Wednesday, February 01, 2006

subfs dropped and now?

Since SUSE 10.1 Beta2 subfs is dropped from the kernel and with this also the submount package. Because of this we have no default automatic mount for hotplugable media (as e.g. CD/DVD/USB-Storage) on console/for console users. The user can now only mount this storage devices under KDE/GNOME but not on console or in any other WM (without enter root password/sudo).

I know subfs was really ugly and many people sad: 'Subfs is a piece of shit' but this worked as it was. Yes, there where bugs with subfs (stat and df/du didn't work, and the slow data rates on VFAT -osync mounted volumes wasn't a subfs bug), but they was fixed. But because of changing HAL from netlink-socket to poll /proc/mounts every 2 seconds to detect mount state of volumes there was a race between hal and submountd. With this race submountd was not able to umount the device if it was in use. IMO this was fixable and maybe polling /proc/mount was a bad idea. But the solution was: drop subfs with no replacement for hal-subfs-mount.

As now several bug reports demonstrate: it's a problem for users to have no automount solution on console and IMO the biggest problem: no solution on other WM's. With dropping subfs we lost some features (as e.g. mount CD for a user if he access the mount and umount if not used) we can't replace currently with other working and tested tools. In my opinion we need a well working tool to automount also for non-KDE/GNOME cases ... maybe readd and fix subfs?