'can't load kernel' after update 1.2.2–>1.2.3



  • After upgrading to v1.2.3 it can't boot reporting the impossibility of kernel load. Clear installation from liveCD results in the same. I tried to download a CD image from various servers and burn new CDs. The only way to make it work is to find old release (1.2.2) and reinstall from scratch.
    What is in v1.2.3 broken?

    The machine is Acorp 6VIA/ZX85 with Celeron-600. The screenshot is attached.



  • The screenshot suggests the boot loader loaded successfully but there was an error after the "first part" of the kernel loaded but before the subsequent parts completed loading. Does the disk have strategically placed bad blocks? I would run at least a pass of lengthy disk diagnostics. System Rescue CD (see http://www.sysresccd.org) has a disk diagnostic package and bad block testing tools. Ultimate Boot CD (see http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/) has disk diagnostic programs from a number of different disk manufacturers.



  • Something between FreeBSD 7.0 and 7.2 broke specific to your hardware. Look for a BIOS upgrade, check BIOS settings, usual stuff for hardware-specific issues.



  • nothing helped :'(
    I tried to flash last BIOS update, I unplugged HDD at all to enter a pure live pfSense 1.2.3 session… All I see - 'elf32_loadimage: read failed' on the first seconds of boot progress.

    p.s. pfSense 2.0 beta makes identical result



  • Wait, now you're saying you can't even boot from the 1.2.3 CD?  It sounds like the IDE port on the motherboard is going bad then (as to why it works with 1.2.2, who knows?)



  • @danswartz:

    Wait, now you're saying you can't even boot from the 1.2.3 CD?

    Exactly so! It seems that in ver.>1.2.2 pfSense stopped to support some component of my hardware.



  • I just tried to install pfsense 1.2.3 on an old Celeron based machine with 196 M of ram. The machine is about 5 years old. Motherboard comes from China (…)
    I get exactly the same error (elf32 .... read in error) and pfsense does not install.
    somewhere else I read about the 1.2.2 version and I tried that one and this version loads correctly and installed pfsense correctly (on the hard disk)

    obviously something changed between 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 and it is not related to the used hardware but to pfsense bootstrap (maybe the old hardware has a wierd way to use the upper memory but 1.2.2 was able to deal with it and 1.2.3 isn't)

    will pfsense create an updated version that runs on the older hardware?



  • A while ago I tried to install pfSense on 500MHz PII systems. I never could get it to boot correctly with the GRUB boot loader but the FreeBSD boot loader worked ok. I'm not suggesting this is your problem. I'm mentioning this to suggest there might be more to it than just old hardware.

    This experience was months before 1.2.3 release was available. More recently, I've only ever done firmware upgrades and not ever had a problem with them. I'll try to download a 1.2.3 release CD image and have a go booting it and trying to run as a live CD.



  • We don't develop the OS, hardware-specific regressions need to be replicated with stock FreeBSD and reported to FreeBSD list to be fixed.
    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Policy_on_FreeBSD_issues



  • @clevenp:

    will pfsense create an updated version that runs on the older hardware?

    I've been able to boot the CD on a system with ASUS P2B motherboard and 450 MHz PII CPU. This system is at least ten years old.



  • I have the exact same issue on an old Intel 667 MHZ machine.  Just spent 2 hours hauling a monitor and keyboard down to the basement to get it back up and running again on 1.2.2.  If anyone else is having the same issue and needs to downgrade back to 1.2.2, get it from here: http://files.pfsense.org/mirror/downloads/old/



  • some additional info on why the kernel may not be loading and a fix (maybe one of the devs can recompile it with the fix): http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-stable/2009-December/thread.html#53132 beginning at "loader(8) readin failed on 7.2R and later including 8.0R"


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Try the fdisk/bsdlabel suggestion here:
    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting

    Should also work when booted from a 1.2.2 CD.

    If you can wipe/reformat, you might also want to make a small / partition (less than 4GB) and make the rest /usr - obviously that requires a custom install and not a quick/easy install



  • @jimp:

    Try the fdisk/bsdlabel suggestion here:
    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting

    Should also work when booted from a 1.2.2 CD.

    If you can wipe/reformat, you might also want to make a small / partition (less than 4GB) and make the rest /usr - obviously that requires a custom install and not a quick/easy install

    Jimp, I also tried booting from a 1.2.3 livecd and even the livecd doesn't load with the same error message.  From http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-stable/2009-December/thread.html#53132 , they seem to be saying its a memory issue with the loader and a possible solution is offered.


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