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Old 08-10-2005, 09:01 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2003
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kernel 2.6.11, kernel panic when booting

I'm running Debian sid with a precompiled 2.6.11 kernel. I want to add video4linux support into my kernel so I can use my TV tuner card, but every time I compile the kernel after configuring it extensively, I get this error message:

kernel panic - not syncing VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (3,1)

My partitions are 7 gig root partition in reiserfs, swap, and then 30 gig /home partition also in reiserfs. I've compiled reiserfs into the kernel (not as a module) along with initial RAM disk support, IDE and ATA support, along with my motherboard's chipset drivers in the kernel. I've created an initrd.img file and used that, but I get the same result as without one. I've done the exact same procedure with a kernel and it worked without problems, but I need to use a 2.6.11 kernel for the Radeon drivers to work correctly with my X800XT PE. I've already searched around the web for help, but everyone either gives up trying when they have this problem, or they fix it and don't say how they did.

Does anyone know how to fix this?
Old 08-11-2005, 04:58 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Germany
Distribution: Kubuntu
Posts: 444

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If you don't have experience with kernel compilation don't change configurations too much:

1. Just copy the previous config-2.6.--version from your /boot into your sources directory /usr/src/linux----

2. type: make xconfig

3. Just select video4linux support (and if required, your card)

4. Save

5. make bzImage....

Proceed as usual.
Old 08-11-2005, 05:52 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Hilversum/Holland
Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (“Lenny”)
Posts: 290

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Re: kernel 2.6.11, kernel panic when booting

Originally posted by ChemBot
Does anyone know how to fix this?
Sure, we could.

But why not trying a quick and dirty approach first? (my speciallity, lol):

If you are using a precompiled kernel, there is a high probabilyt that the module is already compiled. So first try would be loading the module. Debians have a nice interface for this so you don't need to figure out if the module is compiled or not and how its called. The app to load modules is modconf, launch it from an xterm an look for the video4linux drivers. From my experience I would say it is there, as I do always find it enabled in debianized and even vanilla sources. I'm aware of this fact because I always have to deactivate it.

This is the first approach. Easier impossible. But if it happens that you like to tamper with your kernel... why not doing it debian style? Debian has a complete set of tools to build your own DEB packages and compile and install stuff in a wya which completly fits your system, avoiding problems like bootloader missconfiguration when installing a new kernel and a very easy building proces. What you need is to apt-get install an application called make-kpkg which does many of the work for you, so you only have to care about properly configuring the kernel.

The syntax of mak-kpkg is easy. Read the man page as it is very comprehensive and short.
For a quick tyr you can build the kernel image, debianized sources, headers and docs in separate deb packages with this command:
make-kpkg buildpackage
You can configure the kernel before or after issuing it (don't run make clean nor make mrproper).
The packages are installed with:

dpkg -i package.deb

or clicking on the package in Konqueror, Nautilus or Mozilla

Some hints to avoid Kernel panics:
  • check the architecture, it must be exactly the one which fits the CPU brand you are using, if in doubt use i386
  • check the filesystem drivers, if in doubt enable them all and built them *into* your kernel
  • check if you are using a initrd or ramfs, this is somewhat tricky in Debian, if in doubt disable the initrd option

OK; hope that helps.


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