After rebooting my server i get the following error message:

Begin: Running /scripts/init-premount … done.
Begin: Mounting root file system … 
Begin: Running /scripts/local-top …
Volume group “ubuntu-vg” not found
Cannot process volume group ubuntu-vg
Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount …
Begin: Waiting for root file system …
Begin: Running /scripts/local-block …
mdadm: No arrays found in config file or automatically
Volume group “ubuntu-vg” not found
Cannot process volume group ubuntu vg
mdadm: No arrays found in config file or automatically # <-- approximately 30 times
mdadm: error opening /dev/md?*: No such file or directory
Gave up waiting for root file system device. 
Common problems:
-   Boot args (cat /proc/cmdline)
-   Check rootdelay= (did the system wait long enough?)
-   Missing modules (cat /proc/modules: ls /dev)
ALERT! /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-ubuntu--lv does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

The system drops to initramfs shell (busybox) where lvm vgscan doesn't find any volume groups and ls /dev/mapper only shows only one entry control.

When i boot the live SystemRescueCD, the Volume Group can be found and the LV is available as usual in /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-ubuntu--lv. I am able to mount it and the VG is set to active. So the VG and the LV look fine but something seems broken during the boot process.

Ubuntu 20.04 Server, LVM setup on top of hardware raid1+0 with 4 SSDs. The hardware RAID controller is HPE Smart Array P408i-p SR Gen10 controller with firmware version 3.00. Four HPE SSDs model MK001920GWXFK in a RAID 1+0 configuration. The server model is HPE Proliant DL380 Gen10.

No software raid, no encryption.

Any hints how to find the error and fix the problem?


/proc/partitions looks good enter image description here

blkid enter image description here


  • /dev/sdc1 is /boot/efi
  • /dev/sdc2 is /boot
  • /dev/sdc3 is the PV

Booting from an older kernel version worked once until executing apt update && apt upgrade. After the upgrade the older kernel had the same issue.


In the module /proc/modules I can find the following entry: smartpqi 81920 0 - Live 0xffffffffc0626000

No output for lvm pvs in initramfs shell.

Output for lvm pvchange -ay -v

No volume groups found.

Output for lvm pvchange -ay --partial vg-ubuntu -v

PARTIAL MODE. Incomplete logical volumes will be processed.
VG name on command line not found in list of VGs: vg-ubuntu
Volume group "vg-ubuntu" not found
Cannot process volume group vg-ubuntu

There is a second RAID controller with HDDs connected to another PCI slot; same model P408i-p SR Gen10. There is a volume group named "cinder-volumes" configured on top of this RAID. But this VG can't be found either in initramfs.


Here is a link to the requested files from the root FS:

  • /mnt/var/log/apt/term.log
  • /mnt/etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf
  • /mnt/etc/initramfs-tools/update-initramfs.conf


In the SystemRescueCD I mounted the LV / (root), /boot and /boot/efi and chrooted into the LV /. All the mounted volumes have enough disk space left (disk space used < 32%).

The output of update-initramfs -u -k is:

update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-
W: mkconf: MD subsystem is not loaded, thus I cannot scan for arrays.
W: mdadm: failed to auto-generate temporary mdadm.conf file

The image /boot/initrd.img-5.4.0-88-generic has an updated last modified date.

Problem remains after rebooting. The boot initrd parameter in the grub menu config /boot/grub/grub.cfg points to /initrd.img-5.4.0-XX-generic, where XX is different for each menu entry, i.e. 88, 86 and 77.

In the /boot directory I can find different images (?)


The link /boot/initrd.img points to the latest version /boot/initrd.img-5.4.0-88-generic.


Since no measure has led to the desired result and the effort to save the system is too great, I had to completely rebuild the server.

  • When the system goes to initramfs shell, run cat /proc/partitions to verify that the hardware RAID controller has been successfully detected and its logical drive(s) are visible. If the RAID drive that is supposed to contain the LVM PV is not visible, the most likely reason is that the driver for the hardware RAID controller has not been loaded: perhaps the correct module has not been included in initramfs. Try selecting the previous kernel version from the "advanced boot options" GRUB menu: if that works, but the latest kernel fails, then something is wrong with the new kernel's initramfs.
    – telcoM
    Oct 11 '21 at 15:22
  • @telcoM thanks for your answer. Seems like the hardware RAID controller can be detected. Could the error still depend on a missing module? If yes, is there any possibility to find out which one?
    – sebmal
    Oct 12 '21 at 8:23
  • In initramfs shell the etc/fstab file is empty. Is that normal?
    – sebmal
    Oct 12 '21 at 8:37
  • You might want to specify the make and model of the hardware RAID controller. The fact that the controller is visible in lspci output does not mean the driver module for it is loaded: lspci gets its information from the standard PCI(e) bus structures. Since the only goal of the initramfs is to mount the root filesystem, it does not have much need for /etc/fstab.
    – telcoM
    Oct 12 '21 at 9:18
  • It's a HPE Smart Array P480i-p SR Gen10 controller with firmware version 3.00. Four HPE SSDs model MK001920GWXFK in a RAID 1+0 configuration. The server model is HPE Proliant DL380 Gen10. That makes sense, with the etc/fstab.
    – sebmal
    Oct 12 '21 at 11:07

Since the problem went away by booting with an older kernel version, but reappeared after an upgrade, I think you might be accidentally switching kernel flavours: see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack for more details.

Basically, Ubuntu 20.04 may have one of three versions of Linux kernel in use:

  • the General Availability (GA) of Ubuntu 20.04 version: metapackage linux-generic
  • the OEM special version: metapackage linux-oem-20.04
  • the Long-Term Support Enablement / Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernel version: metapackage linux-generic-hwe-20.04

Your hardware might be so new it requires either the OEM or HWE kernel. But if the system was originally installed with the "wrong" kernel and then the correct one was manually installed, without installing the corresponding metapackage too, it is possible that the update mechanism now defaults to installing the latest kernel of the GA series, whose smartpqi driver might be too old for your hardware.

As suggested by paladin in the comments, you might want to boot from SystemRescueCD and look at the /var/log/apt/term.log in the system to figure out the exact kernel package version(s) that got replaced in the updates.

Once you know the correct kernel flavour, you can either try the boot menu again if it still holds an older kernel version that works, or boot from SystemRescueCD, mount the root LV and chroot into it, mount any other necessary filesystems, and then install the newest kernel package of the correct flavor, and then reboot.

If the system then runs to your satisfaction, then you should remove the metapackages associated with the "wrong" kernel flavours, if any are installed: those will direct apt in the choice of kernel flavour whenever a new kernel update becomes available.

If the kernel flavour turns out to be correct after all, then it might be something simpler, like insufficient disk space for update-initramfs to create a new initramfs file for new kernels.

That has an easy fix: first free up some disk space (clearing up apt caches with apt clean might come in handy), then run update-initramfs -u -k version-of-newest-kernel-package to re-create the initramfs file. You may wish to repeat this command for any kernel version that currently has a failing initramfs, just to give you more workable boot options in case there will be more problems in the future.

  • I tried update-initramfs (see edit 4 in my original post). I will have a look at the kernel flavorous tomorrow. Thank you very much for all your hints and your effort. I very much appreciate your support!
    – sebmal
    Oct 12 '21 at 18:23

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