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Old 09-28-2005, 12:23 AM   #1
JimBass
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
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devfs removed from kernel


I just tried building the newest vanilla kernel (2.6.13.2), and had a major problem. Looks like the kernel guys hate devfs. It has been completely removed from the kernel, apparently between 2.6.12 and 2.6.13. I have no knowledge of what devfs is and why it is bad, but without it, I am unable to boot anything. My 2.6.12.4 kernel boots fine, but 2.6.13.2 spits these errors:

Code:
mkdir: cannot create dir '/devfs/Group' - Read only file system
mount: unknown filesystem type 'devfs'
             unable to find volume 'Group'
umount: /dev: not mounted
umount: devfs: not mounted
mount: unknown filesystem type 'devfs'
umount: devfs: not mounted
pivot_root: No such file or directory
/sbin/init: 432: cannot open dev/console: No such file
kernel panic - not syncing attempting to kill init!
So I booted back into 2.6.12.4, but have no idea how to proceed. All the errors posted above come up often in google, and the solutions (removing ro from grub's menu.lst, removing the root location) have no effect. I don't know why I'm using devfs, but it seems I either need a way to change to some other filesystem, or to get a patch that puts devfs back in the kernel.

My system has 2 250 GB SATA drives, connected in a LVM. There is a 100 MB partition that contains /boot only (reiserfs), then the other 249.9 and 250.0 GB are combined into a 499.9 GB LVM, which is also reiserfs. That confuses me, how devfs is mixed into this, as all my filesystems should be reiserfs.

Thanks for any help!

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 09-28-2005, 12:45 AM   #2
tkedwards
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Munich, Germany
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devfs is a special file system type used internally by the kernel for the files in /dev, its not really an equivalent to reiserfs or ext2/3 file system types. Anyway its unmaintained and has been deprecated for a while now, its no surprise they chose to remove it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devfs

I think Slackware is one of those distros that likes to stay behind the times with this kind of thing so they probably still use it. If this is the case either stick to the Slackware kernels or switch to a different distro.
 
Old 09-28-2005, 03:23 AM   #3
cs-cam
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Udev is the replacement for devfs, it's been around for a while now and I thought most had swapped already! Since you have two distros in your profile and I don't know which one you are actually using, here is a link for how to switch to udev for each distro

Debian: http://glasnost.beeznest.org/articles/186
Fedora Core 3: http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/udev/
 
Old 09-28-2005, 04:26 AM   #4
blindcoder
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udev is NO replacement for devfs! It's just a bunch of crap.
Why? Read this: http://blog.crash-override.net/index.php?id=15
and you'll understand why I hate udev as it is now. It's just far too userunfriendly.
 
Old 09-28-2005, 05:52 AM   #5
tkedwards
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Quote:
Why? Read this: http://blog.crash-override.net/index.php?id=15
and you'll understand why I hate udev as it is now. It's just far too userunfriendly.
And I'm sure if I tried to retro-fit devfs onto my perfectly working udev enabled system I'd get into a whole world of trouble too. Fiddling around replacing low-level system components is always going to be user-unfriendly. The user-friendliness question is would the user rather have a huge mess of a static /dev directory which has to have nodes for all possible hardware devices that can ever be installed? Or would the user rather have a /dev directory that only shows what hardware he/she has on her system, and updates automatically when she puts in her USB key or whatever?

I know which one I'd prefer and I can tell you it works on the distros I use. Although I can see how it could be a much more complex thing to get working if you're essentially building the distro yourself, like with ROCK. Anyway devfs was unmaintained and very old - it was bound to get removed sooner rather than later.
 
Old 09-28-2005, 08:55 AM   #6
JimBass
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
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Thanks for the help so far. This is my Debian system, sorry I didn't specify that in my initial rant. Following the instructions posted http://glasnost.beeznest.org/articles/186 I see that I need to remove the devfs locations for things and replace them with "standard nomenclature". My system has a tiny boot partition (at /dev/sda1), but then the rest of it is in a LVM, which is identified in both /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/fstab as
Code:
kernel          /vmlinuz root=/dev/mapper/Group-root ro
and in /etc/fstab as
Code:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/mapper/Group-root /               reiserfs defaults        0       1
/dev/sda1       /boot           reiserfs notail          0       2
/dev/mapper/Group-home /home           reiserfs defaults        0       2
/dev/mapper/Group-swap none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 ro,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/hdd        /media/cdrom1   udf,iso9660 ro,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0
So my question is what would /dev/mapper/Group-* become in udev?

Thanks again for all the help!

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 09-28-2005, 09:52 AM   #7
blindcoder
ROCK Linux
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Berlin, Germany
Distribution: Crystal ROCK
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimBass
So my question is what would /dev/mapper/Group-* become in udev?
[/B]
The /dev/mapper directory remains untouched by udev as these devices are created by the devicemapper itself.

Greetings,
Benjamin
 
Old 09-28-2005, 10:38 AM   #8
JimBass
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
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Ok, but that still leaves a major problem. The 3 steps in the debian article were:

1) remove all devfs entries from grub
2) remove all devfs from /etc/fstab
3) install udev

I had no devfs listed in my grub and fstab (see above), so I used apt-get to install udeva nd its dependencies, yet when I rebooted and tried 2.6.13.2, I again had the same kernel panic, with the exact same error messages about devfs.

Thanks for letting me know the /dev/mapper/Group-* entries will just remain as is.

Peace,
JimBass
 
  


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