Software suspend is scary, and multiple booting

Ian Jackson ian at
Wed Oct 5 09:39:19 CDT 2005

I just tried the `Hibernate' option on my breezy testbed and I have to
say that although it did actually work I'm not very impressed with the

* After selecting `Hibernate', the screen immediately goes black.
  There is no feedback indicating that (a) the option has worked and
  (b) when it is OK to remove mains power (eg by unplugging), should
  you want to do that and (c) nothing telling the user how to make the
  computer start again (perhaps people are supposed to know to try the
  main ATX power switch).

* On resuming, I see a normal boot sequence to usplash but the usplash
  quickly vanishes and is replaced by what a user will see as
  discouraging messages with lots of numbers in - considerably scarier
  than the normal bootup sequence which we've gone to some trouble to

There are some related problems with the booting and partitioning

* The partitioner arranged to reuse the existing swap partition on my
  system.  This particular testbed has about 6 installs of various
  Debian and Ubuntu derivatives on it, all with the same swap.  So it
  is of course not safe to suspend to swap and resume unless there
  were some way of making sure that the right operating system
  resumes, or that the swap partition is not shared.

* Relatedly, our booting arrangements need a comprehensive rethink for
  the case of multiple operating systems.  Currently installing a
  multiple-OS machine requires a reasonable understanding of the way
  booting works, careful planning, and of course rescue media for
  repairing things when they go wrong or for restoring trashed booting
  arrangements.  This could be made much better.  (For Dapper


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