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Old 12-31-2017, 05:33 PM   #1
selfprogrammed
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Dell Latitude trouble with partition 4


Dell Latitude C600, Pentium-III (Coppermine), 10GB disk.
It had 3 partitions (swap, root, home) with SUSE 10.2 (Linux 2.6.33) installed.

I am trying to install Slackware 14.2 to it (Linux 4.4.14)
and have been frustrated for 3 weeks now. I have putting Linux on a host of machines since 1994, so I am experienced. I assume there is some problem with this combination that I need to find out about.

The Slackware 14.2 cdrom will not boot on the Dell Latitude (don't know why, the error messages dissapear before I can see them). Slackware 10.2 with Linux 2.6 will boot, so I used that to do create a partition 4, formated as ext2.

The legacy GRUB could not recognize boot files on /dev/sda4. Both SUSE and the Linux 2.6 can mount it and e2fschk checks it as clean.

Tried booting the Slackware 4.4.14 kernel.
It cannot mount the root (/dev/sda4) dumping the partition table. I cannot read the error messages because they scroll off the screen due to the kernel panic that follows. I remember one that said "tried fs: romfs", which leads me to believe that there is something wrong with the fs recognition in Linux 4.4.

I finally abandoned GRUB, installed LILO, created a custom Linux 4.4.38 (ext2, ext3, ext4, PIIX4) on another machine, and installed that using a tar file.
It cannot mount the root, and panics.

Had to remove Framebuffer support, and enabled kernel debugging so I can see the error messages (I don't get a system log nor dmesg because the root will not mount).

I have recreated partition 4 several times.
I have removed partition 4, created a Linux partition with type 83 (Linux), created mkfs.ext2 on it.
Now I am seeing error messages, and boot is interpreting the ext2 partition (/dev/sda4) as ext4, then complaining that it is corrupted. It then allows me to boot, keeping the root as read-only (which does not actually let me fix anything). I can check /dev/sda4 afterwards with Linux 2.6 and even with "-f" it does not report any actual errors.

I need the ext4 filesystem code in the kernel because partitions 2 and 3 are ext3 (that is what the kernel menuconfig says).

Does anyone know of any Dell Latitude problems or ext4 boot recognition problems that sound like they might apply?

I hate to think that I have to make /dev/sda4 as ext4 to make this bootable.
My other choice is to remove the ext4 support and convert the ext3 partitions to ext2.
You would think that the drivers could recognize the ext2.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 12-31-2017 at 05:39 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2017, 06:37 PM   #2
TheEzekielProject
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Can you post the output of
Code:
lsblk
? It will help to get a better idea of what's going on. Does SUSE still boot ok?
 
Old 12-31-2017, 11:31 PM   #3
tofino_surfer
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Quote:
I hate to think that I have to make /dev/sda4 as ext4 to make this bootable.
Why would you hate to use a modern file system? Grub2 has no problems with ext4. No one in 2017 should be installing grub-legacy. Why not use ext4 for everything as is now done. Why are you trying to use ext2?

Is the Slackware 14.2 cdrom a live distribution? Typically live CD/DVDs don't touch the host's HDD and run in memory so they wouldn't be affected by whatever file systems were on the host's main drive.
 
Old 12-31-2017, 11:48 PM   #4
syg00
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What tofino_surfer said.
There was even talk a couple of years back of removing ext2 from the kernel completely. ext3 was removed at 4.3 - right in the period you skipped. It is now (always) using the merged code in ext4.

Use ext4, preferably using mkfs from the latest e2fsprogs available. If you are fixated on running with no journal, you can run ext4 like that (why on earth ?), and still get the code efficiencies intrinsic in the more modern codebase.
 
