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Old 11-14-2005, 11:30 AM   #1
haertig
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dist-upgrade sarge to unstable: errors, hangs on boot


Thought I'd try to move from Sarge 3.1r0a to unstable last night. Didn't work too well. Was my procedure (below) wrong?
Code:
Edited /etc/apt/sources.list and changed all refs from "stable" to "unstable"
Deleted /etc/apt/apt.conf (this file was earlier created my me, containing the line APT::Default-Release "stable";
Ran apt-get update
Dropped down to single-user mode
Ran "apt-get -u dist-upgrade"
All looked pretty good as the apt-get was running. I did notice a few error/warning lines scroll by (mostly "Couldn't delete directory because it was not empty" type of things). But these errors scroll by at light speed and there's no way to read them all so fast. So no telling what actually went on.

Finally back at my root prompt, I typed "reboot".

It now hangs when trying to go to runlevel 2. At the message "Starting system log daemon: syslogd". Immediately before that there were a few error messages that had not yet scrolled off the screen related to errors while back in single-user mode. "/etc/rcS.d/S55bootmisc.sh: /var/run/vtmt(?): no such file or directory", "/etc/rcS.d/S48console-screen.sh: cut: cmd not found", stuff like that.

I'll do some more troubleshooting tonight. I just rebooted twice last night, found the same errors, and went to bed (no inclination to start troubleshooting in earnest at that late hour).

Was my dist-upgrade procedure correct? Any pointers on where to begin troubleshooting? Nothing critical on this system, so a reinstall is not a big deal. I figured I'd learn potential pitfalls of some of this stuff BEFORE I had a system I couldn't afford to lose at a later date. But I'd still like to run the troubleshooting exercise to see if I can fix this mess, if only to gain additional experience.

[edit] ... spelling errors ... [/edit]
Thanks.

Last edited by haertig; 11-14-2005 at 11:32 AM.
 
Old 11-14-2005, 08:46 PM   #2
haertig
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Followup. A bit more troubleshooting turned up the answer. It has to do with my LVM setup. My boot disk has a volume group "vg0" on it which contains /usr, /var, /tmp, /home ... yada, yada, yada. None of the LV's from that volume group were getting mounted. No wonder the silly thing wouldn't boot right!

Embarassing things about that particular VG. I have a second hard disk in the system that is on it's way south (need to RMA it to Seagate). Anyway, that disk isn't currently being used, but it was still connected. Unfortunately it happened to contain a volume group named, you guessed it, "vg0". After the dist-upgrade Debian was attempting to mount the stuff out of vg0 from the wrong disk. If that wasn't bad enough in itself, that other vg0 happens to be corrupted due to the failing hard disk. Now I'm glad I had /boot and / on real partitions instead of LV's (can one even attempt to put /boot on an LV???) At least I could boot far enough to do some troubleshooting. Had to run vgscan with a triple-v (vgscan -vvv) to make it's output verbose enough to figure out the problem.

Unplugged the SATA cable from that failing drive and everything booted fine. Except for a xwindows failure to start, but that should be easy enough to debug (I hope!)
 
Old 11-15-2005, 03:12 AM   #3
michapma
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Re: dist-upgrade sarge to unstable: errors, hangs on boot

Quote:
Originally posted by haertig
[B]Thought I'd try to move from Sarge 3.1r0a to unstable last night. Didn't work too well. Was my procedure (below) wrong?
I admire your courage. You might have started with testing instead of the larger leap to unstable, but go for it!

Quote:
All looked pretty good as the apt-get was running. I did notice a few error/warning lines scroll by (mostly "Couldn't delete directory because it was not empty" type of things). But these errors scroll by at light speed and there's no way to read them all so fast. So no telling what actually went on.
This is probably the very reason system logs are made. Where you could specifically find this one beyond /var/log I don't know, but then again I'm exempted by noobstatus.

Quote:
Was my dist-upgrade procedure correct? Any pointers on where to begin troubleshooting? Nothing critical on this system, so a reinstall is not a big deal. I figured I'd learn potential pitfalls of some of this stuff BEFORE I had a system I couldn't afford to lose at a later date. But I'd still like to run the troubleshooting exercise to see if I can fix this mess, if only to gain additional experience.
I tend to learn more if I read up about how to do something before I do it. Reading up generally doesn't necessarily make me an expert or even competent to carry out the task (complete with thumbs under the suspenders), but it does help me learn more from the actual doing.

I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to actually help you, so I'm glad you found the source of the error. I'm also contemplating about my partitioning scheme. So far I've separated into /, swap, /usr, /home, /home2, /var and /tmp, plus a FAT32 /osshare. Thanks to a failed disk I'm going to do a fresh installation soon, so I'll have a chance to do it once again, and I'm not too sure how I might improve the scheme.

