Joachim Breitner

kexec saved my day

Published 2010-03-16 in sections English, Digital World.

Yesterday evening, when returning from a two-day trip with no connectivity, I found my server to be broken. I still reacted on ping, but no service would respond. I tried to restart it using my hoster’s web interface, but it would not come back up.

I booted into the recovery system and checked the hard disk, but could not find any issues. File system checks went through without a hitch. But it would still not boot. Unfortunately, my hoster does not provide access to the system console, so I had no idea what was going wrong.

I never did anything with kexec, (a relatively new feature of the Linux kernel to act as a bootloader to load another system) and I was very positively surprised to find that it works out-of-the-box and flawlessly: I was able to load my system’s kernel and initrd from the recovery system and successfully booted it. I then ran lilo and rebooted right again, which now worked. I’m not sure if running lilo fixed it, or the clean shut-down, nor do I know what caused the problem in the first place, but kexec saved my day here.


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