Old 01-02-2018, 05:00 PM   #5
selfprogrammed
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# LILO configuration file
#
# Start LILO global section
lba32
boot = /dev/sda
backup = /s2/boot
install = menu
menu-title = SysX
map = /s2/boot/map
prompt
timeout = 300
ramdisk = 0 # paranoia setting
large-memory
vga = normal # force sane state

# These root options are NOT supported by Linux.
# root="UUID=0462dc75-1a74-4868-97ef-faed05c15c1e"
# root="LABEL=xxx"

# Linux 4.4.14-generic test
image = /s4/boot/gen/vmlinuz-generic-4.4.14
label = 4.4.14-huge
root=/dev/sda4
append="rootdelay=8 rootfstype=ext2"
read-only
vga=4

# Linux 4.4.38.V16 pata, ELF
image = /s4/boot/vmlinuz-4.4.38-V16
label = 4.4.38-V16
root = /dev/sda4
append="rootdelay=8 rootfstype=ext2"
vga=6
read-only

# SUSE Linux 2.6.22, ELF
image = /s2/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22.5-31-default
label = SUSE-2.6.22
initrd=/s2/boot/initrd-2.6.22.5-31-default
root = /dev/sda2
append="hdc=ide-scsi pci=use_crs,check_enable_amd_mmconf"
vga=4
read-only

