Timing issue (race) with kdm and hal during boot?

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at hungry.com
Wed Aug 12 06:54:33 UTC 2009

When I enabled readahead-fedora on a freshly installed unstable KDE
desktop with dependency based boot sequencing, a strange thing
happened.  KDM started X, but the keyboard did not work.  I tried two
things based on the idea that kdm depend on something started later,
and suspecting it was hal.  First I tried to make kdm depend on
network-manager.  This got the keyboard working.  network-manager
depend on hal, so the time separation between kdm and hal was
increased.  Next, I dropped that dependency and made hal interactive,
pushing it further ahead in the boot sequence.  This worked too, and
likewise made hal and kdm start further apart.

I do not know what the cause of this problem is, but suspect hal is
not yet operational when its init.d script is started, and X need an
operational hal to find its keyboard settings.  Not sure how we should
solve this.  Race conditions like this will make it impossible to
speed up the boot.  I suspect we will find more of them when the boot
become faster, and thus exposing latent problems currently hidden
because of the slowness of the current boot.

Happy hacking,
Petter Reinholdtsen

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