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Tag: grub2

Why I hate lilo

by on Jan.11, 2011, under Software

Every time I install a machine with the latest Slackware, I’m amazed again at the installed boot manager – lilo.
Sure, lilo works. Most of the times. Even when you have a raid-1 boot device.
Unless you don’t have the latest version of lilo of course.

Today I tried to continue a Slackware64 (current) install of a machine that I installed a week ago.
It worked fine, was just about to install Xen when one of the disks started acting up.
Obviously SMART didn’t help for a bit
* Report – No errors!
* Short Self test – Your disk is fine!
* You want a long test that takes 4 hours? Your machine locks up before it completes, haha!
But when the disk kept failing every time when the md1 resync hit 36%, I yanked out the disk and sent it RMA.
Dmesg showed error like this:

[ 3362.784129] ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
[ 3362.784132] ata1.00: failed command: READ DMA EXT
[ 3362.784135] ata1.00: cmd 25/00:00:3f:60:f4/00:04:57:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 524288 in
[ 3362.784135]          res 40/00:00:02:4f:c2/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
[ 3362.784136] ata1.00: status: { DRDY }
[ 3362.784139] ata1: hard resetting link
[ 3364.002049] ata1: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
[ 3364.009142] ata1.00: configured for UDMA/33
[ 3364.009148] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Result: hostbyte=0x00 driverbyte=0x08
[ 3364.009150] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Sense Key : 0xb [current] [descriptor]
[ 3364.009152] Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
[ 3364.009153]         72 0b 00 00 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00
[ 3364.009156]         00 00 00 01
[ 3364.009158] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] ASC=0x0 ASCQ=0x0
[ 3364.009159] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] CDB: cdb[0]=0x28: 28 00 57 f4 60 3f 00 04 00 00
[ 3364.009162] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 1475633215
[ 3364.009174] ata1: EH complete

So today I figured I could continue installing with only half a raid-1 array.
But it didn’t boot (“Loading operating system…. *halt*).
I figured lilo must have been installed to the MBR of the disk that I yanked, so I booted from LAN and ran lilo.
Obviously lilo complained, because /dev/sda was only half the raid-1 array and disks were missing!
Fine. I changed my boot device to /dev/md0, hoping that lilo would get the hint.

# lilo
Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
Fatal: Not all RAID-1 disks are active; use '-H' to install to active disks only
# lilo -H
Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
Warning: Partial RAID-1 install on active disks only: booting is not failsafe

Warning: Faulty disk in RAID-1 array; boot with caution!!
Fatal: Unusual RAID bios device code: 0xFF

This is why I hate lilo. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
And it never tells you why. Or maybe it does, just like windows always tells you what’s wrong when you get a blue screen.

It’s probably this bug, but I don’t care. Always something.
Time to find the sources to grub.

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Useful tools

by on Jul.27, 2009, under Boring

Lotjuh was messing around with grub2 and its config…. fun!

Anyway, a nice tool to figure out uuids of block devices: blkid. (gives a nice overview per block device… you probably need to be root for it to work though)
Alternative: findfs, so you can search for a label or uuid.

Let is be known that grub2 is a kutproduct as far as documentation is concerned… but that’s no surprise given it’s infancy status 🙂
Works pretty good so far though, once you get the grub.cfg etc right. Also works with my ext4 partition these days (required a svn up and recompile/reinstall though)

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