Mkinitcpio without ide-legacy setup

I spent about two hours last night trying to figure out why I couldn’t trim the hooks and modules out of my mkinitcpio.conf file and still get a bootable system. No matter what combination I tried, I kept getting an abortive initial image that couldn’t find the root partition and left me at the minimal terminal. For a while I thought I was having this problem.

I think I’ve figured it out, but I’m probably off base … or still just learning.

My old setups, with the ancient Pentium II that I had been using, I always used the arch ide-legacy installation, which gave drives the old ATA /dev/hd? assignment. For yesterday’s installation, I tried the new system which gives them /dev/sd* names. But only my fallback image would boot, not the adjusted one, which I hoped would be faster.

In short, this was the combination I needed to get it going.

MODULES="piix_ata ext2"
HOOKS="base udev pata"

I had hoped to avoid udev, mostly because it takes too long to start. My old 300Mhz Pentium II was up and running in 36 seconds when I carved udev out of the solution, and this 1Ghz machine should do much better without it. Right now I get from grub to login in around 31 seconds with the fallback image, but 25 seconds with the above module/hook arrangement. (That’s with no other adjustments yet, except manual loading of modules.)

But I’m starting to wonder if the new ATA assignments require udev at some point. Because like I said, I wasn’t getting anywhere without it. My next step will be to experiment with the old ide-legacy setup, and see if that will move faster, since I know (unless it has changed in the last few months) that will boot without it.

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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