# Linux bootable partition config ends


## dmesg, abbr to show disk
[ 0.000000] Linux version 4.4.38-V16 (xx) (gcc version 5.3.0 (GCC) ) #8 Fri Dec 29 01:05:09 CST 2017
...
[ 0.000000] SMBIOS 2.3 present.
...
[ 0.000000] DMI: Dell Computer Corporation Latitude C600 /Latitude C600 , BIOS A22 11/07/2002
...
[ 0.000000] ACPI: Early table checksum verification disabled
[ 0.000000] ACPI: RSDP 0x00000000000F4C00 000014 (v00 DELL )
[ 0.000000] ACPI: RSDT 0x0000000007FF0000 000028 (v01 DELL CPi R 27D20B07 ASL 00000061)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: FACP 0x0000000007FF0400 000074 (v01 DELL CPi R 27D20B07 ASL 00000061)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: DSDT 0x0000000007FF0800 002ACA (v01 INT430 SYSFexxx 00001001 MSFT 0100000E)
[ 0.000000] ACPI: FACS 0x0000000007FFF800 000040
[ 0.000000] 127MB LOWMEM available.
[ 0.000000] mapped low ram: 0 - 07fdb000
[ 0.000000] low ram: 0 - 07fdb000
...
[ 0.000000] Using APIC driver default
[ 0.000000] ACPI: PM-Timer IO Port: 0x808
[ 0.000000] Local APIC disabled by BIOS -- you can enable it with "lapic"
[ 0.000000] APIC: disable apic facility
[ 0.000000] APIC: switched to apic NOOP
...
[ 0.000000] Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=4.4.38-V16 ro root=804 ramdisk=0 rootdelay=8
...
[ 0.021640] CPU: Intel Pentium III (Coppermine) (family: 0x6, model: 0x8, stepping: 0x6)
...
[ 0.023692] no APIC, boot with the "lapic" boot parameter to force-enable it.
...
[ 0.048615] ACPI: (supports S0 S1 S3 S5)
[ 0.048725] ACPI: Using PIC for interrupt routing
...
[ 0.147391] pci 0000:00:07.1: reg 0x20: [io 0x0860-0x086f]
[ 0.147420] pci 0000:00:07.1: legacy IDE quirk: reg 0x10: [io 0x01f0-0x01f7]
[ 0.147536] pci 0000:00:07.1: legacy IDE quirk: reg 0x14: [io 0x03f6]
[ 0.147651] pci 0000:00:07.1: legacy IDE quirk: reg 0x18: [io 0x0170-0x0177]
[ 0.147762] pci 0000:00:07.1: legacy IDE quirk: reg 0x1c: [io 0x0376]
[ 0.148137] pci 0000:00:07.2: [8086:7112] type 00 class 0x0c0300
[ 0.148194] pci 0000:00:07.2: reg 0x20: [io 0xdce0-0xdcff]
[ 0.148391] pci 0000:00:07.2: System wakeup disabled by ACPI
...
[ 0.175917] SCSI subsystem initialized
[ 0.177144] libata version 3.00 loaded.
...
[ 0.332901] intel_idle: does not run on family 6 model 8
[ 0.333758] ACPI: Deprecated procfs I/F for AC is loaded, please retry with CONFIG_ACPI_PROCFS_POWER cleared
[ 0.334076] ACPI: AC Adapter [AC] (on-line)
[ 0.334358] tsc: Marking TSC unstable due to TSC halts in idle
[ 0.334468] ACPI: acpi_idle registered with cpuidle
[ 0.375240] thermal LNXTHERM:00: registered as thermal_zone0
[ 0.375361] ACPI: Thermal Zone [THM] (50 C)
[ 0.375729] GHES: HEST is not enabled!
...
[ 0.497140] ata_piix 0000:00:07.1: version 2.13
[ 0.503021] scsi host0: ata_piix
[ 0.503459] scsi host1: ata_piix
[ 0.503704] ata1: PATA max UDMA/33 cmd 0x1f0 ctl 0x3f6 bmdma 0x860 irq 14
[ 0.503811] ata2: PATA max UDMA/33 cmd 0x170 ctl 0x376 bmdma 0x868 irq 15
[ 0.504383] i8042: PNP: PS/2 Controller [PNP0303:KBC,PNP0f13:PS2M] at 0x60,0x64 irq 1,12
...
[ 0.519938] Waiting 8 sec before mounting root device...
[ 0.524038] input: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard as /devices/platform/i8042/serio0/input/input0
[ 0.673739] ata2.00: ATAPI: TOSHIBA CD-RW/DVD-ROM SD-R2102, 1D13, max UDMA/33
[ 0.686925] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 0.764917] ACPI: Deprecated procfs I/F for battery is loaded, please retry with CONFIG_ACPI_PROCFS_POWER cleared
[ 0.765100] ACPI: Battery Slot [BAT0] (battery present)
[ 0.765477] ACPI: Deprecated procfs I/F for battery is loaded, please retry with CONFIG_ACPI_PROCFS_POWER cleared
[ 0.765647] ACPI: Battery Slot [BAT1] (battery absent)
[ 0.993966] ata1.00: ATA-5: IBM-DJSA-210, JS2OAB8A, max UDMA/66
[ 0.994090] ata1.00: 19640880 sectors, multi 8: LBA
[ 1.007159] ata1.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 1.007658] scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access ATA IBM-DJSA-210 AB8A PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 1.008552] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 19640880 512-byte logical blocks: (10.1 GB/9.37 GiB)
[ 1.008871] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[ 1.008985] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[ 1.009192] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesnt support DPO or FUA
[ 1.012694] scsi 1:0:0:0: CD-ROM TOSHIBA CDRW/DVD SDR2102 1D13 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[ 1.036055] sr 1:0:0:0: [sr0] scsi3-mmc drive: 24x/24x writer cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 1.036237] cdrom: Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
[ 1.036774] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[ 1.326716] clocksource: tsc: mask: 0xffffffffffffffff max_cycles: 0xad5e932563, max_idle_ns: 440795216920 ns
[ 1.357470] sda: sda1 sda2 sda3 sda4
[ 1.358597] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk
[ 8.556424] EXT4-fs (sda4): couldnt mount as ext3 due to feature incompatibilities
[ 8.571458] EXT4-fs (sda4): mounted filesystem without journal. Opts: (null)
[ 8.571616] VFS: Mounted root (ext4 filesystem) readonly on device 8:4.
[ 8.614607] devtmpfs: mounted
...

>> Please note:
LILO has on command line: rootfstype=ext2
This did not show up on the kernel command line.
The kernel tries EXT-4, which cannot recognize it as ext2, and the kernel will not use the ext2 fs driver that is
built into the kernel. The kernel has fs ext2, ext3, ext4, and they are not modules.

