New initrd images including drivers that should not be part of initrd

Bug #1189016 reported by Douglas Moyes on 2013-06-08
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

With linux-3.2.0-45, and likely all other versions, initrd is including WAY more drivers that is needed to boot a system. This can be problematic as it makes it hard to blacklist specific drivers, and removing drivers /lib/modules doesn't help. Only someone with knowledge of initrd would be able to fix these issues.

Specific problem that I encountered was when installing nVidia graphics drivers. Ubuntu uses nouveau which performs poorly, and has other issues (specifically with dual-displays). The factory drivers can't work and refuse to install with nouveau is installed. After removing the drivers from the expected place (/lib/modules), the system still had the nouveau drivers (which aren't required to boot a system). So, I had to extract the initrd image remove the kernel/drivers/gpu/drm branch (DRM? Really? What self respecting Linux user would tolerate DRM), which contained drivers nouveau, as well as drivers for many other graphics cards. The newly created image worked fine, and I was now able to install the far superior factory nVidia drivers.

The only drivers that should be contained in initrd are:
Block device drivers
filesystem drivers
chipset drivers
usb HID drivers
MAYBE wired ethernet drivers for netboot (but there can be conflicts which can only be resolved with driver blacklists)
and any other drivers required for the system to boot

Graphics card drivers are not among those that are required--standard vesa drivers works fine for first boot and generally don't cause issues (initrd loads the driver anyway). After the system loads, let the boot scripts selectively load what drivers are needed, and thus they can also follow the blacklist rules whereas the default initrd does not.

This bug is missing log files that will aid in diagnosing the problem. From a terminal window please run:

apport-collect 1189016

and then change the status of the bug to 'Confirmed'.

If, due to the nature of the issue you have encountered, you are unable to run this command, please add a comment stating that fact and change the bug status to 'Confirmed'.

This change has been made by an automated script, maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel Team.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Incomplete → Triaged
tags: added: bot-stop-nagging
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