initrd.img and booting

From: john gennard (
Date: 10/21/04

  • Next message: nx13372a: "aptitude, dpkg, apt"
    Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 10:19:06 +0100

    I have a Sid installation with the 2.6.7-1 kernel, and have
    just compiled 2.6.8 (after weeks of trying, I cannot
    configure my USB network adaptor and hoped this might give
    me some clue to the problem).

    After creating the kernel-image.deb, I got the following
    message and selected b. (not wishing to find I couldn't
    boot at all):-
    Unpacking kernel-image- (from
    kernel-image- ...
    Setting up kernel-image- (10.00.Custom) ...
    /initrd.img does not exist. Installing from scratch, eh?
    Or maybe you don't want a symbolic link here. Hmm? Lets See.

    I note that you have an old initrd symbolic link in place. The name of
    the symbolic link is being changed to initrd.img I have two options
    here. I can: (A) delete the old symbolic link (default). You shall
    need to update the boot loader (b) Igore it and do nothing

    Please select one of a, or b:

    Please note that initrd points to the wrong image now
    Searching for GRUB installation directory ... found: /boot/grub .
    Testing for an existing GRUB menu.list file... found: /boot/grub/menu.lst .
    Searching for splash image... none found, skipping...
    Found kernel: /boot/vmlinuz-
    Found kernel: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.7-1-386
    Updating /boot/grub/menu.lst ... done

    /boot/grub/menu.lst includes the following (ignoring the recovery
    mode entries):-
    title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel
    root (hd0,8)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda9 ro
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-

    title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.7-1-386
    root (hd0,8)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.7-1-386 root=/dev/hda9 ro
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.7-1-386

    2.6.7 still boots, but 2.6.8 does not - I expected this,
    but I'm confused. For example, why are the entries for vmlinuz
    required? If they were used wouldn't the booting of 2.6.7 fail?

    /initrd is a link to boot/intrd.img-2.6.7-1
    /initrd.img is a link to boot/initrd.img-2.6.8
    /vmlinuz is a link to boot/vmlinuz-2.6.8
    /vmlinuz.old is a link to boot/vmlinuz-2.6.7-1

    What I would like to know (I don't want to experiment myself),
    is how do I arrange things so that grub will boot whichever
    kernel I select? Also, is there a URL or reference listing
    what should be compiled directly into a kernel to avoid the
    need to create an intrd.img?

    Can anyone give me an explanation please?


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