netbook remix 9.04 -- /home not always mounted

Adric Norris spikey.mcmarbles at
Fri Apr 24 01:35:36 UTC 2009

The release candidate of Ubuntu 9.04 was looking pretty sweet, so i
decided to take the plunge and installed the netbook remix on my eeepc
901.  It's working rather well, but there's one issue which is giving
me a bit of trouble... the /home filesystem isn't recognized early
enough in the boot sequence when running on battery power, and
therefore doesn't get mounted.  When running on AC power, this doesn't
appear to be a problem.

The unit is configured with a small (100 MB or so) /boot partition on
/dev/sda, with the rest of /dev/sda and all of /dev/sdb joined
together into a lvm2 volume group.  The /home filesystem resides on a
SD card (/dev/sdc1), to allow for easy removal if I need to leave the
netbook behind for any reason.  My eventual goal is to encrypt /home,
although I haven't made any attempt to do so at this point.

The actual error message produced by mount indicates that the relevant
/dev/disk/by-uuid/XXXXX symlink isn't present... I'm pretty sure this
is a timing issue, because I can successfully run "sudo mount /home"
(from a text console) as soon as the GUI logon screen appears.  Also,
if I interrupt the boot process (using the "break=top" boot
parameter), within about 2 seconds a kernel message appears indicating
that /dev/sdc has been detected... hitting Ctrl-D at that point
results in a fully successful startup.

As a quick workaround, I've added the following lines to /etc/rc.local.

   if [ "`mount | grep -c ' on /home '`" -eq 0 ]; then
     mount /home

While this seems to work reliably, it's a bit too hackish for my
taste... this seems like something which would be better addressed
during the initramfs run.  Unfortunately I've never dug into the
initramfs framework before, so I'm a bit out of my element here.  Any
suggestions on a proper fix?

I suppose that configuring automount of /home would be another valid
approach, but that seems like overkill (and I have no experience with
it, either).  I'm willing give it a try anyway if folks think it's the
right answer, however.


Oh no... not another learning experience!

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