>> Info from 4.4.38

> lsblk
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
fd0 2:0 1 4K 0 disk
sda 8:0 0 9.4G 0 disk
|-sda1 8:1 0 196.1M 0 part
|-sda2 8:2 0 5G 0 part
|-sda3 8:3 0 564.8M 0 part
`-sda4 8:4 0 3.6G 0 part
sdb 8:16 1 3.8G 0 disk
`-sdb1 8:17 1 3.8G 0 part
sr0 11:0 1 1024M 0 rom

> e2fsck -f /dev/sda4
e2fsck 1.43.1 (08-Jun-2016)
Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
Pass 2: Checking directory structure
Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
Pass 4: Checking reference counts
Pass 5: Checking group summary information
D0PART4: 153682/237568 files (0.1% non-contiguous), 841743/949016 blocks

> less /proc/filesystems
nodev sysfs
nodev rootfs
nodev ramfs
nodev bdev
nodev proc
nodev tmpfs
nodev devtmpfs
nodev debugfs
nodev sockfs
nodev pipefs
nodev devpts
ext3
ext4
ext2
nodev cifs
nodev pstore
nodev mqueue
fuseblk
nodev fuse
nodev fusectl
vfat

> less /proc/diskstats
8 0 sda 1029 28 47003 35886 0 0 0 0 0 13380 35886
8 1 sda1 32 0 3066 1253 0 0 0 0 0 1066 1253
8 2 sda2 25 0 2085 1826 0 0 0 0 0 1550 1826
8 3 sda3 24 0 2080 1860 0 0 0 0 0 1650 1860
8 4 sda4 941 28 39700 30470 0 0 0 0 0 13030 30470
11 0 sr0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 0 loop0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 1 loop1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 2 loop2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 3 loop3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 4 loop4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 5 loop5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 6 loop6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 7 loop7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 0 fd0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 16 sdb 325 3050 11899 10706 15 0 15 110 0 6493 10810
8 17 sdb1 281 3050 10724 9443 15 0 15 110 0 5830 9550



>> SUSE

SUSE does boot, I am using it for LILO.
Because 4.4 will not boot, I have to use SUSE Linux 2.6.22 to modify the partition table and to make filesystems.

SUSE does not have the lsblk command.

SUSE proc scsi
Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: ATA Model: IBM-DJSA-210 Rev: JS2O
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 05
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: TOSHIBA Model: CDRW/DVD SDR2102 Rev: 1D13
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 05
Host: scsi2 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: SanDisk Model: SanDisk Cruzer Rev: 8.02
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 00


SUSE proc partitions
major minor #blocks name

8 0 9820440 sda
8 1 200781 sda1
8 2 5245222 sda2
8 3 578340 sda3
8 4 3796065 sda4
8 16 3928063 sdb
8 17 3919841 sdb1

SUSE /etc/mtab
/dev/sda2 / ext3 rw,acl,user_xattr 0 0
proc /proc proc rw 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs rw 0 0
debugfs /sys/kernel/debug debugfs rw 0 0
udev /dev tmpfs rw 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts rw,mode=0620,gid=5 0 0
/dev/sda3 /home ext3 rw,acl,user_xattr 0 0
securityfs /sys/kernel/security securityfs rw 0 0
/dev/sda4 /s4 ext2 rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev 0 0
/dev/sdb1 /usb1 vfat rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev 0 0
 
Old 01-03-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
_roman_
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Location: _Austro_Bavaria_
Distribution: gentoo / linux mint
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Quote:
# Linux 4.4.38.V16 pata, ELF
image = /s4/boot/vmlinuz-4.4.38-V16
label = 4.4.38-V16
root = /dev/sda4
append="rootdelay=8 rootfstype=ext2"
vga=6
read-only
Please change to

the rootdelay does not really matter, as it is most likely not needed and can be removed. the bootloader just this time after trying to access the disc.
Quote:
# Linux 4.4.38.V16 pata, ELF
image = /s4/boot/vmlinuz-4.4.38-V16
label = 4.4.38-V16
root = /dev/sda4
append="rootdelay=8 rootfstype=ext4"
vga=6
read-only
off topic: when you have some second hand market in your area, get something with 300gb for a few bucks (=> 10.1 GB)
or when you have money, buy an SSD, they also exists for IDE too
such old drives can screw up tommorow and than you have to do your work again with installing, configuring and such!




