[syslinux] Unknown keyword in config file

Fulko Hew fhew3 at cogeco.ca
Wed Mar 1 17:15:35 PST 2006

I'm trying to boot Fedora Core 5 Test 3 from either CD or DVD,
(which uses ISOLINUX), and I get the error messages:

Unknown keyword in config file
Could not find kernel image: linux

There are at least two other people in the world with the same
problem.  Unfortunately, all of the rest of the Fedora test
community doesn't seem to have a problem with it, so its not
a high profile issue with the Fedora development team.

1/ If you enter a label, or let it timeout, you get the
   "Could not find kernel image:" error response.

2/ After searching the syslinux mailing list, I've discovered that
   if I manually type in the command line at the boot prompt,
   it works.  Since the default label in the file is 'linux',
   I can boot this media by typing:

    vmlinuz initrd=initrd.img

3/ The media uses "ISOLINUX 3.10 2005-08-24"

4/ An older version of Fedora Core that uses "ISOLINUX 3.08 2005-05-19"
   works fine on the same hardware.

5/ I have no way of knowing what was on the mkisofs command line.

6/ The config file is fundamentally the same size and contents
   in the older Fedora release, and the directory structure
   is identical.

Collecting the comments from the various emails on the mailing
list, I've seen:

a) comments must have at least one space
b) 'append' statements must not cross line boundaries
c) make sure there are no line feeds at the end of lines
d) your cfg file is too big, there might be a problem
   reading more than 8192 byte cfg files.
e) all the files must be in the same directory.
f) the kernel filename must not be greater than 8.3

Unfortunately, none of these seem to apply to what I find on
the Fedora Core 5, Test 3 media.

This is the config file:

default linux
prompt 1
timeout 600
display boot.msg
F1 boot.msg
F2 options.msg
F3 general.msg
F4 param.msg
F5 rescue.msg
label linux
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img
label text
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img text
label ks
  kernel vmlinuz
  append ks initrd=initrd.img
label local
  localboot 1
label memtest86
  kernel memtest
  append -

Note: There _is_ a blank line at the end of the file.

The directory "/isolinux" on the media looks like this:
(as seen with "norock,nojoliet")

[root at localhost isolinux]# ll
total 6527
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root    2048 Feb 16 15:09 boot.cat
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     292 Feb 16 14:49 boot.msg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     919 Feb 16 14:49 general.msg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root 5051201 Feb 16 14:49 initrd.img
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root   10584 Feb 16 14:49 isolinux.bin
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     366 Feb 16 14:49 isolinux.cfg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root   94600 Feb 16 14:49 memtest
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     788 Feb 16 14:49 options.msg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     517 Feb 16 14:49 param.msg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root     490 Feb 16 14:49 rescue.msg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root   11035 Feb 16 14:49 splash.lss
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root    2659 Feb 16 15:09 trans.tbl
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root root 1505560 Feb 16 14:49 vmlinuz
[root at localhost isolinux]#

So what can be wrong that only affects the three of us,
and not anyone else?

Comments and hypothesis are welcome.

(Note: I have no way of building a new ISO/media to test,
unless someone can give a quick (and easy) howto for
the Fedora Core dataset.)


More information about the Syslinux mailing list