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Slackware: Unable to open an initial console

Posted on 1997-08-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Every time, after installing Slackware 3.3 on my system,
when I reboot, after loading the kernel, it gives me
an error saying "unable to open an initial console" and
doesn't even give me a login prompt. Anyone know what I am doing wrong?
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Question by:umerkhan
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by:nicademus
ID: 1629491
I've got something on the top of my mind for that one, because I had it happen once or twice myself, thinking back I think it had to do something with Lilo, maybe you should try, if you haven't already, running a DOS boot disk, then using the Loadlin program which comes with the Slakware Distrib.
Although you need an image file first for this.  So if you can't work around that, try as soon as you have exited the setup, just running liloconfig again, and then lilo  to make sure it has set up the drive ready for booting.  Sorry I can't "answer" I'm just thinking back to when it happened to me...it might come back to me soon...
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by:kilobug
ID: 1629492
What's your computer? Where did you install Linux (UMSDOS, partition, whole disk, ...)


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Expert Comment

by:bromone4
ID: 1629493
It happened to me once too... let me see if I can remember...
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Expert Comment

by:sjl100297
ID: 1629494
I'd suggest you boot up from a Linux boot/root disk combination. Mount the root filesystem (be it /dev/hda1, /dev/hdb1, etc.) somewhere using the command:
  mount /dev/whatever /mnt -t ext2

Then check /mnt/dev for the following:

console
tty1

They should look something like (with an ls -l)

crw-------   2 root     root   4, 0 Jan 7 14:58 /dev/console
crw-------   2 root     root   4, 1 Jan 7 14:58 /dev/tty1

(the permissions [crw, etc.], owner [root], and date/time don't matter. What matters is that they exist, and have those mystical number pairs.)

Do you have those? If not, try using mknod:

mknod /mnt/dev/console c 4 0
mknod /mnt/dev/tty1 c 4 1

and see if that fixes the problem. (It's possible that the numbers I've given are incorrect; I'm looking at a system that's running a fairly old version of Linux.)
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by:jetx
ID: 1629495
Do Not Install UMSDOS because if you install it, it will detect a directory in your dos partition which is c:\linux and boot it all up. This UMSDOS is used for DOSLinux. Try installing it without UMSDOS support.

regards,

jetx
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Author Comment

by:umerkhan
ID: 1629496
I didn't installed UMSDOS at all.
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Accepted Solution

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bjacobs earned 50 total points
ID: 1629497
Boot with a bootdisk and when you get to the spot for extra commands type: mount root=/dev/xxxx where xxxx is the linux partition. It sounds like lilo has the wrong partition listed for linux. Once you're in edit /etc/lilo.conf, fix the problem and re-install lilo.
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