Cheers
 
Old 11-15-2005, 08:20 AM   #4
haertig
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Re: Re: dist-upgrade sarge to unstable: errors, hangs on boot

Quote:
Originally posted by michapma
This is probably the very reason system logs are made. Where you could specifically find this one beyond /var/log I don't know, but then again I'm exempted by noobstatus.
This is exactly where I started looking. Except in my case, /var was on a logical volume ... and not mounted. Oops!
Quote:
I tend to learn more if I read up about how to do something before I do it.
Me too. I did read up quite a bit before jumping into this. That's why I thought my procedure was sound, and was surprised that it apparently failed so badly. Turned out it wasn't so bad after I figured out the LVM angle. I expected some problems wth xwindows. And got them. But that was trivial to fix. The issue is with the nVidia driver I had compiled and installed. I then just dropped back to the vesa driver temporarily.
Quote:
I'm also contemplating about my partitioning scheme. So far I've separated into /, swap, /usr, /home, /home2, /var and /tmp, plus a FAT32 /osshare.
Your partition plans pretty much mirror what I have. Except I also have a /boot and I don't have a /home2. I put /boot and / on real partitions, and all the others are on logical volumes so I can easily adjust their sizes later.

[edit]
p.s. - My original plans for Debian were to use unstable from the get-go. But I had multiple problems with the installer and could never get it to work on my system completely. Those issues were probably only day-to-day hiccups in the unstable version of installer, but I finally got impatient and went for Sarge (since there were no netinst Etch images at that time either - they were broken too!)
[/edit]

Last edited by haertig; 11-15-2005 at 08:24 AM.
 
Old 11-17-2005, 03:30 AM   #5
michapma
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Sorry I haven't responded; I've been kind of busy with work.


Actually the one thing I still wanted to comment on was the partitioning. I created /home2 based on the advice of a friend who runs his own Debian machine at work. I'm pretty sure (we discussed it last year) he uses the second partition to back up the first. It's not a real back-up solution of course, since they are on the same disk. But it's still more useful than just one big partition IMO.

I installed again earlier this week and seriously debated whether to add a /boot partition. Then I re-read the Debian installation manual and noticed that the main reason to create a seperate /boot partition is to get around the 1024-cylinder limit and other limit problems. I have root on a primary partition in the first 500MB of the drive, and am not worried about it. Do you have a different reason for it? I'm going to reinstall once I get a new drive, so I may still implement it.

Cheers
 
Old 11-17-2005, 06:32 AM   #6
Xian
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There is no harm that can come from creating a separate /boot partition, but unless you have some definite HD config that requires it, there really is no need go that route.
 
Old 11-17-2005, 12:03 PM   #7
haertig
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Quote:
Originally posted by michapma
...the main reason to create a seperate /boot partition is to get around the 1024-cylinder limit and other limit problems ... Do you have a different reason for it? ...
Some older systems may still be subject to this limit. Newer ones aren't. My /boot is just about as far away from that 1024-cylinder limit as it could possibly be, way out there at the END of the disk on /dev/hda8:
Code:
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1               1          34      273073+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/hda2              35         799     6144862+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda3           22940       24321    11100915    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5           22940       24214    10241406   8e  Linux LVM
/dev/hda6           24215       24278      514048+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda7           24279       24317      313236   83  Linux
/dev/hda8   *       24318       24321       32098+  83  Linux
I can't say I really had a valid reason to have a seperate /boot. Or a valid reason not to. So I ended up having one!

You can also see that my setup is maybe a bit strange. Windows at the start of the disk, potentially growing "upwards". Linux at the end of the disk, with planned growth "downwards". The middle of the disk is available, and up for grabs for whatever OS needs the space first. I can create new logical partitions for Windows, or create new logical partitions (PV's) and add them to my existing VG for Linux. All my Linux filesystems are LVM, except /, /boot and swap. My thinking on this was that some day I might add a new logical partition for Windows. And then some day after that I may want to extend that logical partition using Partition Magic or some such Windows tool. Having current space and expansion space adjacent to each other would make that easier. Truth is, I expect Linux to eat up, chew, and digest those Windows partitions long before Windows ever gets it's shot at that first logical partition expansion!
 
Old 11-17-2005, 03:57 PM   #8
farslayer
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I run unstable and I've had troubles when ever I tried to go from stable to testing or unstable..

I've had MUCH better luck using the netinstall iso for sarge and using the linux26 expert command line arguments at the boot prompt, to get the system to install the 2.6 kernel and it allows you to choose testing or unstable from the get go.. so once the install is complete you are already in the build you want..

just a pointer for the future.
 
  


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