Rawhide / F19 tester PSA: Don't install the F19 fedora-release yet. If you do, don't install a kernel. If you do THAT, don't reboot.

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Thu Mar 14 19:57:07 UTC 2013

So I installed fedora-release from the F19 repo and did a yum 
distro-sync today. Then I installed a new kernel build. Then I rebooted.

Then nothing would boot at all.

It turns out this is because the release name of Fedora 19 is:

Schrödinger's Cat

with a single quote used as an apostrophe. That release name gets 
written into the grub entry for a kernel when you're installing it. 
Unfortunately, the lines it goes onto look like this:

menuentry 'Fedora (3.9.0-0.rc2.git0.4.fc20.x86_64) 19 (Schrödinger's 
Cat)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os 
'gnulinux-simple-a749ca4b-0cea-4db0-883d-5c036d89e5c5' {


echo 'Loading Fedora (3.9.0-0.rc2.git0.4.fc20.x86_64) 19 (Schrödinger's 

note how both lines use single quotes for quoting. The single quote in 
the release name terminates the quotes early, and leaves the rest of the 
stuff that's meant to be inside the single quotes as garbage lying 
around the config file.

The upshot of this - for me anyway - is that the entry for the offending 
kernel didn't show up on the grub menu at all, and neither of my other 
kernels would boot, though they did appear (somehow, this borkage causes 
grub not to pass in any kernel parameters). So I was kinda stuck.

The fix was to boot live, mount my /boot partition, edit the grub config 
file, and take the single quotes out of all occurrences of 
"Schrödinger's Cat". I also replaced the umlauted o (that was my first 
guess at the cause of the problem), but I'm not sure if that's necessary.

So - don't get bitten by this :) If you really want to get on the F19 
branch, then just make sure you hand-check your grub config file before 
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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