Kernel (2.4.X series) not doing the initial boot.

Stephane Enten tuf at
Sat Oct 6 16:52:23 CEST 2001

On Sat, Oct 06, 2001 at 12:38:32AM +0200, Jens Ruehmkorf wrote:
 > Hi Stephane, hi all!


 > > However, when booting the client machine with this floppy,
 > > "nothing happens", sniffing the network (with tcpdump
 > > analyzing broadcasts and also packets from/to the MAC
 > > address of the interface) showed that the kernel isn't
 > > even doing the initial BOOTP/DHCP request.
 > What's the exact error message that this kernel is complaining about
 > (should be something about RPC and Root-NFS I think)? Did you use a
 > vanilla 2.4.x from or kernel-source-2.4.x from Herbert Xu?

The exact error message was:
"Root-NFS: No NFS server available, giving up.".

First thinking about a misconfiguration on the BOOTP/DHCP/TFTP/NFS
servers, then I did some sniffing and discovered that the box wasn't
sending any ethernet packet at all.

The kernels used for thoses test was vanilla 2.4.10 and 2.4.9-ac7.

 > Could you send us a .config and a screendump as well?

I attach the .config used for the minimalist kernel used.

For the screendump ... I'll do some with a digital camera on Monday
(or before if I happen to be at the office this week-end).
Which information can be revelant ? Ethernet devices driver (Intel
EtherExpress Pro 100, BTW) was loaded and IP stack compiled in.

 > Which kernel version do you use? Did you try 2.4.4 as well (I read on
 > linux-kernel about some associated problems)?

I didn't try with 2.4.4 ... juste stock Linus 2.4.10 and Alan Cox's

 > On request I could send you a working nfsroot kernel I built / the .config
 > I used to build.

Well, whynot, I'm sure I'll have to tweak the DHCP configuration somehow
later, but my first problem seems to be the kernel not even doing the
BOOTP/DHCP request.

So a kernel image know to success on that could help. However ... I did
doublecheck the kernel options for the IP_PNP and NFS/NFSROOT.


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