RHEL 7.8 Locks Up At Boot On Dell Precision 7520

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This article is from December 13, 2018 and says there is a solution in the works for this problem: https://access.redhat.com/solutions/3755261#comments

It does little good to refer to a bug tracker we don't have access to.

It's the end of July 2020 and we are still booting to the installation kernel.

Has anyone managed to find out what is going on at boot that causes the OS to freeze just before the login prompt? The network comes up for about 5 pings from a Windows machine then it freezes too. The fans go to 100% and the only way out of it is the power button.

I've updated from 7.6 to 7.7 to 7.8 and the problem has stayed the same. I have every patch on the satellite server and it is current as of the 16th of this month.

Responses

Hi Chin,

Pure guessing ... but does your DELL Precision 7520 have a NVIDIA graphics adapter ? :)
Just in case it has - add the option nouveau.modeset=0 to the kernel boot parameters.
If it solves the problem, either make it a permanent solution, or install the NVIDIA drivers.

Regards,
Christian

Looking at dmesg and dmesg.old there is one significant difference right at the top of the file. The failed attempts to boot start with "[0.000000] microcode: microcode update early to revision 0xd6, date = 2019-10-03"

The successful boots to the oldest kernel do not have that line.

Is there a kernel flag to turn off microcode loading?

Hi Chin,

This is only an information about the microcode version and should not be relevant. Did you try what I suggested ? :)

Regards,
Christian

Not yet and it does have an NVidia card. Will try it in a minute. I found references to the microcode causing pretty much identical lockups but disabling it didn't help. Was trying to flash the BIOS - lots of fun on a Dell running Linux.

Didn't help. Will try NVidia drivers next.

Can't seem to get Nouveau disabled. Edited grub to blacklist it, did grub2-mkconfig, put an entry into /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf for it. Machine is running the latest kernel now and defaulting to runlevel 3. Nouveau must be baked into the ramdisk. I can't get it out of there. Wants to run a framebuffer on the console for some reason.

This is the usual lousy experience I've had trying to force an install of Linux drivers on Red Hat. So much easier on Debian and its derivatives.

It really looks like I'd have to make a custom kernel to install the drivers.

No, just a new initramfs. Missed a step. Unfortunately the compilation of the modules failed miserably. 2.4 MB of type mismatch errors in the installer log. Must be the wrong version of GCC. Apparently the installer's cc-vesion-check failed to determine what version was used to compile the kernel - or the installer is just not compatible with 3.x kernels and gcc 4.85.

Either way, the drivers will not install so I guess I'll need to make nouveau work, somehow.

I have at this point forgotten why I needed this laptop in the first place.

Have you tried using ELRepo for the NVIDIA driver? Never looked back after starting to use it a year or two ago. Made life so much simpler (though you do have to factor it in to your lifecycles, as the driver releases are kABI specific.

Hi Michael,

Good idea ... another option would be to check out the NVIDIA drivers from RPM Fusion, Chin ! :)

Regards,
Christian

If you decided to go for ELRepo's Nvidia packages, be sure to remove anything you have installed / done regarding the Nvidia driver, and then start with installing the nvidia-detect package.

Hi Akemi,

Thanks for adding this information ... this is generally recommended, also a reboot.
So remove everything from earlier attempts before switching the method, Chin ! :)

Regards,
Christian