Kernel PANIC: pivot_root fails on boot

Robert Locke rlocke at
Tue Aug 3 00:27:57 UTC 2004

On Mon, 2004-08-02 at 19:23, Alexander Dalloz wrote:
> Am Di, den 03.08.2004 schrieb Bert Buckley - Uniq Software/Systems um
> 1:23:
> > I am running Fedora Core 1.  I recently had the system crash,
> > which is of course most unusual.  After the crash, I cannot reboot,
> > even though the file systems are clean.
> > 
> > Some details:
> > 
> > Error on attempted boot:
> > 
> > 	pivot_root: pivot_root(/sysroot, /sysroot/initrd) failed: 2
> > 
> > Last successful command before failure:
> > 
> > 	kjournald...Commit 5 secs
> > 	EXT3-fs mounted with ordered data mode.
> > Bert
> Be sure /initrd directory exists with following permissions:
> $ ls -ld /initrd/
> drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096  7. Okt 2003  /initrd/
> Alexander
> P.S. Update to latest FC1 kernel .2197.

Usually a "pivot_root" is the transition from the initrd over to the
real root file system as specified on the kernel line in the grub.conf,
or maybe I am assuming you are later in the boot process....

So, what does the kernel line inside your grub.conf look like?

kernel /vmlinuz-<kernel version> ro root=LABEL=/

You might want to consider changing the end of the line to not use a
LABEL since it is trying to read that from inside the superblock...


kernel /vmlinuz-<kernel version> ro root=/dev/hdxn

where /dev/hdxn is the partition your "/" file system is on (perhaps,
something like /dev/hda2 or something along those lines).  You can even
try doing it from within the grub splash screen by choosing "a" or "e"
when GRUB first comes up to see if it works.  Remember that what you do
with "a" or "e" inside of grub is temporary and only affects the version
of grub.conf in "memory" not on disk.

If that fixes your booting, you can try to fix the label by using the
"e2label" command.... or you can edit /boot/grub/grub.conf to make the
change permanent...


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