Sunday, October 5, 2008

VMware & Slackware as guest

Just a quick hint for those having trouble using the 'generic' kernel (as we should always use) when installing Slackware as a guest with VMware.

VMware creates SCSI drives by default when we create a new virtual machine for Linux with a 2.6 kernel, emulating a LSI Logic SCSI controller. The 'huge' kernel that comes with Slackware recognizes this controller as it is built in. But when we try to use the 'generic' kernel it ends up not completing the boot process as it cannot mount the root partition. We are presented with a basic shell to try to solve the problem but we only and up with a 'kernel panic'

You probably already created a initrd.gz (initial RAM disk) to load the modules for your file system with your generic kernel.
To use the LSI Logic controller, we need to add some more modules to the list, like this:

mkinitrd -c -k xxx -m jbd:ext3:scsi_transport_spi:mptbase:mptscsih:mptspi -f ext3 -r /dev/yyy

Replace 'xxx' with your kernel version (I use and yyy with the partition of your root (probably sda1 or sda2).

Don't forget to run lilo again and then you can boot using the generic kernel without problems!

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