[syslinux] feedback/help request

Stephen Brown sbrown7 at umbc.edu
Tue Aug 20 12:41:15 PDT 2002

On Tue, 20 Aug 2002, Josef Siemes wrote:

> Hi,
> first of all: This is no problem for syslinux, it's a kernel issue. But maybe
> we'll sort it out anyway.
I figured as much, I was looking for pointers on how to get data from
the syslinux boot, and it looks like you have some good ideas.

> Stephen Brown <sbrown7 at umbc.edu> schrieb am 20.08.02 18:01:19:
> > 	What I am requesting, I guess, is guidance in continuing
> > troubleshooting -- what is the best way to determine whether the
> > parameters I try to pass to the kernel actually get there, and are
> > ignored, or are dropped along the way?
> Look at the kernel's output in the first few lines. It should say
> Kernel command line: ....
> and tells you what it really got. At least the 2.4 series does this.

I'll try this this evening when I get back in front of the machine, but
I don't think I will be able to get there (need to stop scrolling before
the screen fills since the system is completely unresponsive after the

> >Are there, say, line length
> > limits on the "append" clauses in syslinux.cfg, or the resulting kernel
> > command line?
> Yes, there is, it's AFAIK 255 characters. I use quite long parameters regularly,
> so 160+ characters work without problem.

Don't think I am even close to that.

> >Or, maybe, am I missing quoting requirements to escape
> > the "=", or blowing the parameter separators (I tried both spaces and
> > commas, and one long quoted string)?
> > P.S.: The particular parameters that I have tried passing in have been
> > just about all permutations of pci=noprobe, idex=noprobe, hdx=noprobe,
> > and hdx=none (with the proper replacements of "x", of course).
> That should have done it, according to ide.txt. Try ide2=noprobe ide3=noprobe,
> maybe you confused the kernel by giving too much hdx and idex together.

I'm pretty sure that was one of the earlier permutations I tried.
Started with just noprobe as a command line option as specified in the
install screen, then passed in pci=noprobe by itself, then that, plus
the two idex=noprobe, then just the two idex=noprobe, then all three
plus the hdx=noprobe, then hdx=none....  Pretty sure I tried just the
hdx=none/noprobe combos by themselves, too.

> BTW: Are you sure it crashes while initializing the IDE controllers, or could
> it be that it crashes while initializing the next device, but didn't tell you that
> it was already there?

Can't cut'n'paste like I would like, but I'll hand copy the exact line
this evening.  From memory, it hangs on the lines (after finding the
Samurai PCI bridge)

PCI_IDE: unknown IDE controller on PCI bus 00 device f9, VID=8086,
PCI_IDE: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
    ide2: BM-DMA at 0xffa0-0xffa7, BIOS settings: hde:DMA, hdf:pio
    ide3: BM-DMA at 0xffa8-0xffaf, BIOS settings: <hangs here>

(these were edited after pasting from dmesg on another machine, so the
IDs and port addresses are bogus) Point is that the boot hangs while
trying to get info from the BIOS about the 5th and 6th drives, when the
BIOS thinks there are only four drives possible -- I have no idea where
the data for hde&f come from -- maybe reading past the end of a BIOS
data structure?

Steve Brown
sbrown7 at umbc.edu

More information about the Syslinux mailing list