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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: LiveDVD unable to locate it's own volume to boot from? Reply with quote

So the title basically says it all, the LiveDVD flashed to a USB thumb drive using "dd bs=4MB if=livedvd-amd64-multilib-20160704.iso of=/dev/sdf" doesn't find the volume it supposed to boot from. It finishes loading the kernel, then it starts to load the initrd. It asks for a keyboard layout, and then it searches for available block devices to determine which one contains the LiveDVD. But then it errors claiming it couldn't find it.

So then decided to try flashing it with unetbootin, exactly the same problem. So then I booted windows and tried flashing it with Universal USB Installer, and again exactly the same problem. I tried plugging the thumb drive into a different USB port, and again the same problem. I tried downloading the DVD image that was released sometime in 2015, and again exactly the same problem.

It must be some configuration on my computer that's not right. But any configuration from a different OS on one of the harddrives isn't going to effect booting from a thumb drive, then it must be some BIOS configuration? I'm just not sure what the fault is. Any help would be great guys. Thanks in advance.
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tuggbuss
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never used any of the official gentoo boot media(s)
I go with system rescue cd (http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/)

System rescue you have to install on your USB-stick/key

There are guides on their page.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuggbuss wrote:
I've never used any of the official gentoo boot media(s)
I go with system rescue cd (http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/)

System rescue you have to install on your USB-stick/key

There are guides on their page.


I am aware of systemrescuecd, Actually that's exactly what I'm booted up to right now, but it's far from ideal. No sound for one, and for two the firefox bundled with it won't play youtube videos. If I'm going to be booted up to a Live environment for a day or two, I really want to have access to my multimedia. Of course it's not critical, just really wanted.

I'd still like to figure out what is going on with this boot process so that I can be booted up to a more ideal environment.
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tuggbuss
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291 wrote:
tuggbuss wrote:
I've never used any of the official gentoo boot media(s)
I go with system rescue cd (http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/)

System rescue you have to install on your USB-stick/key

There are guides on their page.


I am aware of systemrescuecd, Actually that's exactly what I'm booted up to right now, but it's far from ideal. No sound for one, and for two the firefox bundled with it won't play youtube videos. If I'm going to be booted up to a Live environment for a day or two, I really want to have access to my multimedia. Of course it's not critical, just really wanted.

I'd still like to figure out what is going on with this boot process so that I can be booted up to a more ideal environment.


Oh, I see, i thought you were kind of new, but now i see your post count. Sorry bout that.
I'll pass the question along.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as an update, I tried the Calculate Linux LiveDVD as well, but it has a totally different problem. It-seems- like the radeon KMS driver for an r600 class Radeon 6850 is locking up and freezeing the boot process, it get's stuck on a lit up black screen right after the initial modesetting, with no errors and no text at all. Gentoo's LiveDVD gets well past that and its KMS driver is working perfectly fine.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291,

That's the classic sign that the liveDVD kernel is too old for your hardware.
The kernel does not have the driver for the chip set that youc CDROM is attached to.

There is a newer liveDVD than the one you have but its based on a hardened kernel and can't be used for installs.
The kernel disables some commands inside the chroot.

System Rescue CD is the way to go.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
duby2291,

That's the classic sign that the liveDVD kernel is too old for your hardware.
The kernel does not have the driver for the chip set that youc CDROM is attached to.

There is a newer liveDVD than the one you have but its based on a hardened kernel and can't be used for installs.
The kernel disables some commands inside the chroot.

System Rescue CD is the way to go.


https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/SABERTOOTH_990FX/
That's my motherboard there. But it's actually pretty old. I've had it for more than a year.

Maybe it's past due time for a new LiveDVD?

EDIT: Actually, I gave up on optical discs a while ago, I scratch them too bad. They've always been pretty useless to me, even before flash drives were invented. But now that flash drives are common and cheap, I transitioned to using them a long time ago. So the truth is I'm not even using a DVD drive. It's flashed to a USB thumb drive. So there is no IDE controller or SATA controller involved, just the USB controller. So in this case I think the situation is that the LiveDVD's kernel doesn't have the correct USB driver. Does that conclusion sound logical to anyone else?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291,

That sounds about right ... but ...

For booting from USB there is a complication.
Normally, root is mounted before USB is started. That's a very bad thing if your root is on a USB drive.

I don't know how to do thin with an initrd in use, but normally you pass rootwait or rootdelay=7 on the kernel command line.
With an initrd, it delays the mounting of the initrd, which is not what you want.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
duby2291,

That sounds about right ... but ...

