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[SOLVED] Hangs on "Loading initial ramdisk"
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statikregimen
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 128
Location: USA/Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:10 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] Hangs on "Loading initial ramdisk" Reply with quote

Hi,

So I may be able to figure this out myself if I can coax more information out of the system, but it only shows

Code:
Loading Linux 4.8.17-hardened-r2 ...
Loading initial ramdisk ...


I get some activity on the hdd LED, and that's it. It's not deadlocked, as I can ctrl+alt+del but can't really troubleshoot without some more detail.....so that's my main question: how to get more verbosity at this stage of the boot process?

More info:
Installing to an MSI GT72S gaming laptop. It has two mSATA SSD drives. I have partitioned them as such that the root partition is on a RAID0 made w/ mdadm. I used a Pappy preconfig, used kergen to detect my hardware (ensuring all things required by the handbook were enabled, including the additional LVM and raid support), and then used genkernel --lvm --mdadm --install initramfs (or roughly that) to generate the initramfs image.

EDIT here's more as requested below:

grub.cfg
kernel config
lspci -nnk

using UEFI; no secure boot.

I've exhausted the forums as far as I can tell (lots of things that seemed like good maybe's but didn't help). Either way, I still feel like the main issue is that I'm not getting any feedback from the system and then I would know what to look at next (maybe).

Thanks in advance <3


Last edited by statikregimen on Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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NeddySeagoon
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 42841
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

statikregimen,

That's the last message from the boot loader. As soon as the boot loader jumps to the kernel, the kernel should print
Code:
Decompressing the kernel...

Either the bood loader is failing to hand over to the kernel, the console is missing, or the console is being sent somewhere that has no display connected.

Post
Code:
lspci -nnk
so we can see your PCI devices.
Post your grub.cfg so we can see how the kernel is loaded and the kernel command line.

Pastebin your entire kernel .config file.

One last thing we need to know, are you using legacy BIOS or UEFI to boot?
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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statikregimen
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 128
Location: USA/Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope this is acceptable:

grub.cfg
kernel config
lspci -nnk

if not, I'll do what you ask and buy you a beer <3

EDIT: sorry - using UEFI; no secure boot.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

statikregimen,

grub.cfg:
   echo   'Loading Linux 4.8.17-hardened-r2 ...'
   linux   /vmlinuz-4.8.17-hardened-r2 root=UUID=f8ea1d22-9faf-4e6c-ba0a-edfbe09e92d3 ro domdadm dolvm domdadm
   echo   'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
   initrd   /initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-4.8.17-hardened-r2


Nothing unexpected there. Two domdadm... thats not the problem.

lspci -nnk:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GM204M [GeForce GTX 980M] [10de:1617] (rev a1)
   Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. [MSI] GM204M [GeForce GTX 980M] [1462:1157]
   Kernel driver in use: nvidia

Ah, nvidia and you are using the binary blob driver. At least one other user has reported no console with this combination.
The problem is that nvidia-drivers does not provide a console and it does not tolerate any framebuffer driver that sets up the hardware, providing a console either.
Only one VGA card, so the console isn't being displayed on the other one.

hardened-sources and nvidia-drivers did not used to work. The hardening killed nvidia-drivers but thats for later
Its not used at the console but limits the choice of console drivers.

kerncfg.txt:

CONFIG_FB_VESA=y
CONFIG_FB_NVIDIA=y
# CONFIG_FB_EFI is not set
# CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE is not set


CONFIG_FB_VESA should be tolerated by nvidia-drivers but the kernel has not got that far yet.

CONFIG_FB_NVIDIA must be off. Its for very old nvidia cards and will grab the hardware, then nvidia-drivers won't work.
It won't give you a console either.
CONFIG_FB_EFI should be on. In UEFI mode, the kernel should use this.
CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE is harmless and compatible with UEFI and nvidia-drivers.
[/code]

Stuff that's not in your kernel but should be.
Code:
<*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)  --->
Thats a menu item.
When you turn that on, you get a lot of framebuffer support options that are not visible in menuconfig.
The help includes
Code:
Selects: HDMI [=y] && FB_CMDLINE [=y] && I2C [=y] && I2C_ALGOBIT [=y] && DMA_SHARED_BUFFER [=y] && SYNC_FILE [
=y]
Inside that menu is
Code:
Enable legacy fbdev support for your modesetting driver

You probably want that too.

If you really really want the old VGA console, you need to turn off FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE=y as when CONFIG_VGA_CONSOLE=y and FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE=y are both set, the kernel prefers a framebuffer console.

None of this stops your system booting, so if everything else is set up correctly, the network starts, sshd is started ... you should be able to connect via ssh.
Its just that your console is black text on a black background, which is hard to read.
I've been there and done that :)
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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statikregimen
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 128
Location: USA/Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

Holy crap - thank you!

I recompiled removing CONFIG_FB_NVIDIA, enabling DRI and nouveau. I also enabled FB_EFI and FB_SIMPLE. Something in that got me pretty far, but it was still freezing (or appearing to) on "fb: switching to nouveaufb from EFI VGA", which was resolved by adding nomodeset to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub

NOW, it's failing where I thought it would - finding my root partition which I think won't be too difficult to resolve. I just have to re-learn mdadm :)

Again, many thanks!!!
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