[lug] Reiserfs and lilo 2.0

Installer jkarns at csd.net
Mon Feb 19 16:13:22 MST 2001

For the past few days I've been on a merry-go-round attempting to convert
my root partition to reiserfs.  At boot time I am unable to mount a root
partition which has been formatted for reiserfs.

My system specifics are:

SuSE7.0 with lilo 21

2 SCSI disks


/dev/sda2       swap                      swap            defaults   0   0
/dev/sda5       /                         reiserfs        defaults   1   1
/dev/sda1       /boot                     ext2            defaults   1   2

I did a clean install to a new SCSI drive (which is reflected in the fstab
file above).  SuSE7.0 installs with a 2.2.16 kernel patched for reiserfs
(/boot/vmlinuz).  The system boots fine from their install, which
evidently uses a ramdisk.  I have compiled a generic 2.2.18 kernel with
reiserfs patch 3.5.29, which I have installed and working with lilo 21.

I've copied /etc/fstab from the working SuSE install to the old disk and
adapted it to the partition scheme

When I boot from the new installation with the patched kernel I get a
kernel panic when it tries to mount the reiserfs root partition.  I am
able to boot from the distro CD's and mount all partitions with the SuSE
2.2.16 kernel.

I am also able to boot from the non-reiserfs disk, with the same patched
2.2.18 kernel.  Then I can mount the reiserfs partition on the new disk
just fine, so it's not a kernel problem.

While reading some SuSE list archives I saw that a number of people are
successfully booting from reiserfs root partitions after upgrading lilo to
current verions, so I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade lilo as
well (21.6.1).  So I DL'd it and compiled from source.

Then I encounter a second problem: lilo then chokes on the kernel saying
that it has an invalid compression type and halts.  The kernel is compiled
to bzImage.  I can't compile to zImage, as it is too big to link.  The
docs included with the lilo source say nothing about this kind of

Anybody here run into any of this in converting to reiserfs?  I can't just
stick with the SuSE 2.2.16 either, as it's vmware incompatible. 

John Karns                                              jkarns at csd.net

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