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/stand and /altroot

A discussion in #netbsd on freenode debated what these two were for.

My theory is that /altroot could be the mountpoint of an alternate
root partition (on the same disk or a second one) that can be set up
and made bootable so that if you accidentally hose / (dd of=/dev/
wd0a, etc...) you can ask boot(8) to boot from hd1a:netbsd or
whatever and thus bring your system back up without having to have a
boot CD to hand, while /stand is something of a distant ancestor of /
rescue (at least, it seemed to be that way in FreeBSD a few years
back; standalone meant statically linked).

However, both seem pretty vestigial these days. /altroot, I think,
dates to a time when bootable CD-ROMs unheard of, but can still be
created by hand by the few who want that kind of setup, while /stand
is, as far as I can tell, entirely vestigial.

Is it worth removing them from hier(7) and base.tgz, which I presume
is what creates them, in the name of a simpler base system?


Alaric Snell-Pym

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