grub-install fails on rescue boot due to incorrect path

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Figured I would try out this new forum! One long term puzzlement for me is summarized by this now closed bugzilla:

When you rescue boot RHEL6 via DVD/CD, the grub-install script has an incorrect path to grub, so it fails to run. You have to sym link grub in and then it works as the bugzilla describes.

Am I missing something obvious as why this is broken out of the box?



I'm confused by that bug. This has never worked, as long as I can remember, and it's not just because of the symlink issue.

If you want to reinstall grub in rescue mode, you have two choices:

  • With Chroot

    1. Make sure root filesystem is mounted at /mnt/sysimage and "boot" filesystem is mounted at /mnt/sysimage/boot
    2. Chroot in, i.e.: chroot /mnt/sysimage
    3. Run grub-install, e.g.: grub-install /dev/sda
  • Without Chroot (or even any filesystems mounted)

    1. Create a temporary file to map linux devnode names to bios device names for grub, e.g.: echo "(hd0) /dev/sda" >
    2. Run grub with that file and then set the root device [root (hd0,0)] and install grub [setup (hd0)], e.g.:

      bash-4.1# grub --device-map 
          GNU GRUB  version 0.97  (640K lower / 3072K upper memory)
       [ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported.  For the first word, TAB
         lists possible command completions.  Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
         completions of a device/filename.]
      grub> root (hd0,0)
      root (hd0,0)
       Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
      grub> setup (hd0)
      setup (hd0)
       Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... no
       Checking if "/grub/stage1" exists... yes
       Checking if "/grub/stage2" exists... yes
       Checking if "/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
       Running "embed /grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0)"...  27 sectors are embedded.
       Running "install /grub/stage1 (hd0) (hd0)1+27 p (hd0,0)/grub/stage2 /grub/grub.conf"... succeeded
      grub> quit

In short: grub-install doesn't work because of the symlink it's expecting to be there, but in my experience it also won't work without a file -- a file that it expects by default at /boot/grub/

Thanks to your question, I just overhauled our KCS solution on this topic. See it at How to re-install GRUB bootloader on the Master Boot Record(MBR) in rescue mode?

Thanks for the detailed response. After making the sym link,

grub-install --root-device=/mnt/sysimage /dev/sda

the command always worked for me. The chroot option is problematic as sometimes the /dev devices do not exist within /mnt/sysimage.

Just curious, why are the /dev devices sometimes existent and sometimes not?

Is it possible to mount -o bind /dev /mnt/sysimage/dev or something like that?

Ah...... Indeed you're right about that working Daryl (just tried it).

I gotta say though: I can't imagine a situation where it's hard to get the device node files to show up in /dev. Assuming the rescue env automatically mounts things, the appropriate bind mounts will already be there. On the other hand, if you have to mount things manually, you can run the mount commands yourself, e.g.:

for d in dev proc sys; do mount -o bind /$d /mnt/sysimage/$d ; done

I guess what I'm saying is that if you've actually got the rootfs mounted, I just don't see why you would avoid chrooting in. I've never seen someone struggle with that.

In any case, I see what you're saying about the symlink Daryl and I think the next step for you would be to either open a new BZ against RHEL6 (everyone is entitled to do so) or to open a support case in the Customer Portal (and an engineer there can look into it, optionally opening the BZ for you).

By the way Daryl, it's a good idea when you're posting to select the product that your question applies to. This will make it easier for other users to find. You can also add tags to further improve searchability. I'll add this to the RHEL product.

Thanks, when I click to start a new discussion, I see no option to tag it against a product. Also, clicking on the 'Formatting Help' here results in a popup with the entire screen shadowed out (hard to read, using Chrome 28).

Thanks Daryl. I've noticed the "Formatting Help" issue too, so we'll get that resolved as soon as we can.

Could you possibly mail me a screenshot of how your interface looks on the "new discussion" page? You should be seeing an option to add both product and tags.