Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-bugs (4760 mails)

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[Bug 597723] boot partition may exceed certain BIOS limits
  • From: bugzilla_noreply@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:38:40 +0000
  • Message-id: <20100422103840.AB723CC69A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

--- Comment #41 from Thomas Fehr <fehr@xxxxxxxxxx> 2010-04-22 10:38:37 UTC ---
Said machine is in use for years and never showed this behaviour.

The exact same autoyast XML file that fails to boot with Milestone 5 installs
and boots succesfully with every installed openSuSE and SLES release so far.

Uwe told me the originally failing scenario was his standard autoyast test XML
file which he routinely installs with every release he tests.

I consider it extremely unlikely that the BIOS could be much involved here,
the BIOS does simply not care if it boots a SLES/openSuSE
11.2/Milestone4/Milestone5 and the disk layout is the same when installing
different versions
with same XML file via autoyast.

Note that I also do not necessrily claim that the problem really is in grub
itself. But to be able to investigate the problem there is a profound level of
knowledge of grub and booting necessary. On the other hand I consider it quite
brave to exclude a grub bug currently. Grub would be the first non-trivial
program without bugs. Especially since we have some things new in Milestone 5
that never have been present on any SuSE release. These are:

- parted aligns partitions on multiples of 8192 sectors, previouly partitions
were aligned on a cylinder boundaries
- first release of kernel 2.6.34, good knows what changed
- major/minor device numbers of block devices are quite strange since kernel
has CONFIG_DEBUG_BLOCK_EXT_DEVT set. Therefore "ls -l /dev/sda*" gives:
ugtest:/> ls -l /dev/sda*
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 259, 0 Apr 22 05:22 /dev/sda
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 259, 524288 Apr 22 04:58 /dev/sda1
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 259, 262144 Apr 22 04:58 /dev/sda2
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 259, 786432 Apr 22 04:58 /dev/sda3
while it tradionally was:
Lagrange:/mounts/dist/install # ls -l /dev/sda?
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 1 Apr 19 15:08 /dev/sda1
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 2 Apr 19 15:09 /dev/sda2
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 3 Apr 19 15:08 /dev/sda3

So I consider it much more worthwile to at least try to find out what
exactly prevents booting a machine that worked fine with all older releases
instead of claiming the BIOS must be responsible and grub cannot have any
bugs. Any of the above mentioned changes could potentially trigger so far
dormant bugs in any low level program.

Since there is normally no separate /boot partition there is not much chance
in putting it at the front of a disk. Root partitions need to be much larger
than 500MB to install a resonable software selection so one hardly can
guarantee that file are located on first 500MB of disk.

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