[Gta04-owner] suggestions for rootfs

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Jan 31 19:57:24 CET 2017

Hi Jonas,

> Am 31.01.2017 um 19:41 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
> Quoting Andreas Kemnade (2017-01-31 17:22:46)
>> here are some ideas for rootfs.
>> 1. /etc/default/rcS
>> FSCKFIX=yes
>> Well, no chance to press an y key on the gta04, so this at least give
>> some chances to have it booted.

When is this needed? I could so far use the RS232 console to type the y if needed.

> Only relevant when the package sysvinit-core is installed.  By default
> with both current and upcoming stable debian, systemd-sysv is installed
> instead, which does not use that hint - and in upcoming stable release
> the file is not installed at all by default (so ensure that automated
> tweaking scripts check existence of the file before editing!).
> Beware that "not default" implies "less tested"!  It is close to
> impossible to avoid systemd on Debian nowadays: If you try, you will
> quite likely end up with a system running poorly tested code as init and
> _still_ load systemd code indirectly through e.g. the SSH daemon (unless
> you aggressively avoid well-tested tools and e.g. use dropbear for ssh).

Basically we have a rootfs that must fit into the 512MB NAND flash limitation
(which is more like 450MB) and have something useable in NAND flash for demos
or as a fallback if there is no woking µSD installed (which has none of these

With stripping languages and manuals I was able to get a working NAND partition
filled by just 99% (incl. kernel modules) where you still can run apt-get upgrade
(IMHO the package list cache has grown very much). With Debian 7 it was never
a problem to fit it into NAND.

So some questions related to Debian 9 to make the right decisions: how much
space does it need on a rootfs compared to Debian 8.7? Has it grown or
did it shrink? Which one needs more space in rootfs: systemd or sysvinit?

>> 2. sshd_config
>> UseDNS no
>> logins are a lot faster.
>> Or maybe add a line like
>> pc
>> to /etc/hosts
> I sure recommend to not skip name resolving, but establish fast name
> resolving (either by hardcoding as suggested above or by having
> connection script point to a resolver on your laptop).

I prefer the /etc/hosts method. It is clean and simple and generally useful...
The resolver on the laptop is sometimes the problem if there is no proper
internet forwarding (e.g. through the WLAN of the host).


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