Chapter 2. Known Issues

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2.1. anaconda

The anaconda packages provide the installation program used by Red Hat Enterprise Linux to identify and configure the hardware, and to create the appropriate file systems for the system's architecture, as well as to install the operating system software.
  • Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 from a hard drive is possible only if the source partition covers the whole disk. Otherwise, the following warning can appear:
    The kernel was unable to re-read the partition table on /dev/dasdb (Device or resource busy). This means Linux won't know anything about the modifications you made until you reboot. You should reboot your computer before doing anything with /dev/dasdb.
  • If a read-only disk is present, installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 can be interrupted by an interactive warning dialog window, and thus blocking automated installations. (BZ#978250)
  • When installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 on a machine that had previously used a GPT partitioning table, Anaconda does not provide the option to remove the previous disk layout and is unable to remove the previously used GPT partitioning table. To work around this issue, switch to the tty2 terminal (using CTRL+ALT+F2), execute the following command, and restart the installation process:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/USED_DISK count=512
  • Starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, to boot with ibft, the iSCSI boot firmware table support, use the ip=ibft option as the network install option:
        IP to use for a network installation, use 'dhcp' for DHCP.
    By default, the installer waits 5 seconds for a network device with a link. If an iBFT network device is not detected in this time, you may need to specify the linksleep=SECONDS parameter in addition to the ip=ibft parameter by replacing SECONDS with an integer specifying the number of seconds the installer should wait, for example:
  • Setting the dhcptimeout=0 parameter does not mean that DHCP will disable timeouts. If the user requires the clients to wait indefinitely, the dhcptimeout parameter needs to be set to a large number.
  • When starting an installation on IBM S/390 systems using SSH, re-sizing the terminal window running the SSH client may cause the installer to unexpectedly exit. Once the installer has started in the SSH session, do not resize the terminal window. If you want to use a different size terminal window during installation, re-size the window before connecting to the target system via SSH to begin installation.
  • Installing on June with a RAID backplane on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 and later does not work properly. Consider the following example: a test system which had two disks with two redundant paths to each disk was set up:
    mpath0: sdb, sdd
    mpath1: sda, sdc
    In the above setup, Anaconda created the PReP partition on mpath0 (sdb/sdd), but set the bootlist to boot from sda. To work around this issue, follow these steps:
    1. Add mpath to the append line in the /etc/yaboot.conf file.
    2. Use the --ondisk=mapper/mpath0 in all part directives of the kickstart file.
    3. Add the following script to the %post section of the kickstart file.
      # Determine the boot device
      # Set the bootlist in NVRAM
      if [ "z$device" != "z" ]; then
      bootlist -m normal $device;
      # Print the resulting boot list in the log
      bootlist -m normal -o;
      bootlist -m normal -r;
      echo "Could not determine boot device!";
      exit 1;
      The above script simply ensures that the bootlist is set to boot from the disk with the PReP partition.
  • Mounting an NFS volume in the rescue environment requires portmap to be running. To start portmap, run:
    Failure to start portmap will return the following NFS mount errors:
    sh-3.2# mount /mnt/nfs
    mount: Mounting on /mnt/nfs failed: Input/output error
  • The order of device names assigned to USB attached storage devices is not guaranteed. Certain USB attached storage devices may take longer to initialize than others, which can result in the device receiving a different name than you expect (for example, sdc instead of sda).
    During installation, be sure to verify the storage device size, name, and type when configuring partitions and file systems.
  • anaconda occasionally crashes while attempting to install on a disk containing partitions or file systems used by other operating systems. To workaround this issue, clear the existing partition table using the command:
    clearpart --initlabel [disks]
  • Performing a System z installation, when the install.img is located on direct access storage device (DASD) disk, causes the installer to crash, returning a backtrace. anaconda is attempting to re-write (commit) all disk labels when partitioning is complete, but is failing because the partition is busy. To work around this issue, a non-DASD source should be used for install.img. (BZ#455929)
  • When installing to an ext3 or ext4 file system, anaconda disables periodic file system checking. Unlike ext2, these file systems are journaled, removing the need for a periodic file system check. In the rare cases where there is an error detected at runtime or an error while recovering the file system journal, the file system check will be run at boot time. (BZ#513480)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 does not support having a separate /var on a network file system (nfs, iSCSI disk, nbd, etc.) This is because /var contains the utilities required to bring up the network, for example /var/lib/dhcp. However, you may have /var/spool, /var/www or the like on a separate network disk, just not the complete /var file system. (BZ#485478)
  • When using rescue mode on an installation which uses iSCSI drives which were manually configured during installation, the automatic mounting of the root file system does not work. You must configure iSCSI and mount the file systems manually. This only applies to manually configured iSCSI drives; iSCSI drives which are automatically detected through iBFT are fully supported in rescue mode.
