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#1 2005-09-26 09:23:16

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

I tried to install Arch on one of my PCs...it's a cheap MicroOne, and the only problem really is I can't start the installation of Arch. Actually, only Knoppix and RH/Fedora have succeeded in installing and starting up, others seem to fail ("can't install root fs..." -type errors on boot).

So, how could I get around this? I think there's something in the kernel of the installation-cd, probably missing some module, so that it won't work. Not sure whether or not it's because of the motherboard or HD or what...anyway, how could I make an Arch installation cd with a custom kernel (or other great idea smile or idea at all)?

Thanks for any possible help...this has been bugging me for more than an year now. Damn.

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#2 2005-09-26 09:30:38

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

Well, unless you can find out what is going wrong what can you do?  I would start there.  The actual error helps a lot you know...

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#3 2005-09-26 09:42:07

b0uncer
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Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

I have got two errors, from which I can't remember the exact form of the second, but which both inform me of the same error. I'll try to arrange time so I can reproduce the second error message too, but here's the other one:

kernel panic: vfs: unable to mount root fs on hdaX

where X is the partition number of my /-filesystem. This is the error I get when I try to boot an installed Linux system (yea, I even managed to install some small distro once, but booting it didn't work out), or install some.

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#4 2005-09-26 10:10:18

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

Sounds like a bootloader problem to me - are you using lilo or grub?  Please post your fstab file and your lilo/grub file smile

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#5 2005-09-26 10:52:40

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

I use grub, and atm on the pc is installed RH8 (a test) and it works. But how on earth could that be a bootloader problem, if

1) the configurations are the same on RH8 that is working, and the other distribution I managed to install but not boot
2) Arch's install doesn't use grub or such a bootloader at all, instead it uses vmlinuz as the bootrecord that gets written to the beginning of a cd when the iso is burned

I wish it was something as easy as configuring a bootloader...

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#6 2005-09-26 10:57:33

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

OH!  You can't start the installation process?!  Did you check the md5sum of your ISO and stuff?

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#7 2005-09-26 11:06:15

sudman1
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From: Huntingdon, UK
Registered: 2005-02-18
Posts: 143

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

What filesystem is your root partition formatted as? Maybe it's not compiled in to the default Arch kernel. You might want to try compiling the kernel during install if that's the case.


v/r
Suds

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#8 2005-09-26 11:13:45

b0uncer
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Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

Yes, md5sum is correct...my first try didn't succeed because of a corrupted file, but after that I started making sure it won't happen.

And again, I would compile the kernel during install if I only could start the installation process first. It goes like this:

1) boot the machine
2) pc finds a bootable cd (arch)
3) it boots from the cd, shows the first screen of Arch's install
4) I press [enter] to start the installation
5) crash, boom, bang - the error pops up and system gets halted.

EDIT: forgot to mention, the very same install disc installed Arch just fine on my other pc....so it seems it's ok:) but I do agree that something vital isn't compiled in the arch kernel that lies on the install cd, that is used during the installation. though I'm not a kernel-hacker..

is there any chance to compile a custom kernel, then nest it on the install cd (=> mount the install-cd's iso on HD, switch the vmlinuz to a custom one and burn that?)

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#9 2005-09-26 11:31:15

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

You could try a bootstrap install from another livecd or your running distro - [search]bootstrap AND install[/search]

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#10 2005-09-26 11:43:12

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

hmm...that sounds good, but there's still a small problem. if I'm not sure what kind of custom kernel works, I need a working kernel from somewhere while testing the custom one(s) I build. I'm not too familiar of replacing kernels with others, so am I wrong if I think I could grab an old RH8's kernel that works atm, and use it after the arch install?

also, I read that bootstrap-thing quickly, but it was a bit confusing yet....could you describe it with a few words to clarify my thoughts? if I use an existing system to install Arch, does it leave all the old files from the other *nix system on my HD, or remove them (like the real arch install does)? what happens, after bootstrap, when I reboot - pure arch, arch and the existing distro or a mess?

so, shortly, from what I quickly read, I'd like to do this:
- use RH8 that is running, to do that bootstrap-thing to get Arch installed
- replace Arch's kernel with the RH8's working kernel for a safe boot
- after all this, get to recompile a new kernel and have a clean, pure Arch install

any chance to get that, and if - how? running a bootstrap script?

EDIT: what I do NOT want, is:
1) either a system that has Arch installed, but still won't boot because of a kernel lacking something
2) or a system that boots Arch, but is actually a mixture of Arch and the (currently running) old RH8

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#11 2005-09-26 11:48:52

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

OK - it's pretty easy to get a "RedHat" kernel that works.  If you do:

zcat /proc/config.gz >config

you can then use that config file to create a new kernel OR diff it against the Arch kernel config and see what the differences are.  It won't be easy and there will be plenty read and learn.

As far as I know you need to install the bootstraped Arch install to a new partition so you will have a dual boot system that you can boot into - i reckon just try a bootstrap install to a sinle new partition and see if you can boot the new install - it might be fine with the stock kerenl

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#12 2005-09-26 11:55:22

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

I don't think I have a config.gz in /proc in RH8...so I probably can't get the kernel config file as described above. any other way?

this is beginning to sound interesting..

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#13 2005-09-26 12:08:59

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

is there a kconfig file in /boot?  that does the same.

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#14 2005-09-26 12:10:36

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

I got to check that out..I'm not sure, but I've got a feeling there is no kconfig in /boot. if there is no such file, then what can be done?

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#15 2005-09-26 12:14:25

dtw
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From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
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Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

well, you'll have to doa neo and go back to the source.  Scour the red hat site for teh config and patches used to create the kernel - as I said I would just try a bootstrap install to a new partition before you get into all that!

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#16 2005-10-03 15:15:21

b0uncer
Member
Registered: 2004-10-14
Posts: 14

Re: Arch install not booting (kernel problem...)

damn, I hate this. installed Arch on another machine than that one I told about above, and what did I get:

1) I had pppoe and stuff, but no, this time I didn't get my adsl work hmm last time I did. guess I'm rusty..
2) I got a warning about hotplug not functioning. damn.
3) all messed up, nothing worked. sssshit.

well, I don't know what went wrong. installation media was ok (checked md5sums), installation too, but this time it just did not work...well, maybe I wait until 0.8 comes out. Arch has some minor problems with me, or I have with it smile anyway, I'm not on any "gentoo-mood" these days, so I don't like to fuzz around with things like these any more...maybe next summer again.

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