kernel things; strange things, really really strange things

Martin Mittendorfer martin at
Tue Nov 13 14:51:01 PST 2001

i performed the lfs install by the book  (using the scripts) with the following setup

/dev/sda1 = red hat 7.0 installation
/dev/sda2 = swap
/dev/sda3 = lfs
/dev/sda4 = extended
/dev/sda5 = reiserlfs (same lfs on a reiserfs partition, wanted to try that)

basically it went well, except first i forgot to compile the SCSI-drivers into the kernels, but i quickly sorted that out. however, strange things happened, when i tried to do recompiles of the kernels. somehow i got the feeling not the ones i wanted were booting. 

i had copies of the lfs and reiserlfs-kernels in /boot on /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda3 (/dev/sda5 respectively for the reiserlfs version). well i thought, maybe since i did not have a /boot-partition by itself, it always took the ones from /dev/sda1 which i wouldn't want, because deleting that partition would then render all linuxi useless. (if this line of reasoning seems idiotic or incomprehensible to you, don't forget i still rate as a newbie)

so i removed the kernels from /dev/sda3 and /dev/sda5. it worked. "ha!" i thought.
i deleted the lfs and reiserlfs kernels from /dev/sda1. it still worked. "whut?" i thought.
never a man to shy away from brutality in order to gain knowledge, i moved all files in the /boot dirs to /boot/old (leaving /boot itself empty on all three partitions) and killed the /usr/src/linux dirs as well (newbie speaking again. since kernel-images reside there, who knows what a desperate boot-up-process might be up to to find one...).
the bloody system was still booting. 

how can that be? i still wonder where the kernel came from. does lilo create a copy of the kernel somewhere? i didn't think so.

maybe all this never happened and the hours of installing have driven me crazy. but i showed to my colleague and he was just as clueless. but if you do have a hint, i'd really appreciate it, because i plain don't understand how that worked and what the implications are. one thing i learned from that though, is that it's probably a good idea to have a /boot partition of its own at the start of the disk.


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