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Old 12-30-2010, 04:06 AM
Todd Pytel
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

I recently began updating my desktop, a Sid install which I only update
infrequently - the last update was a few months ago. As I usually do in
this situation, I started by pulling down the various non-X/GNOME
libraries and basic admin, devel, and text tools. Before too long, I did
a reboot to test the GRUB 2 upgrade, and noticed that /dev/sda - my
system disk - is no longer listed in /dev. Oops.

I can basically boot up, presumably because the pointers in GRUB get the
kernel to the root fs and init, but once running the disk is no longer
visible. It's detected by the kernel in dmesg along with the correct
partitions, but it's never listed in /dev. This throws an error when
init tries to fsck my /boot partition and can't find the device node.
Similarly, swapon -a can't find /dev/sda3 and fdisk /dev/sda doesn't see
anything either.

My only thought was that this should be udev/hal related, so I finished
the upgrade for those packages, but to no effect. Is there somewhere
else I should look? Again, it's not a kernel support problem - the
kernel is untouched from before, and sda is detected properly in dmesg.
The disk just isn't showing up in userspace.

Thanks,
Todd


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Old 12-30-2010, 04:07 AM
Todd Pytel
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

I recently began updating my desktop, a Sid install which I only update
infrequently - the last update was a few months ago. As I usually do in
this situation, I started by pulling down the various non-X/GNOME
libraries and basic admin, devel, and text tools. Before too long, I did
a reboot to test the GRUB 2 upgrade, and noticed that /dev/sda - my
system disk - is no longer listed in /dev. Oops.

I can basically boot up, presumably because the pointers in GRUB get the
kernel to the root fs and init, but once running the disk is no longer
visible. It's detected by the kernel in dmesg along with the correct
partitions, but it's never listed in /dev. This throws an error when
init tries to fsck my /boot partition and can't find the device node.
Similarly, swapon -a can't find /dev/sda3 and fdisk /dev/sda doesn't see
anything either.

My only thought was that this should be udev/hal related, so I finished
the upgrade for those packages, but to no effect. Is there somewhere
else I should look? Again, it's not a kernel support problem - the
kernel is untouched from before, and sda is detected properly in dmesg.
The disk just isn't showing up in userspace.

Thanks,
Todd


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Old 12-30-2010, 07:31 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

Todd Pytel wrote:
> I recently began updating my desktop, a Sid install which I only update
> infrequently - the last update was a few months ago. As I usually do in
> this situation, I started by pulling down the various non-X/GNOME
> libraries and basic admin, devel, and text tools. Before too long, I did
> a reboot to test the GRUB 2 upgrade,

If you are just now getting the grub 2 upgrade in Sid then it has been
a *long* time since you last upgraded. At least ten months? Since
before last February? (I can't quite remember when it wentt through a
brief search didn't refresh my memory enough to be sure.)

What are the versions of your kernel and udev packages? I know you
say they are fine but inquiring minds want to know the version numbers
so that we can know this for ourselves. :-)

> and noticed that /dev/sda - my system disk - is no longer listed in
> /dev. Oops.

What does this say?

cat /proc/partitions

Hopefully you will see something that looks like a filesystem
partition in the outout.

> My only thought was that this should be udev/hal related, so I finished
> the upgrade for those packages, but to no effect. Is there somewhere
> else I should look? Again, it's not a kernel support problem - the
> kernel is untouched from before, and sda is detected properly in dmesg.
> The disk just isn't showing up in userspace.

Note that the current udev requires a kernel that is 2.6.28 or newer.
This is making upgrades from Lenny to Squeeze especially painful this
release cycle.

Bob
 
Old 12-30-2010, 12:35 PM
Todd Pytel
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

On Thu, 2010-12-30 at 01:31 -0700, Bob Proulx wrote:
> If you are just now getting the grub 2 upgrade in Sid then it has been
> a *long* time since you last upgraded. At least ten months? Since
> before last February? (I can't quite remember when it went through a
> brief search didn't refresh my memory enough to be sure.)

I don't think it was that long. I remember GRUB 2 coming in, but I stuck
with the legacy package at the time.


> What are the versions of your kernel and udev packages? I know you
> say they are fine but inquiring minds want to know the version numbers
> so that we can know this for ourselves. :-)

Kernel is 2.6.26.4, udev is 164-3.


> What does this say?
>
> cat /proc/partitions

It reports the partitions properly.


> Note that the current udev requires a kernel that is 2.6.28 or newer.
> This is making upgrades from Lenny to Squeeze especially painful this
> release cycle.

That could certainly be an issue. I suppose there must be some good
technical reason that dep wouldn't be tracked by apt. It's going to be
tricky doing a kernel upgrade now, since my /boot directory containing
the kernels and grub info is no longer accessible. That's going to
confuse the heck out of apt and the rest of the usual boot/kernel
configuration tools. I could d/l the current kernel package and manually
extract the kernel and modules from it, but I'm not sure how best to go
about booting to them. Suppose I remove and reinstall GRUB and my
current kernel (essentially recreating my old /boot partition on the
root partition)... is GRUB going to freak out with the device nodes
inaccessible? Alternatively, could I just mknod the appropriate nodes
for the moment in order to get the kernel sorted out? Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Todd



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Old 12-30-2010, 01:17 PM
Todd Pytel
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

On Thu, 2010-12-30 at 07:35 -0600, Todd Pytel wrote:
> Alternatively, could I just mknod the appropriate nodes
> for the moment in order to get the kernel sorted out?

Gave it a try, and this works fine, at least as a temporary solution.
We'll see if finishing the kernel upgrade can get udev to handle the
disk properly.

--Todd



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Old 12-30-2010, 04:33 PM
Bob Proulx
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

Todd Pytel wrote:
> Kernel is 2.6.26.4, udev is 164-3.

You have hit the udev and kernel incompatibility problem. That kernel
isn't supported by the new udev. A *lot* of people have already hit
that problem and when Squeeze releases it will only mean that more
people will hit it. I think you are lucky that you have a simple
partitioning and were able to boot. A lot of people with a different
partitioning end up without being able to boot.

Here is the official documentation on how to recover:

http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/i386/release-notes/ch-upgrading.en.html#how-to-recover

> That could certainly be an issue. I suppose there must be some good
> technical reason that dep wouldn't be tracked by apt.

It's a problem. Look at the package dependencies:

$ apt-cache show udev | grep -e Depends: -e Conflicts:

It can't depend upon a specific kernel. If it did that would break
everyone that uses their own self compiled kernel. There isn't a
requirement that everyone use a packaged kernel and there are a lot of
good reasons for people to use a custom kernel. Therefore it can't be
a dependency.

There is a conflict with previous packaged kernels. So for a typical
user who is using a packaged kernel it will conflict. That I would
call a best-effort attempt only. It works in a lot of typical cases
but doesn't work for everyone but better than not having the conflict
in there at all.

> It's going to be tricky doing a kernel upgrade now, ...

First, read the official docs and see what you think. Then I think I
would try to downgrade udev in order to get back to a working udev
system that matches your current kernel. Then you would have a normal
system with everthing working and then could decide what to do then.
I haven't had to do this myself however and so don't know but
downgrading udev is included as a footnote possibility in the official
docs.

Bob
 
Old 12-30-2010, 10:36 PM
Todd Pytel
 
Default /dev/sd* disappeared from userspace

Thanks for the link and comments Bob. Just mknod'ing the appropriate
device nodes was enough to get back a proper /boot and then get the
kernel updated. The nodes show up properly now.

--Todd


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