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alpine-devel

Re: [alpine-devel] Alpine Linux 3.7.0 Release Candidate 1 on VirtualBox

From: Gennady Feldman <gena01_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:50:49 -0500

HI Jakub,

I am going to answer what I know ( I am sure others will have their own
reasons). I have Virtualbox 5.1.30 (there's also 5.2.x out) installed on
Windows 7.
Right now from what I can see it's NOT a requirement, but the option is
there.

I did download and try to play a bit with the 3.7rc3 both virt and
standard. Virt doesn't even boot. Standard seems to be fine as long as I
don't install the virt kernel and try to boot with it.

From what I read EFI seems like the replacement for BIOS and should provide
a number of benefits including a better/bigger console (which I like quite
a bit, kinda hate doing console installs
using legacy BIOS inside VirtualBox) and faster boot time among other
things. I might even convert my Alpine VMs to use it once virt kernel
supports it.

I guess from MBR <=> GPT perspective it could go either way. Things might
get interesting with bigger external volumes, but not for something I am
working/messing with right now.

setup-disk does some interesting stuff in EFI mode:
- boot has hard-coded 512 (which seems quite high?)
- creates a swap partition (2G for me). I would love to turn that off if I
am running inside VirtualBox or being able to choose.

I also wanted to ask if it would make sense to have "setup-virtualbox"
script that would install virtualbox packages and tweak some things for VMs
running inside VirtualBox.

Thank you,

Gennady

On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 9:52 AM, Jakub Jirutka <jakub_at_jirutka.cz> wrote:

