Kernel panic: VFS: unable to mount root fs

Kevin Alm kevinalm at shenessex.heartland.net
Mon Dec 13 15:58:15 PST 2004


Chris Lingard wrote:

>Clark, David A., SGT - 75th Rangers wrote:
>
>  
>
>>FIRST, THE N00B INTRODUCTION STUFF:
>>
>>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.
>>
>>NEXT, MY N00B PROBLEM:
>>
>>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-2.6.8.1 root=/dev/hda2
>>
>>That didn't work, so I tried this:
>>
>>root (hd0,3)
>>...
>>Kernel /lfskernel-2.6.8.1 root=/dev/hda4
>>    
>>
>
>Your root file system is /dev/hda4 ?
>
>Your boot partition is /dev/hda2  (hd0, 1)
>
>kernel (hd0,1)/vmlinuz-2.6.8.1 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
>
>Chris
>
>  
>
A couple of things.

in menu.lst an entry like:

root(hd0,1)

has nothing to do with / . It is the partion on which the 
/boot/grub/menu.lst and associated files that you are using reside. 
Iirc, in actuality the entry is ignored, as the boot process has passed 
it by time it is read.

One often overlooked reason for this kind of kernel panic is not having 
ide chipset support for the / drive ide port compiled in. I've had that 
happen with a Rescue Is Possible live cd. Had to customize it. Something 
to check anyway.

Regards,
Kevin
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