My Debian sid machine had been booting kernel 4.13 from a raid array for several months without issue. 2 days ago I upgraded the platform and now booting fails like this: enter image description here

Additionally, the initramfs prompt does not accept any input, so I cannot investigate from there.

I have an older kernel (4.9*)) which still boots fine.

These things I tried so far:

  • Used kernel param "rootdelay=10"
  • Installed a newer kernel (4.19): fails the same way
  • Compared the initrams of 4.13 and 4.9: the init script had some changes. Downgraded initramfs-tools from 132 to 130, now the initrams are same (according to diff on extracted files), but 4.13 still has that issue.
  • The mentioned UUID c28..e99 is correct

Do you have any idea how to fix this?

*) Which I cannot use because compiling the NVIDIA module fails because of unknown rela relocation and I don't want to downgrade binutils (yet).


There is a new bug affecting at least Debian sid, testing (so near to a freeze...) (and also Archlinux) related to systemd 240, more specifically to its udev component, possibly udevadm: udev 240 Makes System Unbootable; rootfs Not Found

This bug leads to no devices being enumerated in /dev by udev: no disk (perhaps only no /dev/disk/, so no UUID rather than no /dev/sda?). Probably same with no USB enumeration so no keyboard unless it's a PS/2 port, etc. can't really tell.

It's not related to the kernel, but upgrading kernel as well as boot components triggers the rebuild of the initramfs boot part: make a backup of the still working 4.9 kernel's initramfs file, it can still be lost later.

Reverting to udev (and libudev1) 239-15 is said to fix the issue for now. Be sure initramfs is rebuilt for all kernels not just the current one.

UPDATE: udev 240-4 in sid includes the upstream fix for this issue:

  * sd-device-monitor: Fix ordering of setting buffer size.
    Fixes an issue with uevents not being processed properly during coldplug
    stage and some kernel modules not being loaded via "udevadm trigger".
    (Closes: #917607)
  • Thanks a lot. Indeed, downgrading udev and libudev1 from 240-3 to 232-25+deb9u6 (no other available in the repo) did the trick. Ah, yes, and "scrounging up a ps/2 keyboard" as OP of #917607 did, let me work from the initramfs prompt.
    – holunda
    Jan 12 '19 at 12:13
  • Additional question for my understanding: is udev installed inside the initram? If so, my diff should have spotted a difference to the 4.9 one. If not, meaning the same udev is called regardless which kernel (and initram) I boot, should not 4.9 be also affected by udev 240's issue?
    – holunda
    Jan 12 '19 at 12:27
  • udev is inside the initramfs. upgrading udev triggers rebuild of current kernel's initramfs, older is left untouched.
    – A.B
    Jan 12 '19 at 12:32
  • also follow the link at the end of my answer: snapshot.debian.org does have the packages there. see my answer there if you really need it in a repo: unix.stackexchange.com/a/490356/251756 (including the comment on number 1001) but you can rely on https and download it directly too
    – A.B
    Jan 12 '19 at 12:39
  • and last comment: diff is not meant to compare binary files. udevadm is a binary executable, diff would only display binary files differ
    – A.B
    Jan 12 '19 at 12:43

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