Building with mkinitcpio

Building with mkinitcpio#

ZFSBootMenu also supports the mkinitcpio initramfs generator used by Arch Linux and available for Void Linux, but it must be configured first.

Since version 2.0.0, ZFSBootMenu will install a standard mkinitcpio.conf in the /etc/zfsbootmenu configuration directory. This file is generally the same as a standard mkinitcpio.conf, except some additional declarations may be added to control aspects of the zfsbootmenu mkinitcpio module. The configuration file includes extensive inline documentation in the form of comments; configuration options specific to ZFSBootMenu are also described in the zfsbootmenu(7) manual page.

ZFSBootMenu still expects to use Dracut by default. To override this behavior and instead use mkinitcpio, edit /etc/zfsbootmenu/config.yaml and add the following options:

  InitCPIO: true
  ## NOTE: The following three lines are OPTIONAL
    - /etc/zfsbootmenu/initcpio
    - /usr/lib/initcpio


In some ZFSBootMenu guides, like Remote Access to ZFSBootMenu, some mkinitcpio modules will be installed to /etc/zfsbootmenu/initcpio to keep them isolated from system-installed modules. To accommodate this non-standard installation, InitCPIOHookDirs must be defined in /etc/zfsbootmenu/config.yaml. Furthermore, because overriding the hook directory causes mkinitcpio to ignore its default module path, the default /usr/lib/initcpio must be manually specified. If all hooks are installed in /usr/lib/initcpio or /etc/initcpio, the ZFSBootMenu configuration does not need to specify InitCPIOHookDirs.

Without further changes, running generate-zbm should now produce a ZBM image based on mkinitcpio rather than Dracut.

Whenever generate-zbm is run to generate images based on mkinitcpio, it forcefully adds the the required zfsbootmenu hook after any hooks defined in the HOOKS array of /etc/zfsbootmenu/mkinitcpio.conf. The default configuration file explicitly includes the zfsbootmenu hook in the array as a visual reminder that it will be included (strictly speaking, this will cause mkinitcpio to add the hook twice, but because the zfsbootmenu hook completely takes over execution of its initramfs image, it will only ever run once). If any custom configuration requires additional hooks be added to the ZFSBootMenu initramfs image, make sure that these hooks are included before any occurrence of zfsbootmenu in HOOKS. Better still, just remove the zfsbootmenu hook from /etc/zfsbootmenu/mkinitcpio.conf when making any edits to HOOKS to minimize the chance of configuration errors.