For booting from USB there is a complication.
Normally, root is mounted before USB is started. That's a very bad thing if your root is on a USB drive.

I don't know how to do thin with an initrd in use, but normally you pass rootwait or rootdelay=7 on the kernel command line.
With an initrd, it delays the mounting of the initrd, which is not what you want.


Ok, so it probably does have the correct USB driver, but in this case the initrd is run before the module for the USB driver is loaded?

Also, I just tried Sabayons LiveDVD as well, and it exhibits the same behavior. The exact same error.
I tried Fedora's LiveDVD and it works. Is there any drawbacks to installing Gentoo from Fedora's LiveDVD?

EDIT: I think the solution would be for Gentoo's next LiveDVD release to include the USB drivers as bult into the kernel image. I'm reasonably sure that alone would solve the problem.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291,

Nope. The boot media only supplies to tools required to accomplish the install.
You need one extra step before you can follow the handbook
Code:
mkdir /mnt/gentoo
since most distros live media do not provide it.

USB drivers built in or not, root is still mounted before USB is started, so the rootwait or whatever, is still required.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
duby2291,

Nope. The boot media only supplies to tools required to accomplish the install.
You need one extra step before you can follow the handbook
Code:
mkdir /mnt/gentoo
since most distros live media do not provide it.

USB drivers built in or not, root is still mounted before USB is started, so the rootwait or whatever, is still required.


I don't understand, the kernel loads before initrd loads, so if the drivers are built in to the kernel they too should load before initrd loads. Is there some userspace component to the USB drivers I'm unaware of?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291,

The kernel and built in drivers are loaded in one piece.
The kernel starts off initialising things, however, before it initialises the USB subsystem, it tries to mount root.
There is no userspace part, its the internal kernel startup order.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
duby2291,

The kernel and built in drivers are loaded in one piece.
The kernel starts off initialising things, however, before it initialises the USB subsystem, it tries to mount root.
There is no userspace part, its the internal kernel startup order.


Ok yeah, that makes sense, and now that I looked I can see it. But I'm just wondering why systemrescuecd can do it, but Gentoo's LiveDVD can't. There is still something else wrong that I don't understand yet.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duby2291,

Adding a rootwait inside the initrd is harmless. If its not needed, its a noop.
If it is, it allows booting from USB.

I don't know how to pass it on the kernel command line so it applies to the real root.
Its probably possible though.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
duby2291,

Adding a rootwait inside the initrd is harmless. If its not needed, its a noop.
If it is, it allows booting from USB.

I don't know how to pass it on the kernel command line so it applies to the real root.
Its probably possible though.


Well, thank you so much for taking the time to try to explain it to me. I'm still stumped though, I never did get Gentoo LiveDVD to boot on my hardware, and I just don't understand why. It's probably some script order that is just over my head. I did succefully get Gentoo set up on this hardware usin Fedora's LiveDVD. It did play my music collection, which helped, but it sucked though, because for some reason it's media player would only play the audio tracks of my movie collection and video trackwouldn't play, just a black background. It sucked. Gentoo's LiveDVD would have been so much better.

I really hope the next official LiveDVD Gentoo releases has a better out of box experience for me.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The booting of the live media is a multiphase process. The initial loading of the kernel/initramfs images by grub are done by BIOS. However after starting the kernel, now the kernel needs to be able to load the root filesystem: that's why it looks like it can load, but really are two different things.

To debug you'll need to look carefully at the dmesg statements after the kernel loads to make sure it finds your USB host controller and the USB drive you're using. If it didn't detect them, then that would explain boot failure. It may be something that can be fixed on the fly through grub, but likely it may need to require a respin of the DVD for your machine. It is very common for newly released machines to have trouble - what model computer, how old, what USB subsystem does it use?

It sounds like it did load the initramfs, so at least you should be able to get a shell and run 'dmesg' to look at what actually got detected. Did it find the USB stick? I also don't know if the livedvd will try iso9660/udf fs on a USB stick, where the systemrescuecd does.

Also another note, yes, root_wait can be parsed inside the initramfs. I think I had written my custom initramfs to take rootwait as a parameter though there's no real reason why I couldn't just reuse the kernel's root_wait as I think for initramfs use, root_wait is ignored, expecting the userland stuff in the initramfs to do the sleep.

I wish I had higher net bandwidth to download the image to try...
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