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List Archive: gentoo-desktop
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To: gentoo-desktop@g.o
From: Lindsay Haisley <fmouse-gentoo@...>
Subject: Re: System problems
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 20:57:14 -0500
On Mon, 2011-03-21 at 00:10 +0100, Roman Zilka wrote:
> > /etc/fstab has been edited several times, as I noted in my post.  The
> > kernel, udev and /etc/fstab have been now been reverted, as I also noted, so
> > I could get the desktop working.  Considering that, posting any of the
> > information you've asked for would probably be useless.
> OK, so be it, fstab is not that important.

Actually, /etc/fstab has been central to the problem, since the system
seems to be unable to interpret it during the boot process, although the
kernel correctly interprets the same drive spec when it's on the kernel
cmd line in menu.lst.

> > Roman, if you don't have any useful insights based on the information I
> > already posted, then please don't post on thread and leave it to others
> > who may.
> I may have useful insights that are different from the insights posted
> previously by other people. But I need your `emerge --info` and kernel
> conf for that first. To give you a hint of explanation: I need the
> kernel conf to look for whatever may be wrong in there.

What I'll do is this, Roman.  I've emerged the linux-2.6.36-gentoo-r5
kernel and built it with the _stock_ Gentoo settings.  I'll add the
specific drivers for my hardware, such as my NIC and dual sound cards,
rebuild the kernel again and take another shot at it when my time
allows.  If the problem persists, _then_ my kernel .config may be a
candidate for more eyes to look at than mine.

As you kind of point out, it really doesn't make sense to work with
trying to whip into shape a kernel that's no longer even in the portage
tree, and probably shouldn't be used in any event, and which has been
configured with my legacy .config setup.

This will take some of the variables out of the problem and if
necessary, perhaps we can look at the situation more cleanly.

>  There's no
> point in sending you a working conf for my (i.e., different) machine -
> there's plenty of those lying around the net, as we both know. I assume
> you have either already tried one of those or simply don't want to use
> one for some reason.

I'm going to start with the _stock_ Gentoo kernel config, which should
at very least bring up the drives.  If I can get the drives and boot
process to work, then I can add modules and facilities after that.

>  Thus, it's possible that you keep making a
> recurring mistake while modifying default / borrowed / your own old
> configs.

This is absolutely true, as noted above.

>  And I need to see your conf to discover such potential
> mistakes. As for `emerge --info`, it may uncover problems relevant in
> this case too.

"emerge --info" is the the stock Gentoo system profile, and I'll be
happy to share it, but in this case I'm looking at what's almost a
"pre-Gentoo" issue, involving the kernel and the boot-up.

> Please, cooperate with those whom you'd asked for help. Writing these
> several paragraphs worth of e-mail text as a reply was a waste of time
> for you - it clearly hasn't produced any help at all regarding your
> booting issue.

Taking the desktop system off-line, re-emerging udev, bringing it up
into its failure mode with a newer kernel and pulling the necessary
pieces together, then backing out and putting everything back so the
system is actually fairly usable is a major hassle.  I have had _zero_
time to work on this problem since I posted this morning, but will be
able to take another run at it this evening, hopefully.  Writing is no
effort for me, and doesn't disable my desktop ;)  

>  On the other hand, sending me what I'd asked for right
> away would not only eat up much less of your time, it might have
> yielded a solution by now. I suppose you're asking for help because you
> understand that others may be more knowledgeable than yourself.

We are all have different skill and knowledge sets, and sometimes, as
everyone has found out, the very process of organizing the presentation
of a problem to others leads one to a solution.

> > Can you cite a source or sources for this assertion?
> The source is the very reality of change of things in the world over
> time. Software evolves and because hardly anything in nature has
> infinite duration,

I was hoping for something a little less nebulous ;-)

> And some of those are relatively serious security holes and it'd take a
> really special handling of the system to avoid them. And I'm talking
> about handling that'd probably render an Internet-connected desktop box
> with a web browser unusable.

This desktop box is on an RFC-1918 masqueraded network.  It has zero
exposure to the Internet, except insofar as the firewall will permit
traffic from related and established connections, as per the firewall
NAT rules.  The only other person on the LAN is my sweetie, and as far
as I know I can trust her not to black-hat hack my desktop system :-)
All my professional work is done via VPNs to my client's systems.

> And yes, Gentoo devs deem 2.6.29 dangerous too - that's why it isn't in
> the current Portage tree at all (vanilla-sources and gentoo-sources).
> Kernel devs themselves deem it dangerous and they don't maintain that
> branch anymore.

Thanks, Roman.  This is very useful lore.  As I noted, I've moved on to

> > In almost every case, I've found that people who lecture me online about
> > my system admin practices don't really have a handle on the issue about
> > which I'm writing.  Please prove me wrong :-)
> I suppose one can say I've done just that, having written what I've
> written. At least I hope did so in a sensitive way. There's no need to
> defend your admin skills in case you happen to feel offended by
> something above. Why is there no need? Because failing in an honest
> effort is not a reason for disregard for a human being. So there's
> actually no harm for you from that.

No problem, sir.  I've already moved on.

Tonight or tomorrow evening I'll add the necessary minimal mods to the
stock build of the Gentoo kernel noted above, and take another shot at
this problem.  _If_ I continue to have this problem then I'll post my
results to this list in a somewhat more ordered fashion.  Rather than
posting my entire kernel .config, emerge --info and /etc/fstab to this
list, which I consider questionable netiquette, I'll put it on my
personal file space on one of my servers and post the URL.  We can take
it from there.

Thanks for your help.  Unless you have specific suggestions for me to
try out, you might want to stand by until I've had a chance to take a
shot at the problem with the newer kernel.


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Re: System problems
-- Roman Zilka
Re: System problems
-- Dale
System problems
-- Lindsay Haisley
Re: System problems
-- Roman Zilka
Re: System problems
-- Lindsay Haisley
Re: System problems
-- Roman Zilka
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Updated Jun 28, 2012

Summary: Archive of the gentoo-desktop mailing list.

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