#788 Unable to mount root file system

Matt G

Somewhat unique setup -- running a Compact Flash to SATA convertor. 1.4.20 will not install, says "unable to mount root file system" when it tries to.

Tried with 1.9.16 / 15 / 11 but all fail with this setup. I install in flash and harddisk mode. In HD mode, it can't mount root file system. In flash mode, when it boots it tries to load /dev/disk/by-label/root but fails after trying. I try to point it at /dev/sda or /dev/sda1 but kernel panics.

Can anyone advise? Do I have to tweak the CF card at all?

Before you ask, the CF -> SATA thing was to keep it cool, quiet and cheap :)


  • You give no details on your hardware. Is there no IDE header on the board? Why are you trying to run a CF card on the sata bus? CF cards are IDE drives by nature and should be run on the pata bus if it is offered. The machine will not boot any faster nor exceed the performance of the CF card which has built in IDE PATA.

    The other issue is that in IPCop 1.4 you should not install directly to flash. You need to install to either another machine or a VMWare or other virtual machine and use the mkflash script to generate a proper flash install image. There are some very important differences in how the flash install is set up to extend the life of the flash drive, otherwise you'll vaporize it in weeks. Even industrial flash drives are rated to handle a small fraction of read/write cycles compared to what a spinning platter drive can handle.

    The mkflash script allows you to choose which device node is root on the flash image regardless of the host it is on. The way the flash install differs is that /var/log, /var/spool and your html graphs are run in a ramdisk mounted as /ram and linked to /var/log etc. This volatile information is saved to two tarballs in /var/log_compressed once an hour and it is restored on bootup. Having the logs and graphs in a mounted ramdisk actually improves performance and having the volatile info written to the two tarballs once an hour extends the life out to about 15 years in theory I believe.

    The cool and quiet factor is a good part of it but with the proper flash install you'll gain performance as well. With flash installs the more ram the better and increase the size of the ramdisk accordingly.

    In case you did not notice, I swear by proper CF installs, especially for a firewall/router appliance.

  • Olaf Westrik
    Olaf Westrik

    • status: open --> pending
  • This Tracker item was closed automatically by the system. It was
    previously set to a Pending status, and the original submitter
    did not respond within 14 days (the time period specified by
    the administrator of this Tracker).

    • status: pending --> closed