Bug 73133 - initrd assisted bootup fails if no /initrd directory
initrd assisted bootup fails if no /initrd directory
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: mkinitrd (Show other bugs)
i686 Linux
medium Severity high
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Assigned To: Erik Troan
David Lawrence
Depends On:
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Reported: 2002-08-30 20:10 EDT by Hans Ecke
Modified: 2007-04-18 12:46 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2003-01-05 23:44:32 EST
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Hans Ecke 2002-08-30 20:10:07 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper: 
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Konqueror/3; Linux; , en_US, en) 
Description of problem: 
If a RH 7.2, 7.3 or 8.0beta system boots using an init ramdisk, the bootup 
will fail if no /initrd directory exists. This is bad for several reasons: 
* the boot process should not die because of such a simple problem 
* most sysadmins will not know about this fact. upon encountering an empty 
directory /initrd they might just delete it, figuring it to be some random 
directory a runaway program created. the next time they reboot - weeks later - 
how is anybody to know what the reason for the sudden failure is? 
* the error message "pivotroot: pivot_root(/sysroot,/sysroot/initrd) failed: 
2" is absolutely unhelpful and cryptic. It rather suggests that mounting root 
does not work, the initramdisk is outdated or something like that. 
I filed this bugreport under "mkinitrd" since the error occurs inside its 
bootup script. 
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable): 
How reproducible: 
Steps to Reproduce: 
1.set up a system to boot using an initramdisk  
2.test that it boots correctly 
3.rmdir /initrd 
Actual Results:  the boot process stops with error messages like this: 
pivotroot: pivot_root(/sysroot,/sysroot/initrd) failed: 2 
Freeing unused kernel memory: 220k freed 
Kernel panic: No init found.  Try passing init= option to kernel. 
Expected Results:  it should boot without a problem 
Additional info:
Comment 1 Emilio Riva 2002-09-25 08:39:12 EDT
I've just discovered this same solution by myself after 4-hours of fear!!!
the problem seems to be simple, but it should be fixed soon please!!
Comment 2 Hans Ecke 2002-10-16 20:05:49 EDT
Changed version to 8.0. Maybe this will increase visibility.
Comment 3 Jeremy Katz 2003-01-05 23:44:32 EST
Your system will also fail to boot if you do 'rm -rf /etc' but people don't tend
to go around doing that.  There isn't anything that can be done at this point
because the root filesystem isn't mounted read-write yet and so we can't create
the directory we need if it fails to exist.

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