mkelfImage initrd help

Don Elwell don at
Wed Mar 24 09:39:01 CET 2004

ron minnich wrote:
> well your output is very puzzling. We do this all the time, although I 
> have not yet tried 2.4.25. I think the last time I did this was 2.4.22

The exact same setup (identical initrd image) works perfectly with 
2.4.22 *and* 2.6.0-test3 kernels.  I'll be building and trying a plain 
(i.e. from 2.4.25 kernel this evening (the version I've 
been testing with is the -lck1 performance patches -- which themselves 
could be causing the problem).

> It's almost as though something in the kernel is trashing the ramdisk when 
> it starts up. 
> But you say it did work from cdrom, which makes this even weirder.

Yes, the errant kernel (2.4.25) will boot from CD-ROM using ISOLINUX 
(separate kernel/initrd images).  That identical image will not boot 
using Etherboot (single kernel/initrd image made with mkelfImage).  By 
simply replacing the kernel in the mkelfImage to either 2.4.22 or 
2.6.0-test3 the system boots normally.

> I hope it is not some random DMA from ethernet landing sometime after 
> kernel starts, but it sounds too reproducible. 

I agree.  This happens exactly the same time, every time.  Coupled with 
the fact that the other kernels work, I think Etherboot and mkelfImage 
are doing what they are supposed to do.

> I think you're stuck with some more etherboot debugging. Do you have to 
> use net boot? 

The systems we're building only have Ethernet/serial to the outside 
world (they do have a CF internal).  My thought was to have them net 
boot in their production test that (in addition to running production 
tests on the system) also puts the correct application image(s) on the 
CF.  Also, I didn't want the techs to have to take apart the units to 
re-image the CF.

But, PROGRESS!!!!!  I'm not married to the 2.4.25 kernel in any way.  I 
could just as easily use 2.4.22 (which we use in other systems now 
anyway).  (unfortunately :-) ) My curiosity has been piqued -- I gotta 
know whats causing this!

More to come.


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