Boot Fedora from a reiserfs root

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If you attempted to boot a fedora core installation out of a root partition of reiserfs type you will most likely encounter an error, it may look something like this.

VFS: Can't find ext3 filesystem on /dev/hda1

mount: error 22 mounting ext3

...

kernel panic - not syncing attempting to kill init.

With a little tweaking it's possible to boot your Fedora Installation off a reiser filesystem, The most important thing to realise is that reiserfs is compiled as a module and not part of the main kernel. That would have been ok, if the default ram disk does include this module, apparently it does not.

1) edit the fstab

Once you boot up your system using the rescue mode (or using a live cd like damn small linux or knoppix), you need to edit your fstab to ensure that the '/' entry points to the correct location and that the fstype is set to reiserfs.

2) Create ram disk.

Look in /lib/modules/ to find out what version of linux you are using. In the case of Fedora Core 3 it is 2.6.9-1.667. Then you can create a ram disk by invoking the mkinitrd command. (mkinitrd initrd-2.6.9-1.667.img 2.6.9-1.667)

3) Boot manager.

Copy the image produced above into the boot folder under a different name and modify your existing record in grub.conf to use the new ramdisk. For example in my case the initrd entry was changed to: initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-1.667.2.img

4) grub-install

The easiest way to updat the boot manager is to use the grub-install command. In my case i use grub-install /dev/hda

5) reboot and enjoy

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