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#1 2015-01-28 17:34:24

newnumbertwo
Member
Registered: 2014-10-10
Posts: 4

Kernel uncompression error on startup

I have a 64-bit Arch VM running under VMware Workstation 11 (Windows Host). The VM has 8192MB RAM allocated.

I've been struggling trying to get my VM to boot and cannot figure out what the issue is.

Whenever I try to boot, no matter what the kernel is or what compression option in mkinitcpio.conf has been chosen, I get the following sequence:

Probing EDD (edd=off to disable)... ok
early console in decompress_kernel

Decompressing Linux...

uncompression error

-- System halted

This happens with both the primary and the fallback.

I've deleted the boot partition and recreated it and I still get the same error.

I've modified /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and changed the compression type to "cat", same error. I've also tried setting the compression to gzip, bzip2.

After booting from the ISO and chrooting, I've tried examining the initramfs files with:

mkdir /tmp/initramfs; cd /tmp/initramfs; cat /boot/initramfs-linux.img | cpio -i
mkdir /tmp/initramfs-fallback; cd /tmp/initramfs-fallback; cat /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img | cpio -i

and in both cases had no issues uncompressing the kernels into the /tmp directory. Also had no issues uncompressing the kernels when the compression option in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf was set to gzip and bzip2.

I've tried installing and reinstalling multiple kernels from the chroot. I've tried manually generating the initramfs with mkinitcpio.

The boot partition is GPT and uses syslinux.

The boot options are extremely minimal:

./linux ../vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda3 rw initrd=../initramfs-linux.img

and

./linux ../vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda3 rw initrd=../initramfs-linux-fallback.img

Any suggestions? Extensive searching has come up short...

Last edited by newnumbertwo (2015-01-29 21:24:17)

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#2 2015-01-28 18:24:13

ooo
Member
Registered: 2013-04-10
Posts: 1,368

Re: Kernel uncompression error on startup

the mkinitcpio.conf compression method is probably not the issue if uncompression of the kernel itself, not the initramfs, fails.
You can't change the compression mode of the kernel except by compiling it yourself, but that shouldn't cause any issues either.

can you post your complete syslinux.cfg?

Last edited by ooo (2015-01-28 18:24:33)

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#3 2015-01-28 19:00:06

newnumbertwo
Member
Registered: 2014-10-10
Posts: 4

Re: Kernel uncompression error on startup

ooo wrote:

the mkinitcpio.conf compression method is probably not the issue if uncompression of the kernel itself, not the initramfs, fails.

I agree, I just wanted to be as thorough as possible when relaying what debugging steps I'd already taken. I've updated the topic to something less confusing.

ooo wrote:

You can't change the compression mode of the kernel except by compiling it yourself, but that shouldn't cause any issues either.

can you post your complete syslinux.cfg?

DEFAULT arch
PROMPT 0
TIMEOUT 50

UI vesamenu.c32

MENU TITLE Arch Linux
MENU RESOLUTION 1920 1080
<various MENU COLOR directives snipped>

LABEL arch
   MENU LABEL Arch Linux
   LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux
   APPEND root=/dev/sda3 rw
   INITRD ../initramfs-linux.img

LABEL archfallback
   MENU LABEL Arch Linux Fallback
   LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux
   APPEND root=/dev/sda3 rw
   INITRD ../initramfs-linux-fallback.img

LABEL hdt
   MENU LABEL HDT (Hardware Detection Tool)
   COM32 hdt.c32

LABEL reboot
   MENU LABEL Reboot
   COM32 reboot.c32

LABEL poweroff
   MENU LABEL Poweroff
   COM32 poweroff.c32

I should mention that I've also checked the filesystem on /dev/sda1 with e2fsck and found no issues.

Last edited by newnumbertwo (2015-01-28 19:16:01)

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#4 2015-01-28 22:08:18

ooo
Member
Registered: 2013-04-10
Posts: 1,368

Re: Kernel uncompression error on startup

newnumbertwo wrote:
ooo wrote:

the mkinitcpio.conf compression method is probably not the issue if uncompression of the kernel itself, not the initramfs, fails.

I agree, I just wanted to be as thorough as possible when relaying what debugging steps I'd already taken. I've updated the topic to something less confusing.

I think you could rule that out by commenting out the 'INITRD' lines in your syslinux.cfg. It would still fail to boot but at least you should get different error when the kernel continued booting until it couldn't load the module for your root block device.

Your syslinux.cfg looks ok to me, unless you're using EFI or installed your syslinux to somewhere else than /boot/syslinux.

Is this a fresh installation, or did it just break all of a sudden? in which case did you check that latest packages upgraded before the breakage from /var/log/pacman.log?

you could try linux-lts kernel too, if you haven't already, to rule out any regressions in latest arch kernels.

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#5 2015-01-28 23:47:26

newnumbertwo
Member
Registered: 2014-10-10
Posts: 4

Re: Kernel uncompression error on startup

ooo wrote:

I think you could rule that out by commenting out the 'INITRD' lines in your syslinux.cfg. It would still fail to boot but at least you should get different error when the kernel continued booting until it couldn't load the module for your root block device.

This resulted in the same exact result - no additional and/or different errors.

ooo wrote:

Is this a fresh installation, or did it just break all of a sudden? in which case did you check that latest packages upgraded before the breakage from /var/log/pacman.log?

you could try linux-lts kernel too, if you haven't already, to rule out any regressions in latest arch kernels.

It just broke all of a sudden. The kernel hadn't been updated. I rebooted the VM instance for some reason or another (but NOT after a package update) and then it wouldn't boot.

I'm starting to think there might be an issue with the external drive the VMs are stored on. I have a number of Arch VMs on that disk, and none of them will open now, all complaining about issues uncompressing the kernel.

I tried creating a new VM on that disk, and was seeing errors with /dev/sda1 almost immediately. However, I've mapped /dev/sda3 as Windows drive in VMWare Workstation and am copying files to a new VM (in VirtualBox, on a different drive).

I've had no issues copying files off the mapped drive though, so it's not clear what the problem is. I seem to be having issues only with /boot partitions, and only in VMware. Bizarre.

I saw this same issue with LTS kernels, too, BTW. They're not on the current /boot partition but they were on the previous iteration.

Last edited by newnumbertwo (2015-01-28 23:47:55)

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