Sometimes, certain packages updating in Arch Linux will edit certain files in the /boot directory. For example:
$ sudo pacman -S linux ... ==> Creating gzip-compressed initcpio image: /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img ...
If the boot partition was only used to boot the system and is not currently mounted, updating linux will cause issues later when booting.
Specifically, for me, these issues include gdm or X not responding to anything (although a TTY is still accesible).
To fix this, I must:
$ sudo mount /dev/BOOT_PART /boot $ sudo mkinitcpio -p linux
Is there a way to
(1): Automatically detect updates that modify /boot, and mount that partition when necessary
(2): have the boot partition always mounted on /boot in case something as described happens
Without mounting the boot partition, there are still files in /boot. This is because I have the boot partition exist as a way to access the other operating systems on the same hard drive. If it were on my normal encrypted operating system root directory, I would have to allow it to be unencrypted to access the bootloader which is not optimal. So there needs to be a boot partition, and once that starts the main operating system will be unencrypted and that partiton also has to have some files in /boot as a normal system would.