Diary of a geek

July 2008
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Andrew Pollock


Other people's blogs


RSS feed

Contact me

JavaScript required

Sunday, 27 July 2008

This almost makes me wish I had a lawn that needed mowing. Almost.

I just became aware of this electric lawn mower via Woot!

I never minded mowing the lawn, when it was a decent kind of yard (i.e. level). This mower looks like it'd take the fun to a whole new level: hardly any noise, and no smoke.

I just need a yard now...

[22:39] [geek] [permalink]

Etch and a Half no workee for me

So hot off the back of my successful upgrade from Sarge to Etch, I thought I'd try the new "Etch and a Half" 2.6.24 kernel on daedalus

Let's just say that it's times like these that I'm glad I got the serial-over-LAN thing working, and have remote power.

I spent many hours today rebooting, trying to get to the bottom of why it wouldn't work.

At first, I thought it was hanging, but then I realised it was dropping to a shell in the initramfs, and just not making that very obvious because the serial over LAN console is a bit crappy.

Once I realised what was going on, I did some poking around.

It seemed like udev wasn't getting started properly, so when it went to assemble the mirrors, that failed, because the component devices couldn't be found, then it freaked out because it couldn't mount the root filesystem.

If I ran the relevant bits of /scripts/init-premount/udev by hand, the SCSI devices appeared, and I could manually assemble the mirror, and mount the root filesystem, which was handy, because I also discovered that you can boot with debug on the kernel command line, and it logs the initramfs run to /tmp/initramfs.debug. So that was a convenient way of preserving the log, because there seemed to be some characters in it that made inspecting it over the serial console difficult, and there was no way to get it off the machine from the initramfs environment.

As far as I can determine, it's telling udev to start, but it certainly isn't still running when it bombs out to a shell after failing to mount the root filesystem. It's not immediately clear if there's something later on that is stopping it again. I've put the log here in case anyone's interested in looking at it. This was with the addition of "x" to the options of the shebang line of /usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/init-premount/udev so that I could see what was happening when /scripts/init-premount/udev ran.

So I don't think the kernel itself is at fault, it's some sort of weird udev/initramfs interaction.

Rather than further rebooting the tripe out of daedalus, I'll have to see if I can reproduce the problem on a less important machine locally to do further debugging. In the meantime, I'll have to stick with 2.6.18.

[22:27] [debian] [permalink]