Quote:
Originally Posted by tofino_surfer View Post
Why would you hate to use a modern file system? Grub2 has no problems with ext4. No one in 2017 should be installing grub-legacy. Why not use ext4 for everything as is now done. Why are you trying to use ext2?

Is the Slackware 14.2 cdrom a live distribution? Typically live CD/DVDs don't touch the host's HDD and run in memory so they wouldn't be affected by whatever file systems were on the host's main drive.
That does not really matter
You can use any bootloader which may work.

It does not matter if someone uses grub legacy. After the box has booted no one really cares.
When there is no requirement you usually do not update the bootloader at all.
Only replace new kernels and boot entries.

I also used grub 1 with ext4 on gentoo. gentoo was stuck on grub 1 where linux mint was on grub 2. and there were hardly any docs available at that time.

you may need an initramfs in some cases

usually you use some of these kernel parameters in your bootloader:
rootfstype=ext4 (as ext3 and ext4 is hard to distinguish sometimes for the software)
keymap=de (setting keymap when needed when you use encryption=
init=/linuxrc (obvious)
ramdisk=8192 (nice to have)
dolvm (when needed)
ro (when needed)
real_root=/dev/mapper/root (was renamed from root=)

off topic: I see elilo and lilo as dinosaur bootloaders. slackware uses grub in their installer medium but than stick to some exotic elilo. lilo had its reason with suse 6.2 and these old days. these days there are far better options. also i remembersome stuff when you see l, it hangs there, when you see this it hangs there ... most stupid bootloader i ever used was lilo after the windows ntdlr or how it is named.
when you have legacy mbr box, use grub1 (far simpler and better documented, works well)
when you have uefi use grub2 (needs improvements in documentations, needs cleanup in structure, needs fix in codebase as a single wrong written character in an boot entry renders the box as a brick, only fix is a livecd and correct the grub.cfg; and no you do not see a rescue shell, it never goes to that point, it hangs quite earlier. only sysrescue-cd or something similar is the fix for that issue)

Last edited by _roman_; 01-03-2018 at 03:36 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2018, 09:49 PM   #7
selfprogrammed
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The filesystem is ext2, why would I want to tell the kernel that it is ext4?

I am much more likely to change all the filesystems to ext2. There are many more tools
that can operate on an ext2 partition, not that many that can recognize ext4.
My only interest would be in ext3 as the journal might give a slight bit of extra
protection on a laptop where the power might be lost unexpectedly.
Ext4 has some new features for specialized applications, none of which apply to this
use on a laptop. The mere existance of these specialized features in ext4 do not in
any way make ext2 obsolete. What I see as a threat are newer buggy drivers and the attitude that everyone needs to use all the newest buggy stuff instead of the proven reliable stuff.

LILO is solid and dependable. I fought with GRUB for 2 weeks trying to save it.
GRUB would not load the files on partition 4, and was difficult to work with.
After switching to LILO my boot loader problems were solved. It checks the disk files
when the filesystems are mounted, so problems are exposed right away, when I can fix them.
Editing the GRUB boot information at boot time never worked.
There are no features of GRUB that I need for this platform, and that is much more important than feature-envy or politics.

I can reinstall legacy GRUB at any time using the SUSE GRUB executables.
I have not found any path to installing GRUB 2. I does not execute under Linux 2.6 and the Dell Latitude will not boot the install disks that have Linux 4.4.

Has anyone who got Linux 4.4 installed on a Dell Latitude, got any information about
unusual platform requirements?

