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[Solved] Gentoo is stuck in a boot loop.
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thegreattaiyou
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:28 pm    Post subject: [Solved] Gentoo is stuck in a boot loop. Reply with quote

Edit: Turns out I forgot to write the changes I made using fdisk to my drive, so some of them didn't stick. Went back through and fixed partitions and file systems, wrote to the disk, and now we're booting.

I got myself a new 1TB HDD to use as the drive for installing Gentoo. Now, I'm literally completely new to linux, and yes, I know there are other more user-friendly options out there. I chose Gentoo for the chance to learn about how linux works, as hands-on as possible.

On to the problem: I finished the installation just now and encountered no significant errors. The only two problems I encountered were 1) didn't -G wheel and couldn't su - root because of it, but that was a simple fix and 2) my checksum validation codes for the .tar.bz2, the .tar.bz2.DIGESTS, and the .tar.bz2.DIGESTS.asc did not match. However, the handbook does not cover what to do in the case that they do not match, and several searches on google yielded only a single forum post where a guy had used 2 different algorithms (openssl and sum512, and once he checked them all using the same algorithm, they matched for him). Despite this, I followed the handbook and the install finished (seemingly) fine, giving me no more problems.

That is until I reached the end, and rebooted.

I've popped the CD out of the tray and unplugged all other storage devices from my computer, but for some reason, the computer cannot seem to load the operating system. I power on, see the BIOS splash screen for a few seconds, and then I get the "Loading operating system..." message, at which point the screen goes black, and after a few seconds I'm presented with the BIOS splash screen again. The system doesn't actually power off at all. It just loops back to the BIOS screen over and over. I've tried switching the boot disk priority to favor USB devices (since the HDD is external and operates through USB 3.0), but there are 4 different USB options and none of them seem to work: USB-FDD, USB-ZIP, USB-CDROM, and USB-HDD. The only other options I have are Hard Disk, CDROM, and Legacy Lan. I've tried opening the boot menu directly, finding the drive, and booting up that way, but that produces the exact same results.

I'd really like some help here. Let me know if you need any additional information.

Thanks!


Last edited by thegreattaiyou on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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gotyaoi
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of anything else you can always boot up with the install cd again and follow the same procedure as when you installed to mount and chroot to your disk.

From your description, it sounds like a problem with grub. (I'm assuming you're using grub2 here, please correct me if that's not the case.) I'd go over, and possibly repeat, the instructions in the bootloader section of the handbook. You said you're using BIOS, But check if you actually meant EFI and follow the relevant section. Also confirm that your partitioning scheme has the necessary partitions and formats, as detailed here.

Regarding the checksums, if they don't match, that could indicate a corrupted download, which would mean you'd have to re-download the archive. As that is rather rare, I'll just go over the basic procedure, to make sure it's clear.
  • The .tar.bz2 file is the archive itself. Using this file, you will run `openssl dgst -r -sha512 <filename>` and `openssl dgst -r -whirlpool <filename>` to get the sha512 and whirlpool checksums of that file respectively.
  • The .tar.bz2.DIGESTS file contains precomputed checksums for the .tar.bz2 file. It is not meant to be hashed, just read. Find the lines corresponding to the sha512 and whirlpool hash of the file from the previous step and compare them to the values you got. If they match, all is well, if not, something may have been wrong with either your download of the archive file or the DIGESTS file. Re-download them and try again.
  • The .tar.bz2/DIGESTS.asc file is a cryptographically signed version of the .tar.bz2.DIGESTS file, provided for the security concious to verify that the file actually came from the gentoo project.


Last edited by gotyaoi on Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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thegreattaiyou
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm back in class at the moment, but once I get back home I'll verify BIOS vs EFI. I did do a firmware upgrade on my motherboard probably about a year back, so it's possible that it was changed. Would it be alright/worth it to just start again with the partitioning again, or should I re-start the whole process over?

Also, thanks for the info on checksums. I'll make sure to check them again to make sure. Is it possible to just
Code:
cat filename.tar.bz2.DIGESTS
or something similar using nano to read it?

Thanks for the help, I'll get back to you.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you redo your partitions you are starting over.

You want to compare the checksums. There is a wonderful tool called grep that can check if a given input matches something in a file. Learning to use said tool is left as an exercise for the reader. (If we tell you everything it will be make it too easy :wink: )
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thegreattaiyou
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've gotten home and I've restarted the partitioning process. I checked using two separate methods to ensure that I am on BIOS and not UEFI, however, I've run into something curious that didn't happen before (or at least I never noticed it).

Using parted to set the partitions, when I set define second partition (Boot), and "set 2 boot on" the "print" shows "boot, esp" under Flags. The "esp" wasn't there before, as far as I can remember. A quick google search shows that this is the EFI System Partition. Trying to use "set 2 esp off" also removes the "boot" flag.

I'm lost :?
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thegreattaiyou
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo boots now! ...Kind of. I get to the "Welcome to Gentoo!" screen, which is nice, however I've run into this error now:
Code:
>>Determining root device...
!! Could not find the root block device in UUID=5749f527-fc01-4cba-9c32-1f86c0c8554e.
!! Please specify another value or:
!! - press Enter for the same
!! - type "shell" for a shell
!! - type "q" to skip...
root block device(UUID=5749f527-fc01-4cba-9c32-1f86c0c8554e)  ::


<Enter> and <q> just result in the same error, with <q> just changing the UUID to "root block device() ::"

And I have no clue how to use the shell in this case. Any help would be awesome!
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djdunn
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That means the kernel is not finding your root partition, often times it is caused by a missing a filesystem driver in the kernel config or compiling the root filesystem driver as a module and not building it in, which fails because the modules are stored in the root filesystem
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