My upgrade to Fedora 7: rocky start but great finish

Posted on
Tags:

Tonight I upgraded my main workstation from Fedora Core 6 to Fedora 7. The result is an impressively polished working environment. Everything is snappy and crisp. I love it. Kudos to the Fedora team!

Getting Fedora 7 to boot, however, took some doing.

After the upgrade, my workstation rebooted – and then hung. The problem was that the raid456 module wasn’t getting loaded by the kernel, and thus the kernel couldn’t detect my RAID-5 root filesystem, and thus Halt.

Interestingly, the corresponding error in the kernel boot log said that the module couldn’t be loaded because it existed:

error inserting /lib/raid456.ko: file exists

What’s the problem? The file is there, isn’t it? You just said so!

Booting into the install DVD’s rescue mode (very handy), I ran mkinitrd by hand to rebuild the initial disk image that primes the kernel with the modules it needs to boot the system. (An older version of mkinitrd would sometimes forget to add the raid456 module to the image, so I figured maybe that’s what the cryptic error message was hinting at.) I added the -v flag to the command line to see what was really going on and caught this interesting tidbit:

# kver=uname -r
# mkinitrd -v -f /boot/initrd-$kver.img$kver

...
Adding module raid456   <<== FLAMIN' MONKEY EYES TIMES TWO!
...