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From: Darryl Ross (spam_at_afoyi.com)
Date: Thu 11 Nov 2004 - 22:09:25 GMT

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Mathieu Doidy wrote:

| well, I had come to the same conclusions.
| The big hurdle is that I am hundreds km far away from the machine

Don't you hate that? I am in South Australia and maintains systems all
across Australia, so I know what you're talking about!

| so I can't easily test kernels to understand which redhat patch is
| necessary. I don't want to disturb someone near the computer every
| 30mins to reboot.

I noticed that the version of LILO that is included in the version of
Debian version that we're using at work at the moment has a command line
switch when you run it to tell it to only boot the new kernel once and
then switch back to the default kernel. This reduces the problems of
having to have staff on-site selecting the kernel at boot time. If it
panics, we tell them to just hit the reset button and it'll come back up
on the old kernel.

I went looking for that option on my redhat/fedora machine and couldn't
find it ..

Fedora Core 1:
[darryl_at_fs darryl]$ /sbin/lilo -V
LILO version 21.4-4

Debian Woody:
darryl_at_gw:~$ /sbin/lilo -V
LILO version 22.2

~From memory the option is the '-R' command line switch. (And typical,
now I go look for it, it's on that Fedora machine!)

| That's why I was looking for a (well-)tested patch appliable to redhat
| sources.

Generally the only thing that will stop a machine from booting (in my
experience anyway) is missing the drivers for the hard drive
controllers, the root file system or perhaps not enabling the console.

Once the system has booted far enough to mount the root filesystem then
the rest of the drivers that are in /lib/modules/`uname -r` become

If you can't build the drivers into the kernel (or haven't) then you
need to build an initrd. That's normally just a case of:

[root]# mkinitrd /boot/initrd-`uname -r`.img `uname -r`

Of course you need to tell LILO/Grub to load it, but that's generally
all it takes.


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