Re: can't log in after converting root filesystem

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Alan Evans wrote:
Hello, Friendly Fedora Folks:

My problem seems possibly related to some recently reported issues,
but I'm unable to fit suggested solutions to my issue. Anyway, here
goes:

I have an Asus EeePC 900A. It predictably took me about 2.5 minutes to
figure out that I wanted nothing at all to do with the crummy Linux
distro that came with it. I wanted Fedora and thought I'd try out the
Omega spin that Rahul announced recently.

Now the 900A has only a 4GB flash chip for internal storage, so I
started thinking of ways to reduce writes to the filesystem. It seemed
to me that ext2 was a better fit than ext3 because there would be no
need to write the journal data. During the install from LiveCD, I
chose to format the entire 4GB as ext2 and mount it on /. No separate
/boot partition, no swap partition.

After install, I discovered that the root filesystem was ext3 despite
my explicit instruction to format it as ext2. I consider that a bug,
which I might pursue if I can get past my current predicament.

I figured that "downgrading" to ext2 would not be difficult. So I
changed ext3 to ext2 in fstab and added noatime to the options.
Everything seems good at this point. I reboot, and mount tells me that
the root filesystem is, indeed, ext2. After running through the
installed packages and removing several that I thought would never be
relevant to my limited hardware, I rebooted again and found everything
good.

Well, almost everything. It turns out that now I can yum update
everything except for the kernel. After kernel update, I can't log in
at all. I get to the gdm screen, enter username and password, and it
just returns immediately to a fresh gdm screen. If I boot to runlevel
3, I have a similar symptom in text -- entering username and password
just returns to the login prompt.

At this point, I'm stuck. I've tried everything I know (not much) and
I can't log in. I did take a snapshot of the system with dd just
before upgrading the kernel, so I can always bring that back. But then
I can never apply any kernel updates.

Help!

-Alan

You might be able to use JFFS2 for the flash. We use JFFS2 for out Flash
storage on embedded devices.
Regarding the login problem with kernel updates, maybe it is related to
SELinux. I had a problem similar with being returned to a login prompt.
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