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Old 12-20-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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Slackware64 14.1 initrd for generic kernel can't find RAID1 root partition

Okay guys, I'm starting to feel like a serious n00b with this one. I've been using Slackware since the 7.0 days, and RAID1/5 since the 10.0 days. For the life of me, I can't find a single mkinitrd command that will let me boot the generic kernel.

For starters, my drives are in a (soft) RAID1 configuration setup from Slackware 14.0, and I've successfully performed an install of Slackware64 14.1 after formatting my root (/dev/md3) and boot (/dev/md1) partitions (/dev/md4 is /home, which does not get formatted). All are formatted with ext4. The huge kernel boots my system with no problem. After failing at installing VMWare (like a n00b) I decided to switch to the generic kernel and attempted to build an initrd filesystem.

First, prior to finding, I had been making a mkinird command by hand. Of course, this didn't work. I've since used to create a mkinitrd command, added -L as suggested in the link (although I'm not using LVM). During boot the kernel still can't find my root RAID1 partition, but it does load my keyboard modules and I can run commands to check what's being detected.

As mentioned in the other post, my raid partitions are given random numbers as they're discovered. When I review fdisk, it complains about my partitions not existing on cylinder boundaries, which I ignore. According to fdisk -l, my /dev/md1 partition is currently represented as /dev/md127, /dev/md3 is /dev/md126, and /dev/md4 is /dev/md125. After booting to a root shell, the kernel complains that it can't find a valid rootdev partition.

The mkinitrd command I've used to get this far is:
mkinitrd -c -k 3.10.17 -f ext4 -r /dev/md3 -m usbhid:hid_generic:ohci-hcd:xhci-hcd:mbcache:jbd2:ext4 -R -L -u -o /boot/initrd.gz
The important sections of my lilo.conf (comments removed)look like this:
append=" vt.default_utf8=0"
boot = /dev/sda
  bitmap = /boot/slack.bmp
  bmp-colors = 255,0,255,0,255,0
  bmp-table = 60,6,1,16
  bmp-timer = 65,27,0,255
timeout = 1200
vga = normal
image = /boot/vmlinuz # symlinked to the generic kernel
  initrd = /boot/initrd.gz
  root = /dev/md3
  label = Linux
image = /boot/vmlinuz-huge-3.10.17
  root = /dev/md3
  label = "Huge"
I'm obviously doing something wrong. Does anybody see my error?
Old 12-20-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
Richard Cranium
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: Carrollton, Texas
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
Richard Cranium
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Registered: Apr 2009
Location: Carrollton, Texas
Distribution: Slackware64 14.1
Posts: 1,575

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Or to put it in another way: If you have the file /etc/mdadm.conf in your initrd, then it must contain the information required to build your raid arrays. If you don't have the file /etc/mdadm.conf in your initrd at all, then the init code will attempt to scan for your raid arrays and build them for you.

The default /etc/mdadm.conf that is installed as part of the mdadm package does not contain any default information in it that would build any arrays; it has only comments in it.

The copying of /etc/mdadm.conf into the initrd-tree is new behavior in 14.1; that's why we haven't seen this odd behavior in earlier releases.
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