Subject: Re: read only /
To: Ross Harvey <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: port-alpha
Date: 08/11/1997 18:10:59
[/dev in mfs]

On Mon, 11 Aug 1997 16:27:46 -0700 (PDT),
   Ross Harvey <> writes:

>I think this is the coolest feature. I was going to implement this
>and imagine my surprise to see it already there!

>My original idea was for port-alpha; it seems like this should very
>neatly get around the problem where OSF/1 (OK, DU) can't export a
>NetBSD /dev due to device number mangling on the server.

>It is certainly no big deal to delete the ifdef and recompile, but
>the feature does have unexpected utility...

So, add code to init to test for /etc/MAKEDEV and (if found) do the
mfs + mount + MAKEDEV.  Add an argument to init that turns that test
and action on, and add a sysctl to turn the args to init on or off,
and make the default state of the syctl controlled by a patchable
kernel variable.

That should keep everyone happy.  It doesn't depend on specific
filesystem types, and it gives those who're paranoid about their root
filesystems getting trashed the ability to turn it off; and those who
need it to boot precompiled distribution on diskless Alphas can
happily turn it on.