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Benjamin Donnachie 05-25-2008 10:46 AM

Debian Lenny NFS root woes!
I'd like my machine to boot off a NAS box across the network, using NFS
for the root file system. Since the box does not support tftp, I've
installed a small flash drive for it to boot off and use as /boot.

Following the instructions at I've added support
in the kernel for...


... and the network card as per

I then modified grub to use the following kernel command line:

root=/dev/nfs rw nfsroot= ip=dhcp

And modified /etc/fstab to refer to the new location of /.

The machine successfully boots, configures the network card and then
hangs for some time before generating an error message about /dev/nfs
not existing.

I can mount the share on other machines, and rpcinfo and showmount
produce the following:

$ rpcinfo -p
program vers proto port
100000 2 tcp 111 portmapper
100000 2 udp 111 portmapper
100003 2 udp 2049 nfs
100003 3 udp 2049 nfs
100003 2 tcp 2049 nfs
100003 3 tcp 2049 nfs
100021 1 udp 1027 nlockmgr
100021 3 udp 1027 nlockmgr
100021 4 udp 1027 nlockmgr
100021 1 tcp 2801 nlockmgr
100021 3 tcp 2801 nlockmgr
100021 4 tcp 2801 nlockmgr
100005 1 udp 926 mountd
100005 1 tcp 929 mountd
100005 2 udp 926 mountd
100005 2 tcp 929 mountd
100005 3 udp 926 mountd
100005 3 tcp 929 mountd

$ showmount -e
Exports list on
/mnt/ide4/telvin-root *
/mnt/ide4/public *

The logs on the NAS suggest that it's not even trying to connect to the
share, which I've confirmed with a packet sniffer.

The instructions at Documentation/nfsroot.txt haven't shed any light...

I've wasted far too much time on this and it's driving me NUTS! I'd be
very grateful for any suggestions!

Take care,


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Benjamin Donnachie 05-25-2008 06:11 PM

Debian Lenny NFS root woes!
Problem solved! Turns out I was missing some basic steps:


I just needed to edit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf to change
BOOT=local to BOOT=nfs and then regenerate the initramfs image with
update-initramfs -k all -c

And now it works! :-)))))


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