions on the hard disks when booting the LiveCD.

Several of my systems are made up of many RAID, LVM, and LUKS
partitions in various combinations.  Booting the LiveCD now goes and
activates these and asks for passphrases that I have to "skip over" by
entering blank/bogus values to get the system to boot up.  I now know
that you can pass various "rd_*" options such as "rd_NO_LUKS" to grub
to have dracut skip these things, but I was hoping for something
better, perhaps a "skip" button.

The new behavior makes the LiveCD less independent of and more "tied"
to the existing installations on the hard disk.  This is surprising
and unexpected.  Many uses of LiveCD's expect that the live
environment will be completely independent of, and unaffected by, what
is on the hard disk.  This is no longer true.  It may be confusing for
users of LiveCD's when an (unidentified) passphrase input text box
pops up when booting the LiveCD.

What do others think?  Should the LiveCD by default access and
activate storage volumes, including encrypted partitions, on the hard
disks?  Should the LUKS prompts better identify the volume so that
users know what passphrase to enter?

I would prefer a LiveCD that doesn't do anything to the hard disk at
all, at least by default when booting up.  It should be
"self-contained".  Perhaps we should create another entry in
syslinux.cfg that enables rd_NO_LUKS by default, and call it "Boot
without accessing hard disk".


Thanks for bringing this up. I'll create a patch for the scripts
generating the livecd to add rd_NO_LUKS to the normal livecd
syslinux.cfg entry. I already was planning on doing this, but I forgot.



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