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Fedora 7, libsata and /dev/sdx

Tom Horsley wrote:
> In fact, while we're at it - never have another "release", just keep
> upgrading rpms forever with individual packages being released,
> but nothing called a whole distribution having a release. Individual
> rpms just get marked obsolete and replaced with new ones in the
> ever updated lists.
> Now *that* would be a Knight in shining armor! Fedora 7 is a mere
> feeble imitation in comparison :-).

There's a great counter-example actually coming up in Fedora 7. The
kernel will switch to calling (nearly? [1]) all hard disks, PATA and
SATA alike, /dev/sdx (or whatever) as part of the switch to libsata.
This should be a lot more powerful, reliable, and maintainable.

Default Fedora installs will be able to make this switch just by loading
a new kernel (with an appropriate initrd). But many people will have
added filesystems in /etc/fstab by device name (e.g. /dev/hda1). Some
people will have replaced "mount by filesystem label" with the
traditional "mount by device name". And device names will have found
their way into users' scripts.

I don't know how much logic will be built into Anaconda (the Fedora
installer) to handle this. But if the upgrade doesn't handle it
gracefully, then people's computers will stop booting until they fix the

This is about acceptable (a) on an OS upgrade (b) only for people who've
deliberately changed their installs to be non-standard and (c) if
reasonable attempts are made to either "fix" or "warn" the users.

But it would be very difficult for a rolling, reliable release to make
this change -- users would expect to be able to yum update and for
things not to break. And that means Fedora couldn't change things if it
meant some users' setups would need to be changed.


[1] I understand that some archaic IDE adapters won't be supported by
libata. I haven't checked to see if these will be considered unsupported
or whether there will still be the old IDE drivers for adapters that
can't use libata. If the latter is the case, then disks on those
adapters would still be called /dev/hdx.

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