Process of switching to Dracut while booting from BTRFS Timeshift snapshots

Hi All,

I’d like to switch to Dracut*, while retaining the ability to display and boot from BTRFS snapshots on the GRUB menu. Before I go and accidentally bork the installation on my workstation, I wanted to know whether the procedure I’ve gleaned ought to work. As I understand it, this is what I need to do:

  1. Install Dracut, switch from mkinitcpio, and get EOS default settings:
> sudo pacman -S dracut eos-dracut
> sudo pacman -Rc mkinitcpio
> sudo dracut-rebuild
> curl | sudo tee /etc/dracut.conf.d/eos-defaults.conf
  1. Then I can remove these mkinitcpio-related packages:
> sudo pacman -Runs mkinitcpio-busybox mkinitcpio-nfs-utils wdetect mkinitcpio-openswap
  1. Profit?
    I can’t seem to find any documentation anywhere saying that any change to the grub-btrfs config is necessary, and the default config says:

# By default, “grub-btrfs” automatically detects most existing initramfs.
# If you have one or more custom initramfs, you can add them here.

Is this a good way to go about switching to Dracut? I have seen this post on Dracus and booting from snapshots, but I don’t know whether I need an overlayfs for the workflow I’ve described above (or indeed, what exactly an overlayfs is or why someone might need one at all).

* The reason for this is that I just don’t want to wind up with a system too divergent from the release ISOs / that works in unsupported ways. I’d also like to move to systemd-boot for this reason, but my understanding is that it would then be cumbersome to boot from and restore a snapshot. If this position isn’t reasonable, I’m happy to be educated.

You should do the curl first so the defaults apply when you run sudo dracut-rebuild

You shouldn’t need any changes to grub-btrfs. The overlay is handled by eos-dracut

You need the overlay to boot off the snapshots

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Great! Thanks very much. I assume that restoring from a snapshot via timeshift will work like it did before the switch as well?

It should. However, if you restore a snapshot from before the switch, it will revert you back to mkinitcpio.

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