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Old 03-08-2013, 03:18 AM   #1
kikinovak
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Trouble with generic kernel + initrd on GPT disk


Hi,

I just bought a shiny new HP Pavilion G7 laptop for a client. It's a quite powerful machine, at least compared to my usual battered hardware: Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB RAM.

First installation procedures ended in a complete mess. I had to fiddle around with the BIOS, which apparently likes to make the user jump through burning loops to disable UEFI (User Exasperating Fucking Insanity).

Now I'm at least able to get Slackware to boot, after having used gdisk for partitioning.

Good news: the 'huge' kernel will boot the thing OK.

Bad news: I can't seem to configure the generic-kernel-plus-initrd combination... which I've already done on (literally) hundreds of installs. Usually I edit mkinitrd.conf, fill out the right values, build the initrd with mkinitrd, and then add a stanza in lilo.conf. This time, I systematically get treated to a nice kernel panic on boot.

Now I wonder: is there some additional step involved when building an initrd with a GPT disk? I confess I'm completely clueless here.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 04:53 AM   #2
kikinovak
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Eventually, I "solved" the problem by simply rebuilding a kernel for the machine, without an initrd. I started from the generic kernel configuration and built ext4 and jbd into the kernel. Now it works.

Still, I'm puzzled.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 05:48 AM   #3
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikinovak View Post
I had to fiddle around with the BIOS, which apparently likes to make the user jump through burning loops to disable UEFI (User Exasperating Fucking Insanity).
You don't have to disable UEFI to boot slackware:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...5/#post4885916

Also, slackware has had support for GPT disks for a good while now.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
kikinovak
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Yeah. But the question was: why can't I use an initrd in conjunction with a GPT disk?
 
Old 03-08-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
whizje
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Which bootloader do you use?
 
Old 03-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #6
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizje View Post
Which bootloader do you use?
LILO. Currently booting my own custom kernel OK.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
whizje
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Lilo seems sometimes to have problems with GPT partitions can you try elilo?
 
Old 03-08-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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You can't use LILO with UEFI/GPT. It doesn't work. You have to use ELILO.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
You can't use LILO with UEFI/GPT. It doesn't work. You have to use ELILO.
Now the question remains: how on earth did I manage to boot this thing?

 
Old 03-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
Didier Spaier
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Well, you *can* use lilo in conjunction with GPT, this is stated very clearly in the installer's help, and that's what you did :-)

This is only with UEFI(*) that lilo doesn't work and elilo can be used instead.

(*) En Franšais: EUFI, Encore Une Fichue Invention.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 03-08-2013 at 03:54 PM.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #11
whizje
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Well LILO should work but sometimes it does not. That why ELILO is there.
 
Old 03-09-2013, 02:25 AM   #12
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizje View Post
Well LILO should work but sometimes it does not. That why ELILO is there.
Could you please elaborate a bit on sometimes? It would help owners of machines including GPT + possibly UEFI (which fortunately I do not belong :-)
 
Old 03-09-2013, 02:26 AM   #13
kikinovak
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Thank you everybody. Looks like this is sorted out.
 
Old 03-09-2013, 02:57 AM   #14
whizje
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Because LILO is not GPT aware it's more trial and error. I don't believe it's very clear why it's sometimes does not work.(well it wasn't made for it, so it's surprising that it often does work) a few quotes:

The still-older Linux Loader (LILO) doesn't explicitly support GPT, but its disk-addressing methods are based on sector locations, so it often does work (in practice).

Information on the old Linux Loader (LILO) and GPT is contradictory. Most sources say the two won't get along, but I've read others who opine that the combination does (or at least should) work fine, since LILO uses sector maps to point to the kernel file. My one attempt at this combination proved inconclusive. LILO was able to load and run the kernel, but the boot then failed with the kernel message mount: could not find filesystem '/dev/root'. This message followed messages that indicated that the computer's LVM configuration was working fine, but somehow handing off to the LVM-based root filesystem was a problem. A GRUB boot of this system worked fine.

Although LILO is indeed unaware of GPT tables (as of 23.1, the latest as of this writing), it appears that it might work on a system with GPT tables anyway. It doesn't really have to be aware. Here are some references sort of confirming this:

http://www.mail-archive.com/bug-parted@gnu.org/msg00993.html

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showpost.php?s=a35ea34fa9a...
http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/booting.html

Initially, I thought that it'd fail while being installed, but maybe not - or not always.
 
Old 03-09-2013, 03:00 AM   #15
whizje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikinovak View Post
Thank you everybody. Looks like this is sorted out.
What was the solution?
 
  


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