I'm trying to put together a mailserver with both IDE and SCSI drives. In the past, I've used just one or the other, but I wanted this box to take advantage of both a big, inexpensive IDE disk (200gb, 7200rpm) and a small, fast, SCSI drive (36gb, 15,000rpm). The SCSI drive and controller are both good, they're terminated correctly, et cetera, et cetera.
Using a Debian net-install CD, I partitioned it so that /boot, /, and some swap space are on hda, and so that /var, /tmp, and some swap space are on sda. It worked fine, but the first reboot produced beaucoup errors:
First, fsck wanted to check /var and /tmp (the last field in each's fstab line was set to 2), but they weren't mounted yet; I modified the fstab so they're not fscked automatically, and rebooted.
It made it past the fsck, and started loading, but the AHA-7XXX loads after everything else, and /var doesn't get mounted, so everything grinds to a halt with errors as the network tries and fails to initialize, and logrotate can't find anything to rotate...
Anyone have any ideas how to fix this? Can I change it so that the SCSI system is initialized earlier, or do I have to re-partition so that the system boots from the SCSI drive (i.e. /boot, /var, /tmp on sda1, sda2, sda3)? Am I totally barking up the wrong tree?
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The easiest way to load any required modules earlier in the boot process is to include them within the initrd image. The initrd is a file containing a gzip'd ext2 filesystem. Within this filesystem are critical modules and scripts that are needed to boot the system. You will generally find drivers for hard drive interfaces, filesystems, and other utilities required to mount the root filesystem.
There are a couple of ways to modify or create initrd images. The easiest approach is to use the mkinitrd command. This command will round up all of the filesystem, ide, and scsi_hostadapter modules specified within /etc/modules.conf. Additionally, any module options defined within this file will also be maintained within the initrd image.
The syntax for this utility is also fairly straight forward.
mkinitrd <image-filename> <kernel-version>
mkinitrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9.img 2.6.9
This command will pull the required modules from /lib/modules/2.6.9/ and create the initrd image /boot/initrd-2.6.9.img.
All that is left is to update either the grub.conf or lilo.conf to ensure the new initrd image will load properly.
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