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Re: Bug#516931: Yet anonther reason for the "Waiting for root file system ..." error


Dear grub and initramfs-tools maintainers,

The release-notes received bug #516931, which might be related to grub or

I would like to check what is the issue, if it has to be documented in the
release notes, and if a solution can be recommended.

See the description of the bug and questions below.

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 05:58:48PM -0500, Robin Haunschild wrote:
> on Wednesday 19 August 2009, Nicolas François wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:59:35AM -0600, Robin Haunschild wrote:
> > > Package: release-notes
> > > Severity: important
> > >
> > > I also got this error after the upgrade from etch to lenny but I was
> > > surprised to see that neither hdaX nor sdaX was able to provide a root
> > > file system. Surprisingly, my lenny with kernel 2.6.26-1-686 has still
> > > the hda nomenclature of the hard disks. The old etch kernel was still
> > > able to boot. The problem was that the upgrade procedure put a symlink
> > > from /vmlinuz to /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686 and analogously with
> > > initrd.img. My root and boot directories are on separate partitions.
> > > Therefore /vmlinuz pointed into nothing during the boot sequence. After
> > > removing this symlink and copying the kernel from /boot to /vmlinuz lenny
> > > was able to boot.
> >
> > I'm not really aware of how the boot system is installed, but maybe the
> > answers to the questions below can help finding where is the issue or how
> > to document it.
> >
> > What is your bootloader?
> grub
> > What are the file systems used for your root and boot partitions?
> /dev/hda3 on / type ext3 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
> /dev/hda1 on /boot type ext2 (rw)
> > Are you using LVM?
> No.
> > With the process you described above, you probably also drop support for
> > security updates of the kernel.
> >
> > Did you experience other issues since your etch->lenny upgrade (e.g.
> > during kernel updates)?
> > Or was /vmlinuz replaced by a symlink in the mean time?
> No, I experienced no other issues and /vmlinuz was not replaced by a symlink, 
> but I am running the kernel 2.6.26-1-686. I think apt/aptitude changed 
> my /boot/grub/menu.lst accordingly. My standard boot entry is:
> title           Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.26-1-686
> root            (hd0,0)
> kernel          /vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686 root=/dev/hda3 ro vga=791
> initrd          /initrd.img-2.6.26-1-686
> So, /vmlinuz is no longer required and after a kernel update apt/aptitude 
> changes the /boot/grub/menu.lst  to use the newest kernel as standard.
> BTW:  /vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686 is located on my boot partition:
> $ ls -l /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1506512 Mar 13 17:36 /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686
> $ ls -l /vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686
> ls: cannot access /vmlinuz-2.6.26-1-686: No such file or directory
> The file vmlinuz still exists, was not changed or updated after the upgrade:
> $ ls -l /vmlinuz
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1505936 Feb 21 15:32 /vmlinuz

Given that you received a "Waiting for root file system" message, I think
the kernel was found and started by grub. It may just not have receive the
right parameters.
What seem strange is that after overwriting the /vmlinuz symlink, the boot
was successful.

 * Would you still have the grub menu.lst you were using on Etch?
 * Do you remember the version of the kernel which displayed "Waiting for
   root file system" (i.e. did grub started the Etch or Lenny kernel)
 * I can see in your grub configuration that you are still using hda3, so
   you probably did not suffer from a hda->sda rename. You also mention
   hda/sda in the original bug report. Did you try what is explained in
   the release notes section 4.8?
 * Did you try to boot multiple times?

Grub and initramfs-tools maintainers:
 * Do you think this issue is related to grub or initramfs-tools?
 * Did you receive other similar reports?
   Looking at the BTS I did not find any report.
   * grub: the closest could be #447450 (Etch -> Sid in Oct 2007,
     not Etch -> Lenny))
   * initramfs-tools: the closest could be #501969 (Etch->Lenny, but with
     LILO; the release notes already contain such warning, but only for LILO)

Thanks in advance,

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