Bug#498645: initramfs-tools: Boot takes three minutes to finish (!)
After installing a lenny system today, it happened that the boot
process takes more than 3 minutes to finish. Needless to say, I first
believed it was frozen and didn't work at all. I was lucky to discover
(by accident) that it was a very long waiting time instead.
After a bit of investigation, it happened that this value, 180 seconds,
is the default timeout for "udevadm settle", according to udevadm(8).
Unfortunately, there is not a simple way to change this. First I tried
changing "udevadm settle" invocation in /etc/init.d/udev but this only
worked for linux images not using a ramdisk (I built several of those as
I first suspected to be a kernel problem).
What worked finally was to change "udevadm settle" invocation at
and then rebuilding the initramfs via dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-etc-etc.
While doing this I noticed that "udevadm settle" is called three times
in /usr/share/initramfs-tools/*. Two of them are wrapped via wait_for_udev()
from /usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/functions and they have 10 seconds
as the timeout value. The other one is the one I had to hardcode by hand.
To summarize: No matter how faulty my hardware might be (the boot
never took so long with etch), I don't think it is reasonable at all
that a user has to do this in order for the boot process not to take
more than three minutes.
Maybe every "udevadm settle" invocation should be wrapped via wait_for_udev(),
not just two of them. Or maybe this is a bug in udev for having such a long
waiting time. Feel free to reassign.
Note: I see this as a serious bug, but as I don't know the number of
people having this problem, I prefer not to use a severity at all.