The Ext4 fs driver should recognize that the partition is ext2. I know of no excuse why it should behave this way. Also the kernel should be using the ext2 fs driver in the first place, it is built into the kernel. The best solution I see right now is to rip out that buggy ext4 fs driver (make it a module maybe). I do not know of any way to make the kernel try the ext2 driver first.

If someone knows that the ext4 fs driver cannot coexist with the ext2 fs driver, then please post some details on what the problem is with it.

This question does not in any way ask for opinions on what filesystem I should use.
 
Old 01-03-2018, 11:45 PM   #8
_roman_
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Care to explain me this please?

Quote:
[ 8.556424] EXT4-fs (sda4): couldnt mount as ext3 due to feature incompatibilities
[ 8.571458] EXT4-fs (sda4): mounted filesystem without journal. Opts: (null)
[ 8.571616] VFS: Mounted root (ext4 filesystem) readonly on device 8:4.
I know such errors. And these happens when you once mount a partition usually wrong as ext4. than it is converted. Or the software does mount it wrong. once wrongly mounted it can not be reverted.

ext2 - ext3 (that does not matter)

but when you use once ext4 it does matter on a partition. when it was before "ext 3"


--

you can use whatever you want.

I used also ext2 for quite a while.

but

do you want to deal with issues caused by a proper unmount?

I consider ext2 as rubbish as reiserfs (I had my share of issues with SUSE 6.2 with both of those)

Quote:
The Ext4 fs driver should recognize that the partition is ext2. I know of no excuse why it should behave this way.
Nope. You mounted it once, or it was once mounted most likely as ext4. which converted your ext2 - aka ext3 (that is up to discussion now) to ext4.

This is a common issue. One way route.

And nope: At that stage it is still the kernel who does all the jobs. Your kernel has an issue at this point of booting.

--

old bios supports grub1 and grub2. you can use any grub from any suitable installer medium, there is no requirement that you use the distro bootloader at all. i always used arch linux, linux mint bootloaders to boot my gentoo. I'm lazy so i installed first a binary distro to chroot and reuse the bootloader.

--

I had my share with lilo and Suse 6.2. So you know how old that software really is. ~20 years or even more.
Grub1 is one reliable bootlaoder in my point of view
grub2 has several issues, the reason why there are refind and other bootlaoders for uefi too.

most distros I used in past ~13 years did all use any of grub version. most livemedia use grub. even slackware installer has grub, but the installed has than exotic elilo which hardly anyone else uses.

a bootloader should work and should never has the hassle to be updated. grub 1 is such a bootloader, installed once and forgot. grub2 has several issues with uefi.

--

back to the topic: you may reuse a kernel from your livecd, or the kernel config from your livecd.

I also suggest that you verify first what file system really that partition has now.
than you can check your kernel for supported file system, and file system parameters for the kernel command line in your bootloader and fstab

Last edited by _roman_; 01-04-2018 at 12:00 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2018, 03:16 PM   #9
selfprogrammed
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The problem has been solved.

I started to question things, and verify exactly what I had seen before so I could make notes. I discovered that the messages I had seen were not coming from the kernel, but were after some of the Slackware script /etc/rc.d/rc.S was trying to run fsck on the root.

At this point the root was already mounted read-only, and files such as /etc/rc.d/rc.S were accessed, so the filesystem drivers must have been able to cope with the ext2 filesystem.

The question was then why was it issuing error messages to dmesg about not being able to mount root as ext3, and then panicing.
One problem was that most of what the script /etc/rc.d/rc.S does is not logged in dmesg. I had to get the panic screen back, stop that automatic reboot, and read it very carefully,
copying it down by hand so it could be checked step by step.

For anyone else out there with a similar boot problem:
1. Generate a custom kernel with only the drivers you need.
2. Turn kernel debugging on so you get all the messages
3. You can also turn on console delay, to slow the scrolling down,
4. Set the console to a small font (In LILO vga=6) so more of
it stays on the screen.

