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Old 07-23-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
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initrd image and entry in Grub

Hello all,

I recently complied the kernel for my ubuntu 9.04. The compilation was done using the make-kpkg but it seems that i forgot to add the --initrd flag when running it.

Thus, dpkg -i to install the imaged, did not create an initrd-img- file in my /boot directory and when i tried to boot my machine i got a kernel panic. I booted using my old kernel and i added a initrd line in my grub pointing at the initrd.img of my previous kernel. Thus i managed to load my new kernel.

The question i have is, am i save doing that? does that affect the run of my new kernel at all? I 've read some things about update-initramfs and mkinitrd but i am not sure if i should use them and what would be the benefit..

Many thanks in advance for the responses

ps. i understand that this is not a newbie question but was not sure in what branch of the forum to post it and i couldn't find a better one:-/
Old 07-23-2009, 07:42 AM   #2
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I definitely fall in the category of kernel newbie, so go find your grain of salt to take this post with.

My gut feeling is that it shouldn't cause much trouble. You apparently haven't changed the needed hardware drivers, or changed the UUID of the real root fs, etc.
"Other distributions (such as Fedora and Ubuntu) generate a more generic initrd image."

What do you mean by "is it safe"? Are you just thinking about system stability? If so, as long as your system boots and then behaves properly, then initrd has done its job once the real root file system is loaded.

If it's peace of mind you're after, why not just compile again using the --initrd?

My suggestion for forum:

Linux - General (188 Viewing)
This forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.

Now that I've thoroughly messed you up, let's hear from an expert.
Old 07-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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excerpt from 'initrd wiki';

The initial ramdisk, or initrd is a temporary file system commonly used in the boot process of the Linux kernel. It is typically used for making preparations before the real root file system can be mounted.
Simple but practical definition. You should be able use 'mkinitrd' with the proper parameters to create a new initrd for your new kernel then just change your bootloader stanza to reflect that one.
Old 07-24-2009, 05:47 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys, your answers were very helpful.

@michapma > Indeed the initrd seems a bit generic in ubuntu and i see no problems. Yes, but saying stable i mean exactly what you are describing. It seems that the theory (that inirtd is only used for booting and after that it does not affect the system) comes true;-)

@onebuck> well i tried the update-initramfs -c -k 2.6.30-2 and it worked great! I added a pointer at my grub's stanza and it works like a charm!

thanks guys


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