[Server-devel] Debugging booting problems with F9 on SD card...

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Mon Apr 13 06:29:19 EDT 2009

On the mission of getting a XS image running on the XO, I have abused
imagecreator (part of livecdtools) to create an ext3 image based on
the XS ISO we distribute.

Now I am trying to make the image boot on the XO, and it is not
working. It fails in trying to mount (and then switchroot to)
/dev/root. I suspect that it's the initrd mount process that is
failing there, but I am a bit at a loss on where to focus my debugging
next. OFW appears to read the initrd alright, and yet...

 - The whole image is i686 (while trying to convince imagecreator to
set the arch to i586) so that may be a source of problems.

 - The resulting ext3 image is using vanilla F9 kernel -- no olpc-specific kernels here. From what
I understand, all the fixes applied to F10 initrds have also been
applied to recent F9 kernels.

 - I've created vmlinuz / initrd symlinks to make things easier -- at
least during debugging. Does anything in the kernel rpm %post set
those up or update them if they're found? Or update olpc.fth? Either
way, everytime a new kernel is installed I need to update

 - I have also set /etc/fstab to mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 as /

 - My olpc.fth is built thus:
cat > /boot/olpc.fth << EOF
\ Boot script
" ro root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rootfstype=ext3 rootdelay=5
console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 fbcon=font:SUN12x22" to boot-file
" sd:\boot\initrd" to ramdisk
" sd:\boot\vmlinuz" to boot-device


 - Funny enough, unfreeze doesn't seem to work, and the boot fails
while consistently showing a pretty screen.

Hints welcome...


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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