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Old 03-10-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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How to Install FC10 on an LVM?


After happily running FC6 for several years, I finally decided to upgrade to FC10. I had enough space for a backup, so I decided to install from scratch. The system has always run on LVM between 2 identical drives, and so this is what I attempted here.

My initial attempt was to create a small slice at the start of sda for /boot, and I left an identical slice at the start of sdb which I leave unused. The remainder of both drives was then set as a physical volume, and the logical volumes on this were for / and swap.

This configuration failed to boot. I just get a black screen.

After that, I tried the configuration that the installation process wanted to use. Same effect. I've tried several configurations, but each time it refuses to boot from the hard drives.

So right now, I have a system that is supposedly "installed" according to the layout I described first. I've booted up on the DVD, and have tried running grub.

I tried a lot of manual configurations, and then I tried the commands I've found in /boot/grub/menu.lst. I've found that:
root (hd0,0)
Works just fine with a response of:
Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

Similarly, the system seems happy with:
kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=UUID=901c6195-835a-4e8a-b35c-e274a3e489d0 rhgb quiet
The response is:
[Linux-bzImage, setup=0x3000, size=0x272cd0]

(I also tried a similar line which is mentioned in the comments:
kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
Though I'm skeptical about this one, since I don't know if grub can set up the LVM for this - can it?)

Anyway, it all looks good until I try initrd:
initrd /initrd-

The response to this is always:
Error 16: Inconsistent filesystem structure

Since I've watched it boot up from the DVD just fine, I've tried copying this initrd.img file over and using that instead, but it behaves exactly the same way.

So I'm thinking that it's the failure to load this image that is killing my boot process. However, I've tried everything I can think of. Does anyone have any ideas, please? I'm more than happy to supply more information, or tweak the system in any way. I just really need to keep these drives together.


Old 03-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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Your second grub line looks correct (with /dev/VolGroup...), and note that it will be the kernel that mounts this, not grub.

My initial thought is that the partitioning during installation hasn't worked properly. Why don't you try reinstalling, but only use the one disk, setting /boot aside and the rest to the LVM, then if that works, simply add your second disk (or some portion thereof) to the LVM. I don't use LVMs much any more, but Fedora used to have a GUI tool to make this type of operation very simply.
Old 03-17-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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Found the problem.

The computer went for a little while without power, and in the meantime the M/B battery went dead and I lost the CMOS settings... in particular the Intel RAID settings. Setting this back up, I put the drives together in a RAID, and said that the RAID was bootable. I could have sworn that this config *used* to work (my memory is probably faulty though).

A bit of digging on M/B based RAID informed me that ICH5 RAID is just a set of BIOS instructions that optimize software RAID, and like all BIOS operations under Linux, these were being completely ignored in favor of a better set provided by the OS. This made me realize that the "Bootable RAID" thing was probably the problem for GRUB. Once I disabled RAID on the M/B it all worked.

Thanks for looking at the problem Billmayday.



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