[Oneiric-Topic] Server Boot

Preston Hagar prestonh at gmail.com
Thu Mar 31 20:52:08 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> wrote:
> There was a lot of discussion around improving the server boot experience
> before the UDS-M.  A number of people expressed interest in seeing more useful
> diagnostic information during boot.  Others expressed concerns with boot
> reliability on the more complex hardware typically found in servers.
> How are we doing on this?  Personally, I can't remember the last time I
> rebooted a server and it wasn't via SSH and the hardware I use is the sort
> there were problems with.  Are these still issues for the Ubuntu Server
> community?
> Scott K

Our servers are still either Lucid or Hardy, so forgive me if this has
been addressed in Meerkat.  An issue we ran into when moving servers
to Lucid was the new (to me at least) nobootwait flag for fstab.  This
bit us because we were migrating our "data" partition from one RAID
array to another.  We thought we had everything setup correctly,
rebooted for one reason or another, and the server would not come up.
The bad thing is that our server was in a colo facility, not in our
office (like I'm sure a lot of them are).  Long story short, we had
fat fingered the fstab entry for our data partition that we mount at
/var/data.  The server was just sitting there waiting for someone to
hook up a monitor and press the s key so it would skip trying to mount
/var/data, and would boot the system so we could fix it.  In the end,
we just paid our colo's "remote hands" fee and had them do it, but it
was annoying to have to pay them a fee just to push the s key so we
could fix our system.

Are there any plans/ideas to prevent that from happening?  We have
since been sure to add the nobootwait option to our non-os related
partitions for safe keeping in the future, and I am sure it was
probably mentioned in the release notes somewhere, but it seems kind
of backwards to keep a commonly headless machine like a server from
booting, when it can, just because another (perhaps non essential)
partition isn't setup correctly.  In the past, it would have booted up
and just not mounted the data partition.



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