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Thread: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

  1. #1

    Default Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    Developers seem to just love systemd, the init system that is slowly but steadily taking over from SysV init. As a (selfish) end-user, my feeling about init systems is that, the better they are, the less they get in the end user's way.

    I purposely partitioned my hard drive in such a way that there would be slots where I could install new OS's, in order to try them out and play with them. This affects distros that use systemd in two ways.

    First, if the filesystem no longer matches what's in /etc/fstab, say, because I just installed a new OS on an existing partition, systemd sits there and prints an error message to VT1 that it can't find filesystem X on partition Y, seemingly forever. Will it ever stop and allow the end user to fix the problem? Probably, but who knows how long it'll take. I haven't had the patience to time it yet.

    My installed openSUSE doesn't have another related problem I've encountered with systemd, since it references partitions in /etc/fstab by disk ID rather than by UUID, but I've also seen (Fedora's) systemd spew out endless error messages after I installed a distro and it changed the UUID of a partition, because /etc/fstab had the old UUID of the partition in it.

    Is there at least a way to change the amount of time it takes systemd to time out and let you go to a login prompt?

    (The difference between systemd and Canonical's upstart is that upstart fails gracefully in this situation, and systemd does not. Upstart simply prints an error message to the screen, telling you it can't mount a partition, and allows you to skip mounting and continue booting or log into a console to fix the problem. And it doesn't take forever to do so.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    It is not quite clear to me what you are experiencing.

    You say you have partitions not used on an openSUSE system, say version A, so that you can install another version, say B on it. To me that means that those partitions are thus not in the fstab of system A. And when you then install B, I assume that you tell the installer to leave the partitions belonging to system A alone, not format them not mount them.

    I do not see how these completely seperate systems can have problems with changed file systems on partitions that they shoould not use.

    On the other hand, if you hve a partition and you change the file system type on it, you of course have to change e.g. from ext4 to btrfs in all the fstabs on all the systems that have an entry for it.

    And you also mention changing the UUID of a partition. That normaly is not a problem in openSUSE because it uses by-id by default. But when you changed the default for reasons known to you, then there are consesquences of course.

    And I fail to see the connection with systemd. But again, maybe I do not understand you at all. In that case, let this post be a hint to explain a bit more detailed. Probably with excerpts from your fstab (between CODE tags) to illustrate your case.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    I don’t see how systemd has anything to do with the reported observation either???

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    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID


    Of course if you change partitions or uuids or labels and do not inform
    fstab properly, and grub, you get problems on boot. This is not new with
    systemd.

    On 2014-01-25 18:36, hcvv wrote:

    > And I fail to see the connection with systemd. But again, maybe I do not
    > understand you at all. In that case, let this post be a hint to explain
    > a bit more detailed. Probably with excerpts from your fstab (between
    > CODE tags) to illustrate your case.


    The problem with systemd is that it does often not fail gracefully when
    there is a problem mounting the partitions it thinks it has to. System V
    was much better in this respect.

    Nothing we can do about that. I'm afraid.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 12.3 x86_64 "Dartmouth" at Telcontar)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    I keep all of my partitions mounted in each of the different operating systems I run. I have to edit /etc/fstab in each one when something changes. The problem is getting to a login prompt in the first place.

    To be specific (although specificity isn't really needed), yesterday I installed a Win8.1 demo on /dev/sda9. /dev/sda9 used to have a Linux distro on it that used an ext4 filesystem. Now it had an NTFS filesystem (and a different UUID, although openSUSE uses "by-id").

    I booted into openSUSE (which, to be specific, although specificity isn't really needed, is on /dev/sda6) to change the fstab entry from ext4 to ntfs-3g. However, instead of completing the boot process, systemd (one of its processes, actually) poured a bunch of error messages onto the terminal saying that it couldn't find an ext4 filesystem on /dev/sda9. And wouldn't stop.

    This is related to systemd because it was only after the change to systemd that this sort of thing started happening. With SysV Init, it would have just failed immediately with an error message. With upstart (the init system used by *buntu derivitives), it fails immediately with an error message. Only with systemd as the init system does the error go on, and on, and on, and on........

    So, does that make sense?

    I hit ctrl+alt+del to reboot into Kubuntu and fixed openSUSE's fstab from there.
    Last edited by eco2geek; 25-Jan-2014 at 12:17. Reason: Clarity

  6. #6

    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek View Post
    I booted into openSUSE (which, to be specific, although specificity isn't really needed, is on /dev/sda6) to change the fstab entry from ext4 to ntfs-3g. However, instead of completing the boot process, systemd (one of its processes, actually) poured a bunch of error messages onto the terminal saying that it couldn't find an ext4 filesystem on /dev/sda9. And wouldn't stop.

    This is related to systemd because it was only after the change to systemd that this sort of thing started happening. With SysV Init, it would have just failed immediately with an error message. With upstart (the init system used by *buntu derivitives), it fails immediately with an error message. Only with systemd as the init system does the error go on, and on, and on, and on........
    .
    Probably this bug:
    https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=832220

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    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    If you use the nofail option the mount should not hang if there is a problem with the partition because of changes in foreign partitions

  8. #8

    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    Well, looking at the output more carefully (since the problem is easily re-creatable by changing the filesystem for /dev/sda9 in fstab to the wrong one), it seems that the issue is really that systemd is trying to put me into "emergency mode" and failing to do so.

    The error message with mounting that it keeps repeating, ad infinitum, is

    EXT4-fs (sda9): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem

    (because, of course, the filesystem on sda9 is now NTFS, not ext4). (An inspection of the journal tells me, "Failed to mount /mnt/test. Unit mnt-test.mount entered failed state. mount: wrong fs type....", and so on. "/mnt/test" is the mountpoint for /dev/sda9.)

    I see messages interspersed with those that begin, "Welcome to emergency mode!..." but the system doesn't actually stop and give me an emergency mode login prompt; it just continues on displaying the error message.

    Perhaps systemd is mis-configured.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek View Post
    Perhaps systemd is mis-configured.
    As I already wrote, it's this bug:
    https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=832220


    And apparently they fixed it only recently (i.e. yesterday), because they were not able to reproduce it before.
    IIUIC the syslog.services (rsyslog.service, syslog-ng.service, and syslogd.service) cause this when active.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Annoying systemd problem when partitions change format or UUID

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek View Post
    I keep all of my partitions mounted in each of the different operating systems I run.
    I am not being critical here, this is a genuine question:

    ... But, why would you keep All of the partitions mounted in All of the operating systems at all times? Why not just mount those you need, and temporarily mount one of the other ones when you need it for only the amount of time that you need it?

    It would seem to me that doing what you are, is only asking for trouble, including security problems.

    -fb
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