[Grml] Call for Testing: initramfs-tools

Michael Prokop mika at grml.org
Wed Sep 5 21:29:23 CEST 2007


Problem description

Some of you might know the problem with initramfs-tools >0.87b, quoting
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=431291 =>

,---- [ #431291 ]
| Booting with 'root=UUID=...' fails, it just hangs at "Waiting for
| root file system..." and you can't boot your system anymore unless
| you fall back to root=/dev/... syntax.

initramfs-tools version is 0.90a is available in Debian/unstable and
0.91 will be available soon. I'm asking you for help in testing the
current version so we can ship it with grml as well.

I can't reproduce the problem from #431291 on my own systems and
therefore need your help. If we can't locate any bugs with
initramfs-tools booting harddisk installations within the next few
days I'll remove the old initramfs-tools version from grml's pool so
new versions will reach the systems when upgrading them again.

So please help us!

How to test

Are you using an initrd? (Check the initrd line in /etc/lilo.conf
when using lilo or /boot/grub/menu.lst when using grub.)  If so
please make sure you have a grml CD by hand so you can fix your
system if it really does not boot anymore (hopefully that won't
happen and falling back to root=/dev/... syntax in the bootloader
should be possible anyway). ;)

Which version of initramfs-tools are you using?
Just for the record please save output before testing:
# dpkg --list initramfs-tools
# cat /proc/cmdline

Make sure you have the old, working version available:
# wget http://deb.grml.org/pool/main/i/initramfs-tools/initramfs-tools_0.87b_all.deb

Now update initramfs-tools to 0.90a:
# apt-get update ; apt-get install initramfs-tools/unstable

Now a new /boot/initrd.* should be generated automatically for you.
Does your system still boot without problems?

What I need

Please let me know (no matter whether it works or not or if you
tested it at all!):

* do you have problems with booting your system?
* what's inside your /proc/cmdline?
* are you using SW-RAID?
* are you using LVM?
* which bootloader (lilo vs. grub) are you using?
* which versions of initramfs-tools do work for you and which *not*
  (check via 'dpkg --list initramfs-tools')

If you can't help in testing initramfs-tools (no matter why) please
provide information of questions above anyway! It will help in any
case as soon as you are using an initrd on your system!

Problems with Booting?

To get a working system again you just have to get the old version:
# wget http://deb.grml.org/pool/main/i/initramfs-tools/initramfs-tools_0.87b_all.deb

Install it running:
# dpkg -i initramfs-tools_0.87b_all.deb

If you manually want to re-generate the initrd/initramfs just invoke:
# update-initramfs -c -t -k $(uname -r)

Falling back to root=/dev/[sh]d* syntax instead of root=UUID=...
should be possible as well.

If you *really* can't boot anymore you'll find all available tools on
a recent version of grml of course. I'm available for helping you as
well, feel free to bug me if you don't know what to do.


See http://wiki.debian.org/InitramfsDebug for more information if
you are interesting in debugging the problem on your own.  Debian's
maintainer of initramfs-tools provided help in debugging problems as
well (thanks, maks!), and of course I'm available as well.

If you have any questions or need further assistance please don't
hesitate to contact me. You can reach me via mail, on IRC (#grml) or
via jabber (mika at jabber.grml.org).

Please help us! Thanks!

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