Recently, I decided to organise my partition scheme differently. Before I apply the changes on my physical machine, I decided to test it virtually, and met a little problem with GRUB.

Let me give you some information first. There is the scheme I plan to deploy :

  • / (primary), JFS, 40G (2GB on the virtual machine)
  • /boot (primary), ext2, 500M (200MB on the virtual machine)
  • /home (logical), ext4, 200G (8GB on the virtual machine)
  • /srv (logical), ext4, 5G (200MB on the virtual machine)
  • swap (logical), 4G (512MB on the virtual machine)

The new distribution will be Arch Linux, 64 bits (32 bits on the virtual machine). I successfully installed the new system on the virtual machine, but on reboot, GRUB seems to have a problem due to the JFS root partition : it cannot find several files in /boot/grub/i386-pc (mods, such as relocator or all_video).

At first, I thought it was due to the separate boot partition, but the problem persists if I include it in the primary root. However, when I use an ext4 for the / partition, GRUB loads perfectly.

It may be a problem with GRUB handling JFS partitions, however I remember that the GNU GRUB project applied a patch to fix this issue a while ago. As another test, I've created the same structure, but using ext4 instead of JFS for / : GRUB loads correctly.

Is there any specific configuration to be applied for GRUB to load a JFS partition without problems ?


Try adding ro to your grub commandline.

Take a look at the gentoo docs:

If your root filesystem is JFS, you must add " ro" to the kernel line since JFS needs to replay its log before it allows read-write mounting.

  • I'm afraid I faced a mystery there... I was going to try adding ro, so I reinstalled another virtual machine and "ro" was already there in grub.cfg... I set (in the order) / (jfs), /boot (ext2), /home, /srv (ext4) and a swap, and it worked fine... – John WH Smith Jun 27 '13 at 15:50
  • Too bad we wont find out :/ – flob Jun 27 '13 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.