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thriftee
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Install to XFS root partition w/o separate boot partition Reply with quote

In hindsight, I shouldn't allow myself to be tempted by fancy/faster/better filesystem types, but at this point its water under the bridge because its all installed and just can't boot all the way.

The machine is a Dell Latitude D620 laptop with a Core 2 T5500 processor, 2 gb memory and a 100 gb drive, partitioned to handle 6 operating systems. I generally have been loading them each in their own partition, and using one swap partition for all of them, which has worked fine until Gentoo, which wants a /boot partition as well.

I had trouble initially, because I'm connecting to the net via a secured wifi, via an internal Broadcomm 4311 card. I had to get the driver file, use a USB flashdrive to copy it in, and then use tar to extract it, and then modprobe to remove and reinstall b43, and then once it showed up in iwconfig, I used wpa_supplicant and guessed my way thru config files to get it actually connected to the net.

I figured I could put all of Gentoo in one partition, like I've done with all the others, but that was probably a goof. I have a small empty partition I could use, and I guess I can move all the /boot stuff there using one of the other operating systems that runs to do it if that will make things easier.

I made the mistake of installing Gentoo to an XFS partition, thinking it would be better, faster, more efficient, etc. I made sure to mark all the XFS stuff in the kernel config, and loaded the xfsprograms. Other than those deviations, I followed the handbook as much as possible. But obviously the choice of XFS was a terrible mistake, because the machine can't boot completely, and doesn't seem to leave a log file that I could look in for clues. I spent a few more hours at it last night trying editing the boot lines, to no avail.

ok, I will type in what's left on the boot screen...

Code:

Freeing unused kernel memory: 496k (c0621000 - c069d000)
input: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard as /devices/platform/i8042/serio0/input/input0
>> Activating mdev
>> Loading modules
     :: Loading from pata:
     :: Loading from sata:
     :: Loading from scsi:
     :: Loading from usb:
     :: Loading from firewire:
     :: Loading from waitscan:
     :: Loading from dmraid:
     :: Loading from mdadm:
     :: Loading from fs:
     :: Loading from net:
     :: Loading from iscsi:
     :: Loading from crypto:
>> Determining root device...
!! Could not find the root block device in UUID=d3386bde-9e27-4385-8ab6-ded34b1a3697.
!! Please specify another value or:
!! - press Enter for the same
!! - type "shell" for a shell
!! - type "q" to skip...
root block device(UUID=d3386bde-9e27-4385-8ab6-ded34b1a3697) ::



I checked the UUID value and it matches the UUID of sda9 which is the XFS partition I mounted to load Gentoo onto.
I tried giving it /dev/sda9 but it doesn't like that
I checked the grub.cfg and see it does an "insmod xfs" before it tries to boot
I tried putting rootfstype=xfs root=/dev/sda9 on the boot line
I notice under loading modules, those look like drive interface types and I see sata listed, but I'm not entirely sure what kind of drive interface or driver the Hitachi HTS72101 drive uses, but I think its ATA IDE. Its a 100 gb drive, but I haven't actually seen it.

I guess I'm out of guesses, LOL. Can anyone help me? It would be great if I could get it to work as xfs, but I need help to figure out how. And if that won't work, I'm thinking I could copy the entire partition to another, then reformat /dev/sda9 to ext4, then copy everything back, and change the grub.cfg and the fstab to match, but I don't really want to do all that if its not going to work. I hate to erase it and start over. Getting the wifi working was a bear for someone not understanding how things are supposed to work.

Any help would be appreciated....

PS: I formatted an EXT4 partition of the same size and used rsync -azv source destination to copy it while booted from another linux os. Hopefully someone here will come along and help me with how to get it running....
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russK
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thriftee,

It looks like you must have a /boot partition with grub in it, otherwise, what is loading the kernel which then looks for the root?

Did you try typing in '/dev/sda9' at the prompt, after it could not find the uuid ?

Or, maybe try entering 'shell', and then enter 'cat /proc/filesystems' and look for xfs.

So there is a couple things to try, HTH
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thriftee
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russk,

Thanks for the reply...

Yes, I tried giving it /dev/sda9 but that won't get it out of the error loop.

There is a /boot directory in /dev/sda9 with all the boot files and grub is able to read the partition and finds that directory, ok, or I wouldn't get the boot menu, and it wouldn't be trying to boot from it at all.

I will have a look in /proc/filesystems, and edit my post. Ok, I had to give it a vga=791 to get it so it all fit on the screen, and no, there is no line for xfs.

BTW, I got the idea to use xfs from the Gentoo install handbook. They gave a number of reasons why it was better. In hindsight, I should have kept it simple.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thriftee ...

there have been issues with grub and xfs as /boot (see: the wikipedia article on xfs) though I'm not sure how current this is. However, the issue here seems to be the kernel recognising the filesystem. Can you get a shell and 'cat /proc/filesystems' ... also xfs is builtin and not a module?

best ... khay
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thriftee
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, khay...

When I configured the kernel I told it to build in the xfs, and I selected everything in the xfs section because I didn't know what each one meant, so I figured the safe solution was to build them all in. I have never configured or built a kernel before, so its as likely as anything that I missed something.

As I wrote above, I found that xfs is not listed in /proc/filesystems.

