I have been working on building a linux kernel for qemu. I have been following the tutorial http://xecdesign.com/compiling-a-kernel/ As of now i have been able to boot the kernel until start of init process. But i have been getting the following error: "Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!" I tried debugging and found that executing /sbin/init in the function kernel_init() is resulting in the kernel panic.

Freeing init memory: 120K
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!
[<c0017348>] (dump_backtrace+0x0/0x10c) from [<c02fb118>] (dump_stack+0x18/0x1c)
 r6:cf815d60 r5:c03f179c r4:c0409738
[<c02fb100>] (dump_stack+0x0/0x1c) from [<c02fb25c>] (panic+0x64/0x188)
[<c02fb1f8>] (panic+0x0/0x188) from [<c0029d24>] (do_exit+0x564/0x61c)
 r3:cf815d60 r2:cf81be54 r1:cf81be54 r0:c0376584
[<c00297c0>] (do_exit+0x0/0x61c) from [<c002a03c>] (do_group_exit+0x44/0xa4)
[<c0029ff8>] (do_group_exit+0x0/0xa4) from [<c0033e34>] (get_signal_to_deliver+0x13c/0x478)
[<c0033cf8>] (get_signal_to_deliver+0x0/0x478) from [<c0016620>] (do_signal+0x6c/0x530)
[<c00165b4>] (do_signal+0x0/0x530) from [<c0017070>] (do_notify_resume+0x50/0x5c)
[<c0017020>] (do_notify_resume+0x0/0x5c) from [<c0014438>] (work_pending+0x24/0x28)
Rebooting in 1 seconds..

I am using a custom root file system generated using buildroot. The same rootfs works fine with the "kernel-qemu" originally downloaded from https://xecdesign.com/downloads/linux-qemu/kernel-qemu

Can somebody help me with getting this right? Let me know if further info is required.

  • Did you compile your kernel with SELinux support? (You can check that on the menuconfig.) If so, you can try to turn it off by appending selinux=0 on the kernel command line.
    – herbert
    Sep 30, 2015 at 18:19
  • @herbert I checked in menuconfig and selinux is not enabled. But I can see "Unix Discretionary Access Controls" enabled under default security module menu. I am not aware about its function as of now and I am researching.
    – pradeepmcp
    Oct 1, 2015 at 4:43
  • Check the answer suggesting the use of kpartx in this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/18776387/… . After using kpartx and loopback-mounting the image to comment out the line in ld.so.preload, I managed to boot normally (with the default init).
    – avl_sweden
    Oct 17, 2015 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


I found the fix with the help of this thread. I had to enable CONFIG_AEABI in my kernel.


Mount the file system and type these commands (assuming you mounted in a directory called fs):

cd fs/etc
mv ld.so.preload ld.so
cd ../..
umount fs

Then start

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