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grub2 hogging console?
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Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 731
Location: DC Burbs

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: grub2 hogging console? Reply with quote

In the process of doing my wiki writeups on mirrored btrfs system roots, I found what may be a problem with grub2. When my initramfs init script decided to error out and open a busybox rescue shell, it wasn't able to open the console with an error like

warning: unable to open an initial console.

It will also spew this when attempting to echo progress reports. I forced grub2 into text only mode thinking that there may have been modesetting or other problems, but that doesn't do any good. I suspect grub2 has a lock on the console that keeps busybox from opening it until after the root has pivoted into the hard drive and the initramfs gets flushed.

Without that rescue shell, I'm forced to debug by firing shots in the dark :?

I see this error all over the place googling around, but no-one seems to written up the grub team about it.
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Joined: 12 Aug 2003
Posts: 2486
Location: Silver City, NM

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I roll my own busybox and I include openvt as one of the commands. This opens a new virtual console. I usually do it from within a busybox shell. You should be able to use it to open up a shell in a different vt.

But the "unable to open an initial console" warning might not be caused by grub2. In fact, AFAIK, the bootloader should be TOTALLY out of the picture after the initrd (initramfs) fires up. AFAIK, there is no way to even know which boot loader was used (except maybe for clues left in /proc/cmdline). I would guess that the problem is inside your initrd. Although, I admit I have not ever touched grub2.

Perhaps whatever caused the error also caused other damage which prevents it from opening a console.
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