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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 04-30-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
chexmix
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multi-boot issues: lilo, two Linuxes, etc


Hi -

I recently got interested in CRUX Linux and decided to use it to fill up a partition on my Dell Inspiron 4100 I'd forgotten about.

I also [somewhat less] recently switched from using grub to using lilo for booting this multi-OS box ... and I'm having trouble booting a second Linux (in short, kernel panics - some details below).

Lilo is installed to the MBR from my Slackware -current installation.

Followed a helpful thread here (which unfortunately I can't seem to dig up today) in which it was suggested that one create a /CRUX directory in Slackware, mount the partition where CRUX was installed, edit lilo.conf to point to the location of the mounted vmlinuz (e.g. /CRUX/boot/vmlinuz) and re-run lilo. So I did that.

For the first few seconds of booting, things looked good. Instead of seeing Tuz (as I do when I boot Slack) I saw good old Tux, which indicated that the CRUX kernel was being booted. Unfortunately a few seconds later I got this:

VFS: Cannot open root device "305" or unknown-block(3,5)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions:
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,5)


I went through two thoughts about this: 1) that the lilo.conf configuration wasn't working and 2) that I was far too cavalier during the kernel configuration step in the CRUX install. I haven't gone through 'make menuconfig' in some time, and I think with CRUX you really do have to do this with full attention to wind up with a working system.

Ahem.

Anyway, I asked K. Mandla, a CRUX aficionado, for advice. He suggested installing something like Arch first, using utilities like hwdetect and lspci to determine what to pass in to the kernel config, and then making sure those things get enabled in the CRUX kernel configuration (I guess I could have done something similar via Slackware, but I couldn't find the 'hwdetect' app there).

So I downloaded and burned an Arch ISO and installed it. I went through the same steps with lilo.conf as I'd done with CRUX, re-ran lilo and rebooted. I tried to boot the Arch system and got this:

List of all partitions:
No Filesystem could mount root, tried:
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,5)


... which is hauntingly similar to what I got trying to boot CRUX.

So at this point I'm thinking it might BE the case that this lilo "trick" doesn't work, at least like I've got it set up here. Or perhaps I have a line for /dev/hda5 in my Slackware /etc/fstab ... ?

I'd be interested in reactions / advice. There are loads of "kernel panic" and "double boot" threads on LQ but I haven't found one that's fixed this issue for me. Maybe the best thing is to just return to grub!

For reference, here is the relevant part of lilo.conf:

# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
initrd = /boot/initrd.gz
root = /dev/hda6
label = Slackware
read-only
# Linux bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /Arch/boot/vmlinuz26
root = /dev/hda5
append = "devfs=nomount"
vga=788
label = Arch
read-only
# Linux bootable partition config ends


Thanks,

GB
 
Old 05-01-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
FredGSanford
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I assume you are doing this.

Every change to the lilo.conf will require you to re-run /sbin/lilo to ensure
that any changes to the setup are written down. If you update the kernel,
re-create the initrd image you need to re-run LILO.
 
Old 05-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
chexmix
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Original Poster
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I am indeed rerunning /sbin/lilo. It's hard to remember, especially with my disintegrating short-term memory, but I'm doing pretty well with that.

Since posting, I briefly tried installing grub ... I was not at all tenacious about it because I had homework to tend to, but it did not go well. Not only did Arch not boot, but Slackware failed as well. I had to resort to a rescue disk to re-install lilo and get things back to where they were.

I'm beginning to suspect that there is something wrong with the partition I'm attempting to install to ... my first-ever blog post here was about a bad experience using GParted (http://www.linuxquestions.org/blog/c...-go-boom-1750/) & while attempting to fix that whole fiasco with some [more] knowledgeable help here at work, the partition was doing some REALLY weird things. I may just delete the thing and recreate and see if that helps any.
 
Old 05-02-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
chexmix
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Update. I haven't deleted / recreated the partition yet. I'm stealing time from homework so would rather not re-install Arch unless I have to, though it doesn't take long. Here's what's happening.

Again, following on another LQ thread, I have created a directory /Arch in my Slackware system. Then I mounted the partition where Arch was installed on it, e.g.

mount /dev/hda5 /Arch

The entry for Arch in lilo.conf looks as follows:

## Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /Arch/boot/vmlinuz26
root = /dev/hda5
label = Arch
read-only
# Linux bootable partition config ends

... when I run /sbin/lilo, the Arch entry gets added with no complaint.

However, when I reboot and select the entry for Arch, I get a normal looking bootup screen, with the Arch logo at the top, then this:

IO Apic resources could not be allocated.
Using IPI No-shortcut mode
registered taskstats version 1
List of all partitions:
No filesystem could mount root, tried:
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(3,5)


Just for good measure, this is what is in /Arch/boot:

bash-3.1# pwd
/Arch/boot
bash-3.1# ls
System.map26 grub kernel26-fallback.img kernel26.img vmlinuz26


Please, if someone has any tips re: what I may be doing wrong here, throw 'em my way.
 
Old 05-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
chexmix
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OK ... deleted the partition, recreated it, installed Arch Linux on it, installed grub via Arch Linux ... now everybody's happy.

Would still like to know why lilo just wasn't working for me. Oh well.
 
  


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