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Linux tip: Finding rootfs during boot

Mar 12, 2009, 17:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lei Jiang)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"The root file system (named rootfs in our sample error message) is the most basic component of Linux. A root file system contains everything needed to support a full Linux system. It contains all the applications, configurations, devices, data, and more. Without the root file system, your Linux system cannot run.

"You may have experienced the cannot mount rootfs error (followed by your Linux host getting a kernel panic) after you reboot your system. This will most likely happen after you have attached some storage volumes from external storage. Or, it can also happen when you have finished copying files and need a reboot to finish installation.

"If this happens, your system will not restart. It could take time to troubleshoot this problem and fix it. This set of tips should help you solve the problem and save time.

"Another culprit could be the fact that your Linux kernel needs to mount the root file system, but it can't find the target device. In other words, your root file system doesn't show up where it is supposed to be. For example, you install your Linux root file system on disk /dev/sda, but your system can't mount it during reboot. There are two possible reasons for this:"

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