I still have that whole xfs setup on /dev/sda9

I copied it all using rsync to an ext2 partition /dev/sda10 and modified the fstab and the /boot/grub/grub.cfg to replace the msdos9 with msdos10 and the uuid of sda9 with the uuid of sda10, and than used manjaro, which also uses grub2 and has os-prober installed to install and update grub again, moving control of it to the manjaro partition, so i can now try to boot gentoo from either sda9 with xfs or sda10 with ext2. Unfortunately, I get the same error either way. I would say that eliminates the xfs as the cause, because ext2 was on the /proc/filesystems list and it still gives the error.

The only other things I can think of are to move the /boot directory to another partition to see if that helps, but to be honest, I've never used a separate /boot partition in a multiboot environment, so I don't know what things need to look like for it to work.

I was thinking about it while I slept, and I wonder if I could just try using the kernel from the minimal install ISO to eliminate that as a cause? For all I know, it might just be a function of copying in a few files.

I guess the last option is to just give up and start from scratch again, or just give up. If nothing else, I've learned that I am a lot more ignorant about how os's are created and work, and they are dramatically more complex than I thought.
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russK
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thriftee,

You say you 'built them all in'. If that was the case, then I think xfs should have been listed in /proc/filesystems. Perhaps you built the xfs support as a module and don't have an initrd getting loaded?

In any case, it sounds to me like this install is fixable, you can keep doing steps : boot the live cd, chroot, rebuild the kernel and/or tweak grub until it successfully boots from grub. I used to use an xfs filesystem for root, it can work.


Take Care
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kick6
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's special about XFS that it needs a boot partition? My ext4 gentoo install doesn't have one.
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russK
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing special about it other than grub or the bootloader needs support for the filesystem and the kernel itself needs support for the filesystem. Since grub started loading the kernel, it must have at least some understanding of the XFS filesystem.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the grub.cfg itself for /dev/sda9 there is an insmod xfs statement before it tries to boot.

I believe there was a blank, an M, and an * and I made all the xfs ones *

I have never configured or compiled a kernel before, and suspect that unless the defaults already were there to setup most normal things I would have needed, that its highly likely that I wouldn't even know that I should have turned something on or off. There was a little bit on it in the handbook, but I have little clue or chance of success unless I find some helpful guide or guidance.

I did manage to set it up and compile it successfully both ways, but as we see, that doesn't guarantee it will actually work right.

I suspect I either need to find an example for a similar machine, and/or an example for an xfs root (if I expect to use xfs successfully) and need to copy and tweak rather than starting from scratch, or it will be eons before I succeed, if ever.

The live cd won't boot, so that's why I used the minimal install. Also, I found a guide that said it was a bad idea to use the live cd as a basis. I wonder what the live cd actually looked like? Was it like other linux versions, ie with X windows and desktops and such? I seem to end up changing them anyway, LOL, but its nice to have something to look at that works. Playing in the dark can be creepy, LOL, when the scary things start happening...

I will try to find something to work off of, configuration wise. Without that I have no chance.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, when I said live cd, I meant, "any old live cd". I've used SystemRescuCD many times with happy results, it's based on gentoo and it has XFS support: http://www.sysresccd.org/
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm not sure whether you used genkernel or not, but I think I would recommend it for you at least until you get over this problem.

You can tell it to start with the .config that you have that has support for your wireless network, and then use menuconfig, and install a kernel and an initramfs to your /boot.

Something like this should be pretty close to what you need:

Code:
cp /usr/src/linux/.config /root/kernel-config-backup   # assuming you have your latest .config there under /usr/src/linux
genkernel --kernel-config=kernel-config-backup --menuconfig --udev --lvm --real-root=/dev/sda9 all
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Recent XFS Install w/ No Problems Reply with quote

My experience was different. A recent cldx iso (Calculate-Linux desktop - Gentoo w/ XFCE) was burned to a usb thumb drive w/ unetbootin and installed to XFS root and home partitions (w/ an existing swap) on the second hard drive without a problem.

Grub2 was placed on the mbr of the first hard drive so it boots right into the new installation by default.

The only disadvantage that may exist (I read it somewhere) is that an XFS partition can't be resized, although I haven't tried that.

It runs so well that I am considering installing Gentoo on additional computers.

Hope that helps.
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thriftee
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think the problem was that I must have done something wrong configuring the kernel initially, because with XFS or EXT2 it was able to read the /boot area of the partition to get to the point of selecting which boot option to use, and fire it off. This also meant that not having a separate /boot partition was also not the problem.

I screwed up and didn't look at that last message again before I tried to fix it, and didn't make a backup or use the suggested options, and used genkernel as shown in the handbook and the problems got worse (it then complained I didn't have the right kind of processor), and I was never able to correctly configure it.

To be honest, there were many, many kernel configuration options there that I didn't feel comfortable knowing what to mark them, and without having a good starting point of a configuration that would boot, and not knowing which option wasn't set correctly, I gave up.

For someone like me, I think the only way to get through that would be to have a configuration that worked, and then tweak it one option at a time.

Anyway, thanks to those that tried to help...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried downloading and running calculate linux and it came up fine and looks pretty good, so i'll try installing it on a couple of my laptops. Maybe that's a better solution for me than its gentoo parent, and trying to configure a kernel from scratch. Its not that I wouldn't like to be able to do that, its just that I seem to be missing a lot of the knowledge needed to be able to do it correctly and successfully, having never done it before.

Anyway, thanks for the replies and assistance
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