Kernel command line:
lpj=3009520 boot_delay=1000 rootdelay=8
Which slows the scroll during boot.
The rootdelay gives a pause right before it mounts root, to let other stuff settle, and as an indicator of when the kernel is doing the mount so you know when to eye-ball
the console.

Unfortunately, for me, that lpj value seeming to hang the boot.
I had to get a lpj value from the same kernel build, to make it accurate.
But the rest of it worked well enough to see some more messages.

The /etc/rc.d/rc.S script was trying to run fsck on root,
using a strange designation /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-xxx, which was failing.
(xxx because I am not going to list the whole thing, you can look at /dev/disk/by-id
on your system for examples),
Trying that /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-xxx with findfs, also failed.

There was one place where I had seen that kind of designation and that
was the fstab from the SUSE system. SUSE was not installed by me, and
apparantly they had read something about how better it was using partition names.
So instead of /dev/sda2, they used /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-xxx (where xxx is this long string).

I had copied that fstab from the SUSE system to the Slackware system
and edited it (using vi) for the different root. Using vi was a pain, so
I had planned to seriously fix the fstab after I got the system up and
I got a decent editor (one that could copy lines and move them).

The /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-xxx is setup in dev somewhere during the boot.
On Slackware, the fsck looks in /etc/fstab for the /dev name, finds
that /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-xxx and chokes on it. Because of the failed
fsck, the script causes the root mount read-write to fail, which indirectly causes
the panic later when the kernel discovers that it cannot sync the root drive.

Gave all the partitions LABEL names and changed the fstab from /dev/disk/by-id lines
to LABEL= lines.
Now the fsck works, and the Linux 4.4.38 boots.

Lesson: The /etc/fstab file must be made perfect during install, because on Slackware the boot will look at the fstab and it can cause the boot to fail with strange messages. You cannot tell from the console that the strange messages are due to bad fstab lines.

Lesson: Things that you can do in /etc/fstab on SUSE will not work on Slackware.
Do not use /dev/disk/by-id in the fstab on Slackware, use LABEL= instead.

This does not fix the problems with booting Linux 4.4.14 from the Slackware CDROM.
That still fails.
It could be due to trying to load a huge kernel, and a huge initrd, into
a 128M system. But, I suspect some conflict in one of the unnecessary drivers,
like the Framebuffer support.
 
Old 01-04-2018, 03:55 PM   #10
selfprogrammed
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Registered: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Distribution: Slackware 13.37, 14.2
Posts: 387

Original Poster
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Ext4, Ext3, and Ext2 are the same filesystem, with some extra features added.
You cannot bad-mouth ext2 without implying that ext4 is equally bad, because ext4 uses ext2 underneath it all.

This Dell Latitude only has a 10G disk. The best choice is ext2 because the drive is tight on space, and using ext2 avoids any wasted overhead on specialized features that are meant for terabyte sized file systems.

I found that the mkfs from the SUSE had set the dir_index feature on the /dev/sda4 ext2 filesystem.
Because it is ext2, the docs say that dir_index will be ignored, as ext2 does not support the dir_index feature.
So, one of the things I tried was to use tune2fs to remove the extraneous dir_index feature from /dev/sda4. One of the error messages had been complaining about incompatible features in the filesystem, so it was worth a try. The dir_index feature is only used to make huge directories search faster (using b-trees instead of a linear search). This is meant for huge filesystems, where seaching a 10000 entry directory could be made a little faster.

I used tune2fs to clear the dir_index feature on /dev/sda4, no problems, got no warnings.
Running e2fsck after, it found that about 20 inodes that had a an unusual bit set in support of using the dir_index feature.
Apparantly, not every tool and driver ignores the dir_index feature on the ext2 filesystem.
The e2fsck cleared the extraneous bit in those inodes.
The /dev/sda4 with the ext2 filesystem has passed e2fsck from SUSE, and passed e2fsck -f on the Linux 4.4.38, has been mounted, and been used, without problems.
 
  


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