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Bug#355013: initramfs-tools: device mapper device ordering breaks boot (sometimes)

Package: initramfs-tools
Version: 0.53
Severity: important

I use LVM on all my disks. I swapped an old laptop disk into another laptop for testing and my laptop now fails to boot normally but rather drops into the busybox.

An analysis of this problem indicates that there are issues with LILO, the initramfs and/or the device mapper.

Here's what appears to be happening. I run lilo, and (after spinning the CPU for about 30-60 seconds!) it deduces that my LVM disk cweekslap/root has id FE00 (I am not sure this is correct, however). So it spits this onto the command line. With a single disk in the laptop we will now boot correctly. I add in the second disk and at boot time, for some reason, the secondary disk (helenlap/home!) is now device FE00. Of course helenlap/home is not a valid root disk (it never was) and the system drops to busybox when it can't find init. I have recovered the situation temporarily with one of three fixes:

1. Use a boot parameter root=/dev/mapper/cweekslap-root
2. remount /dev/mapper/cweekslap-root at the /root mountpoint in the initram disk
3. recreate the /dev/root with mknod /dev/root b 254 2

Nothing is able to work permanently though. I can't make a lilo root= option stick- it turns into numbers.

Note that versions are probably wrong- this report is being filed from another machine.

The actual machine setup is newly upgraded from sid yesterday, with stock 2.6.15 686 kernel and mkinitramfs as the ramdisk generator.

Hope this helps,

-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.15-k8-1
Locale: LANG=en_US, LC_CTYPE=en_US (charmap=ISO-8859-1)

Versions of packages initramfs-tools depends on:
ii  busybox                       1:1.01-4   Tiny utilities for small and embed
ii  cpio                          2.6-10     GNU cpio -- a program to manage ar
ii  klibc-utils                   1.2.2-3    small statically-linked utilities 
ii  udev                          0.085-1    /dev/ and hotplug management daemo

initramfs-tools recommends no packages.

-- no debconf information

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