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Old 11-15-2001, 07:10 AM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Japan
Distribution: Red Hat 7.2
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Lightbulb Possible solution to common "unable to mount root fs" kernel panic while installing

Hi all,

I've noticed that many people here have been having a similar problem while attempting to install Linux. It seems just about every installation problem is due to a kernel panic stating that it can't mount root fs. I had that same exact problem, and found a solution that worked for me. Please note, however, that I run into a problem later on that has kept me from installing

I have two hard drives. The first one has WinXP loaded, and the second is what I want to install Linux (Mandrake 8.0) onto. Here's what I did, and it got me past the kernel error (note: you must at command prompt for installer. In Mandrake, you press F1 at start):
linux root=/dev/hdb1

So I guess for this to work, you have to have a distro that allows you to pass options to the kernel while installing. I wasn't able to do this with Suse, and I don't know which other ones are like this. Because, to my udnerstanding, Mandrake is based on Red Hat (is that right?), that same thing should work with Red Hat.

Now for my problem...

I was extremely excited when I got past the kernel panic. However, I got another one . I get the following error:

Warning: unable to open an initial console
Kernel panic: No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel

I tried a few things, like /dev/hdb, /sbin/init, and simply /, but none of those worked. I'm not really sure what I need to pass as the init. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks a lot
Old 11-15-2001, 01:03 PM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Perry, Iowa
Distribution: Mepis , Debian
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sounds like it doesn't know which runlevel to start at, try init 5 to start the gui or init 3 for the console
Old 12-26-2005, 03:11 PM   #3
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Registered: Dec 2005
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could it be that you're trying to use a NTFS drive? I'm trying to install Fedora 4 onto an eighty gb. external hard drive that was formatted to NTFS. I found a kernel update, but i am lost as to how to install the update. Any help would be appreciated, as i am completely new to linux. I'll post the link once i make five posts.


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