System reinstallation

Linux Containers became unable to start after host system boot on one of my machines. They started fine on boot but any later attempts to start any of them failed with a weird message Invalid argument - pivot_root syscall failed. I couldn’t get help on that and obvious actions like trying to stop some daemons or reading Linux sources didn’t help.

I had no interest to debug the boot process on the machine so when I was changing my hard drive configuration (for a completely different reason) I simply reinstalled the host system. And the problem was gone. This was for the first time during my 19 years use of GNU/Linux systems when I had to reinstall the system because something stopped working.

I’m disappointed with Linux Containers. Although they basically work they still lack some basic features like finer permissions, direct execution of commands in a running container or file deduplication. And I can see little progress since I started using them. There are new problems instead. Why is such a basic virtualization feature so poorly supported in Linux? Is my system reinstallation another sign of deeper problems in free software development?

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