On Mon, 2008-12-05 at 08:18 -0700, Mike Bird wrote:
> First thing I'd check is that the initramfs built successfully.
> We've had a number of failures over the years where the /boot
> partition became full and the resulting initramfs was corrupt.
> Check, for example, that the initramfs is about the same size
> as other initramfs's in /boot or on similar systems.
The root (boot) partition has 500Mib unused.
initrd.img-2.6.18-6-686 is 4899969 bytes in size (generic kernel)
initrd.img-2.6.25-ath5k is 2362874 bytes in size (vanilla kernel)
intird.img-2.6.17-smp1a is 1232896 bytes in size (different system)
So it looks like this built large enough.
But did it build correctly? How to find out?
Might I be compiling too much or too little in the new kernel?
Following up on the initrd idea....
Second, the kernel has to be compiled with RAM disk support and
with support for the initial RAM disk enabled. Also, at least
all components needed to execute programs from initrd (e.g.
executable format and file system) must be compiled into the
Help info available through make menuconfig for
General Setup/Initial Ram Filesystem says.....
The initial RAM filesystem is a ramfs which is loaded by the
boot loader (loadlin or lilo) and that is mounted as root
before the normal boot procedure. It is typically used to
load modules needed to mount the "real" root file system,
etc. See <file
If RAM disk support (BLK_DEV_RAM) is also included, this
also enables initial RAM disk (initrd) support and adds
15 Kbytes (more on some other architectures) to the kernel size.
If unsure say Y.
And again the make menucofig help info for
Device Drivers/Block Devices/Ram Disk Support says....
Saying Y here will allow you to use a portion of your RAM memory
as a block device, so that you can make file systems on it,
read and write to it and do all the other things that you can
do with normal block devices (such as hard drives). It is
usually used to load and store a copy of a minimal root file
system off of a floppy into RAM during the initial install of
Most normal users won't need the RAM disk functionality, and can
thus say N here.
So the first kernel was with BDI configured and BDR not.
I made a second attempt with both configured. This also failed
with the same error messages. The third attempt was with
both options not set and no --initrd option on the make-kpkg
command. This succeeded. The kernel booted and the system
came up past the desktop login. The mouse is frozen but that's
a second problem I think. I am able to log into a console and
have a functional command line system.
It would indeed seem to be some sort of initrd problem,
although I have no idea what. I know millions use
initrd without a problem but ..... If anyone wants to look
at the kernels, .config files or initrd.img files drop me
a line in the next few days before I delete them. My next
task is to get the desktop up and the new module working.
Perhaps I can fine tune things later.
Thanks for the help everyone.
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