    To rescue a system which has / on a non-iBFT configured iSCSI drive, choose to skip the mounting of the root file system when asked, and then follow the steps below:
    $TARGET_IP: IP address of the iSCSI target (drive)
    $TARGET_IQN: name of the iSCSI target as printed by the discovery command
    $ROOT_DEV: devicenode (/dev/.....) where your root fs lives
    1. Define an initiator name:
      $ mkdir /etc/iscsi
      $ cat << EOF>> /etc/iscsi/initiatorname.iscsi
    2. Start iscsid:
      $ iscsid
    3. Discover and login to target:
      $ iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -p $TARGET_IP
      $ iscsiadm -m node -T $TARGET_IQN -p $TARGET_IP --login
    4. If the iSCSI LUN is part of a LVM Logical volume group:
      $ lvm vgscan
      $ lvm vgchange -ay
    5. Mount your / partition:
      $ mount /dev/path/to/root /mnt/sysimage
      $ mount -t bind /dev /mnt/sysimage/dev
      $ mount -t proc proc /mnt/sysimage/proc
      $ mount -t sysfs sysfs /mnt/sysimage/sys
    6. Now you can chroot to the root file system of your installation if wanted
      $ chroot /mnt/sysimage /bin/su -
  • When installing KVM or Xen guests, always create a partition for the guest disk, or create an LVM volume. Guests should not be installed to block devices or raw disk devices. Anaconda includes disk label duplication avoidance code, but when installing within a VM, it has no visibility to the disk labels elsewhere on the host and cannot detect duplicates.
    If guest file systems, especially the root file system, are directly visible to the host, a host OS reboot may inadvertently parse the partition table and mount the guest file systems. This can lead to highly undesirable outcomes.
  • The minimum memory requirement when installing all Red Hat Enterprise Linux packages (i.e. * or @everything is listed in the %packages section of the kickstart file) on a fully virtualized Itanium guest is 768MB. After installation, the memory allocated to the guest can be lowered to the desired amount.
  • Upgrading a system using Anaconda is not possible if the system is installed on disks attached using zFCP or iSCSI (unless booted from the disk using a network adapter with iBFT). Such disks are activated after Anaconda scans for upgradable installations and are not found. To update please use the Red Hat Network with the hosted Web user interface, a Red Hat Network Satellite, the local graphical Updater, or the yum command line.
  • Anaconda's graphical installer fails to start at the default 800x600 resolution on systems utilizing Intel Graphics Device Next Generation (IGDNG) devices. To work around this issue, ensure anaconda uses a higher resolution by passing the parameters resolution=1024x768 or resolution=1280x1024 to the installer using the boot command line.
  • The NFS default for RHEL5 is locking. Therefore, to mount nfs shares from the %post section of anaconda, use the mount -o nolock,udp command to start the locking daemon before using nfs to mount shares. (BZ#426053)
  • If you are using the Virtualized kernel when upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 to a later 5.x release, you must reboot after completing the upgrade. You should then boot the system using the updated Virtualized kernel.
    The hypervisor ABI changes in an incompatible way between Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 5.1. If you do not boot the system after upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 using the updated Virtualized kernel, the upgraded Virtualization RPMs will not match the running kernel. (BZ#251669)
  • When upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.6 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 or later, gcc4 may cause the upgrade to fail. As such, you should manually remove the gcc4 package before upgrading. (BZ#432773)
  • When provisioning guests during installation, the RHN tools for guests option will not be available. When this occurs, the system will require an additional entitlement, separate from the entitlement used by dom0.
    To prevent the consumption of additional entitlements for guests, install the rhn-virtualization-common package manually before attempting to register the system to Red Hat Network. (BZ#431648)
  • When installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on a guest, the guest is configured to explicitly use a temporary installation kernel provided by dom0. Once installation finishes, it can then use its own bootloader. However, this can only be achieved by forcing the guest's first reboot to be a shutdown.
    As such, when the Reboot button appears at the end of the guest installation, clicking it shuts down the guest, but does not reboot it. This is an expected behavior.
    Note that when you boot the guest after this it will then use its own bootloader.
  • Using the swap --grow parameter in a kickstart file without setting the --maxsize parameter at the same time makes anaconda impose a restriction on the maximum size of the swap partition. It does not allow it to grow to fill the device.
    For systems with less than 2GB of physical memory, the imposed limit is twice the amount of physical memory. For systems with more than 2GB, the imposed limit is the size of physical memory plus 2GB. (BZ#462734)
  • Existing encrypted block devices that contain vfat file systems will appear as type foreign in the partitioning interface; as such, these devices will not be mounted automatically during system boot. To ensure that such devices are mounted automatically, add an appropriate entry for them to /etc/fstab. For details on how to do so, refer to man fstab. (BZ#467202)
  • When using anaconda's automatic partitioning on an IBM System p partition with multiple hard disks containing different Linux distributions, the anaconda installer may overwrite the bootloaders of the other Linux installations although their hard disks have been unchecked. To work around this, choose manual partitioning during the installation process.
The following known issue applies to the PowerPC architecture:
  • The minimum RAM required to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 is 1GB; the recommended RAM is 2GB. If a machine has less than 1GB RAM, the installation process may hang.
    Furthermore, PowerPC-based machines that have only 1GB of RAM experience significant performance issues under certain RAM-intensive workloads. For a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 system to perform RAM-intensive processes optimally, 4GB of RAM is recommended. This ensures the system has the same number of physical pages as was available on PowerPC machines with 512MB of RAM running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.5 or earlier.
The following known issue applies to the IBM System z architecture:
  • Installation on a machine with existing Linux or non-Linux file systems on DASD block devices may cause the installer to halt. If this happens, it is necessary to clear out all existing partitions on the DASD devices you want to use and restart the installer.
The following known issue applies to the Itanium architecture:
  • If your system only has 512MB of RAM, attempting to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 may fail. To prevent this, perform a base installation first and install all other packages after the installation finishes. (BZ#435271)
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