> Wait, VirtualBox *requires* EFI now? If not, why to enable it in kernel
> for VMs?
>
> Jakub
>
> On 30. Nov 2017, at 15:50, Gennady Feldman <gena01_at_gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> From a quick look looks like:
> CONFIG_EFI=y
> CONFIG_EFI_STUB=y
>
> are missing from the virthardened config.
>
> Thank you,
>
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 12:14 PM, Natanael Copa <ncopa_at_alpinelinux.org>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Thanks you very much for testing.
>>
>> I think the most critical issues are fixed. I have not bothered fix the
>> eject issue, since I think it mostly affects virtualbox only.
>>
>> I haven't looked at the alpine-virt + efi issue, yet. I suppose there
>> are some kernel modules that are needed?
>>
>> Can you please re-run the tests with the 3.7.0_rc3?
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>> -nc
>>
>> On Sat, 25 Nov 2017 21:39:02 -0500
>> Jack Schmidt <alpine_at_mowsey.org> wrote:
>>
>> > Here are my notes on Alpine 3.7.0 rc1 installations using VirtualBox
>> hosted on x86_64 Darwin.
>> >
>> >
>> > Summary:
>> >
>> > * Standard, Extended, Vanilla, Virtual on BIOS just work (minor issues)
>> > * Standard, Extended, Vanilla on EFI has one major issue (bad fsck)
>> > * Virtual is broken on EFI (no kernel support)
>> >
>> > In each case I tried to do a base install to an IDE disk, as "sys",
>> default options. I also tried booting the ISO as a run-from-ram system.
>> Virtual on EFI requires a serial console, but otherwise all ISOs
>> run-from-ram smoothly.
>> >
>> > The fsck issue needs to be fixed. The 4.9.63 vs 4.9.59 should be fixed.
>> The Virtual EFI probably should be fixed, but is easily worked-around by
>> end users. The minor issues would be nice to increase adoption of bootable
>> alpine, but aren't necessary. I assume docker containers are just fine: I
>> use edge all the time without trouble.
>> >
>> >
>> > Standard, Extended, Vanilla, Virtual legacy BIOS minor issues:
>> >
>> > * Install boot might be too quiet for too long
>> >
>> > The BIOS boot takes 5 to 20 seconds, so the "quiet" option in
>> boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg might need to be accompanied by a "say" or a
>> "menu autoboot" type thing. Grub EFI boot is mostly better, but sometimes
>> takes a long time between messages. The installed version is a little slow,
>> but has a reasonable amount of messages to let you know it is progressing.
>> >
>> >
>> > Standard, Extended, Vanilla, Virtual both BIOS and EFI minor issues:
>> >
>> > * After setup-alpine is complete, eject cdrom
>> > * Install boot and installed root use different kernels, rescue is hard
>> > * (hardened/virthardened) Guest additions kernel version problem
>> >
>> > Install for BIOS works easily on Standard, Extended, Vanilla, Virtual.
>> Install for EFI works easily on Standard, Extended, Vanilla, but fails for
>> Virtual.
>> >
>> > After the install, setup-alpine asks to reboot, but doesn't "eject -s"
>> (-s required for me) the cd. That means alpine reboots under the readonly
>> cdrom with a tmpfs. This works fine, but is surprising if you are
>> installing software.
>> >
>> > After the eject, system comes up much more noisily / green, so probably
>> reassuring.
>> >
>> > However, it comes up under 4.9.59-0-*hardened or 4.9.65 vanilla, so one
>> can't use the ISO's 4.9.63 kernel to boot a rescue. If it isn't too much
>> trouble, for the final 3.7 release, it'd be good if the kernel matched on
>> the ISO's boot and the ISO's apk.
>> >
>> > Guest additions (mostly not needed by me) are hard to load, since they
>> are in /lib/modules/4.9.65-* but the kernel is actually 4.9.59-*. Once that
>> is fixed, all good.
>> >
>> >
>> > Standard, Extended, Vanilla EFI issue (vfat.fsck)
>> >
>> > * 1.5GB disk required
>> > * vfat.fsck
>> >
>> > Alpine is known for it's very small size. The ISOs are a nice size. I
>> have a VM that runs off a 10MB iso, and the Virtual ISO is good at under
>> 40MB. I was trying out ubuntu variations and had to choose my physical
>> network to handle the each-iso-is-a-gig downloads. Alpine is very easy to
>> try. However, the new EFI install creates a 500MB /boot/efi partition to
>> hold 500KB of boot data. It might be worthwhile to check the total size of
>> the disk, and not use so much on it for smaller (1 or 2 gig) drives.
>> >
>> > More importantly /boot/efi fails its fsck due to a syntax error:
>> >
>> > fsck.vfat: unrecognized option: C
>> >
>> > This is from /etc/init.d/fsck. Since the fsck service fails, most of
>> the rest of the boot is not really attempted. / is mounted read-only.
>> Network is down.
>> >
>> > Remounting / rw, removing the -C0 from fsck, and rebooting is OK. You
>> still get a scary error, but the system comes up fine.
>> >
>> > See also https://bugs.alpinelinux.org/issues/8090 for raspberry pi
>> breakage and suggested fix (seems reasonable to me: write a simple shell
>> script wrapper for fsck.vfat and fsck.fat that ignores ext2/3/4 arguments).
>> >
>> > I think this must be fixed before a release.
>> >
>> >
>> > Virtual EFI fail
>> >
>> > Virtual's virthardened kernel lacks EFI support (even in module form).
>> Also it is worse on VirtualBox EFI since it also lacks video drivers. The
>> serial console works, but is hard to use (telnet lacks tab-completion, GNU
>> screen requires socat, and only one terminal). Since /sys/firmware/efi is
>> not available, setup-disk does not realize it was an EFI boot and does
>> everything wrong.
>> >
>> > I suspect it would be a good idea to include EFI support for the
>> Virtual ISO / virthardened kernel too. The fix would make Alpine seem more
>> reliable and would cut down on the "why is the screen black?" questions.
>> However, to workaround it is easy to turn off EFI, and legacy BIOS is more
>> standard for virtual machines, I believe.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > ---
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>> >
>>
>>
>>
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>
>



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Received on Thu Nov 30 2017 - 19:50:49 GMT