problem with nfs install

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Tue Jul 2 09:28:42 PDT 2002

On Tue, 2 Jul 2002, Greg MATTHEWS wrote:

> i have copied the redhat 7.3 disks to a partition on my master node but i'm 
> getting the following error on the node while trying to install by nfs:
> VFS: Can't find ext2 filesystem on dev loop(7,0)
> here is the start of my kickstart file:
> lang en_US
> network --bootproto dhcp
> nfs --server --dir /mnt/installimage
> device ethernet eepro100
> keyboard uk
> zerombr yes
> ....
> this works fine but if i change the --dir option to point to the partition 
> with 7.3 cds copied to it (copied using cp -a /mnt/cdrom/Redhat /mnt2/7.3) 
> then i get the error. the server is acknowledging the nfs mount request 
> without complaint. both directories are exported in exactly the same way.
> why is the error mentioning a loop device? why does the nfs mount fail - i can 
> mount this from a ready-installed node.

I tend to use url (e.g.)

url --url

(which won't work outside of duke, but you get the idea).  Note that the
i386 path above points to the ENTIRE i386 image, not just the Redhat
directory.  I think that you should have used something like:

  cp -a /mnt/cdrom /export/rh-7.3

and exported /export/rh-7.3 so that the client can mount it (or better
yet, copy it to your web server so that you can access it with the
browser of your choice and then use the url form above, since NFS is a
real hassle with permissions, security, and even performance all at
issue) and then

nfs --server --dir /export/rh-7.3

should work.

As to what's wrong -- the kickstart boot process installs a small root
partition on a loopback ramdisk, I believe from the images in
RedHat/base.  It then makes your filesystems according to whatever
recipe you put in the kickstart file, mounts them, bootstraps temp space
onto them for rpm's, and starts getting rpm's and installing rpm's as
fast as it can.

I imagine that this is failing because it cannot find the images and
install the root filesystem onto the ramdisk because the path it expects
is one level deeper than what you are giving it -- it is looking in
./RedHat/base (relative to your mount) but there IS no RedHat/base
because you mounted RedHat directly (so that there is just ./base).

You might even get it to work without doing much of anything by just

  cd /mnt2/7.3;/mkdir RedHat;mv * RedHat

in your current copy of the RedHat directory and then retrying.

Hope this helps

> tia
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Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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