[Bug 281] /etc/mtab symlink creation

Gerard Beekmans gerard at linuxfromscratch.org
Mon Sep 30 12:57:10 PDT 2002

On September 29, 2002 10:52 am, Christophe Devine wrote:
> This is indeed, the proper way to do it; furthermore, I also noted this
> was how the Debian folks do it, and they have considerable experience as
> the Debian project started in 1996 IIRC, whereas LFS started around 1999.

This is how it used to be done for first 3 years. The biggest problem was 
clearing the mtab file so mount doesn't get all confused when you try to 
mount partitions that aren't mounted yet but due to a crash in the previous 
session the mtab file doesn't show it.

And clearning /etc/mtab isn't always an option when / is to be mounted 
read-only. The only alternative is to tell mount, glibc and other programs 
that the mtab file is to be found elsewhere, maybe somewhere in /var as the 
mtab hint suggests. But I don't quite agree with that. mtab belongs in /etc 
so I wouldn't write the book in such a way that things are patched up and 
/etc/mtab moved elsewhere.

Personally I believe the symlink setup's positive points outweigh the real 
file setup's negative points. Call it a personal bias but I believe a symlink 
is the way to go. Maybe mount should be made more intelligent about loopbacks 
but that's a different discussion.

Gerard Beekmans

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