Starting a FAI installation using kexec - technical thread

Torsten Schlabach tschlabach at
Thu May 28 15:38:45 CEST 2009


Quick update on this subject:

I decided to spend the money and have a technician in the DC connect an 
IP based KVM remote console temporarily, so if the book process hangs, I 
can see now *why* it hangs.

In contrast to what has been said here before, there seems to be a 
difference between the stock Debian initrd from the kernel package and 
the FAI initrd. (I am just talking about the initrd, not about the 
kernel as such.)

1. Trying this with the stock Debian initrd:

Begin: Mounting root filesystem ... /init: .: line 171: can't open 
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

2. Using the FAI initrd copied from the nfsroot instead:

Begin: Running /scripts/live-premount ... done.
IP-Config: eth0 hardware address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx mtu 1500 DHCP RARP

So this is trying to do DHCP despite a ip= kernel command line with a 
static config.

Interesting enough, nothing ever comes after this DHCP line. No timeout, 
no error message, nohting. But AFAIK there is no DHCP available in the 
data center, so trying to configure the network interface via DHCP is 
pretty pointless here.

So I might want to make some experiments with modifying the scripts 
inside the initrd.

The question may be OT on this list, but has the ip=... kernel parameter 
any meaning when using an initrd?


Thomas Lange schrieb:
>>>>>> On Thu, 28 May 2009 12:56:15 +0200, Torsten Schlabach <tschlabach at> said:
>     > To ask a simple question:
>     > There is no FAI install kernel anymore; FAI is using a stock Debian 
>     > kernel now, right?
> Yep, FAI is using a stock Debian kernel, which includes some
> hooks/plugins for initramfs. We use the live-initramfs packages that
> add some script into the initrd.
>     > Is there mabye a FAI initrd
> You can find the "FAI initrd" inside the nfsroot. /srv/fai/nfsroot/...../boot
>     > system" howto it says "the NFS support must be statically compiled into 
>     > the kernel".
> That's not true nowadays.
>     > Also quite honestly I could use some pointer to understanding that /live 
>     > dir in the initrd which is used by FAI today ... What's in there which 
>     > is no longer in the NFS root for example? Does the whole install run out 
>     > of the /live dir now?
> That's part of live-initramfs, but you do not need to care about this.
> FAI is runnung from /. AFAIK /live is only used during boot, before a
> pivot_root is done.

More information about the linux-fai mailing list