Kernel panic: VFS: unable to mount root fs

Chris Lingard chris at
Mon Dec 13 14:02:23 PST 2004

Clark, David A., SGT - 75th Rangers wrote:

> Hi. My name is David. My friends at work call me Sparky, and it worked as
> a user name. A while back, I first made the switch from Windows to Linux,
> and found Gentoo to be a good starting point for me. I was never happier.
> :)
> Lo and behold, my wife--who is, incidentally, not very savvy with these
> sort of things--hated it. Naturally, I installed Windows again to sleep
> better at night, but I left half of my disc blank for the day I'd install
> Linux again.
> Fast forward a few months, and I found LFS, which a couple people talked
> about on the board as "the way to go if you really want to learn Linux". I
> downloaded the most recent book, packages, and patches; burnt one of the
> Live CDs; and off I went. I followed along with the book without a
> hitch--learning a LOT along the way--all the way until after the part
> where you reboot, register, and enjoy.
> Kernel panic: VFS: unable to mount root fs
> I'm not a total idiot, and I THOUGHT I knew how to fix the problem, until
> everything I knew to check checked out.
> So, I checked the FAQ, and here's where I'm at...
> Q: Did you specify the correct partition in /etc/lilo.conf?
> A: Menu.lst applies to me because I'm using Grub. Windows is installed on
> /dev/hda0, Linux on /dev/hda4 (ext3), with /boot on /dev/hda2 (ext2) and
> my swapfile on /dev/hda2. My guess is that menu.lst should look like this:
> root (hd0,1)
> ...
> kernel /lfskernel- root=/dev/hda2
> That didn't work, so I tried this:
> root (hd0,3)
> ...
> Kernel /lfskernel- root=/dev/hda4

Your root file system is /dev/hda4 ?

Your boot partition is /dev/hda2  (hd0, 1)

kernel (hd0,1)/vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda4

You must have ext3 built into your kernel

Your /etc/fstab should be set up according to the above.

When you boot you can use grub in command mode; press "c"

Then you can do kernel (hd0, 1) /vmli<tab> to check that things are right


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