Bug 158590 - "unable to open initial console" / initrd and udev madness
"unable to open initial console" / initrd and udev madness
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: anaconda (Show other bugs)
All Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Anaconda Maintenance Team
Mike McLean
Depends On:
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Reported: 2005-05-23 15:51 EDT by Dan Hollis
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:11 EST (History)
0 users

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Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2005-05-23 16:10:49 EDT
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Description Dan Hollis 2005-05-23 15:51:22 EDT
Description of problem:
/dev/console etc missing from install

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1.install fc3
2.try to boot custom kernel without initrd
Actual results:
'unable to open initial console' and kernel panic.

Expected results:
it should work, but it doesnt.

Additional info:
The FC3 installer doesnt create device nodes in /dev when installing. Eg if you
mount --bind / /mnt and cd /mnt/dev you'll see dev is totally empty. The FC3
boot process is apparently very dependent on initrd and udev.

This is rather a PITA when trying to make a secured server with monolithic
kernels and no initrd.

The solution? A minimal /dev on-disk (instead of a completely empty one, which
is what we have now).

drwxr-xr-x   4 root root  168 May 20 13:14 .
drwxr-xr-x  23 root root  568 May 20 13:16 ..
crw-r--r--   1 root root 5, 1 May 20 13:16 console
crw-r--r--   1 root root 1, 3 May 20 13:14 null
drwxr-xr-x   2 root root   48 May 20 13:14 pts
drwxr-xr-x   2 root root   48 May 20 13:14 shm
crw-r--r--   1 root root 1, 5 May 20 13:14 zero

This lets us boot monolithic initrd-less kernels far enough to where udev can
take over normally.

I know about the http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/udev/ and "Udev without initrd"
instructions, but I can't see any good reason to omit these few devices on
install and thus saving a lot of people head scratching / google / wasted time.
Comment 1 Jeremy Katz 2005-05-23 16:10:49 EDT
There's no way to include them in a package -- if we put them in a package and
the package gets updated (to include more or something else of that nature),
then you've got a dynamic /dev mounted and the update doesn't do what you
expect.  Plus rpm -V fails.

An initrd is _REQUIRED_.
Comment 2 Dan Hollis 2005-05-23 16:31:18 EDT
er. it doesn't have to be in a package. hell, the device nodes aren't even in a
package _now_ !

all the installer has to do is create a few nodes when making /dev on-disk. it
does this for a bunch of other things which arent in any package so I dont see
why this would be any different really.

whats interesting is that rpm claims /dev is owned by udev but rpm -ql says no.

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