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here's the thing: I have Debian Lenny running Xen dom0, and I want to install another Debian Lenny as domU. I followed the guide at Debian Wiki to the letter. Installation goes fine until Debian installer tries to install Grub, it fails with this error:

Installation step failed

An installation step failed. You can try to run the failing item again from the menu, or skip it and choose something else. The failing step is: Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk

If I ignore that, complete the installation and try to boot the machine, I get this:

Loading, please wait...
Begin: Loading essential drivers ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-premount ... FATAL: Error inserting fan (/lib/modules/2.6.26-2-686-bigmem/kernel/drivers/acpi/fan.ko): No such device
FATAL: Error inserting thermal (/lib/modules/2.6.26-2-686-bigmem/kernel/drivers> /acpi/thermal.ko): No such device
[ 0.608267] blkfront: xvda1: barriers enabled
Begin: Mounting root file system ... Begin: Running /scripts/local-top ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount ... done.
mount: cannot read /etc/fstab: No such file or directory
Begin: Running /scripts/local-bottom ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-bottom ... mount: mounting /dev on /root/dev failed: No such > file or directory
mount: mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
mount: mounting /proc on /root/proc failed: No such file or directory
Target filesystem doesn't have /sbin/init.
No init found. Try passing init= bootarg.

My .conf file for Xen is pretty simple:

kernel = '/vmlinuz'
ramdisk = '/initrd.img'
memory = 256
vif = ['bridge=xenbr0']
disk = [ 'file:/xen/root.img,hda1,w' ]

Any ideas where to start hunting for the problem? I'm pretty stumped.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted
mount: cannot read /etc/fstab: No such file or directory

That's a pretty clear sign that your initramfs is borked. Probably because your install is borked.

How did you get past partitioning in debian-installer? Last time I did it (ummm... yesterday) I had to export something that I could partition, so your disk being hda1 is rather weird. Mine looks like:

disk = ['phy:/dev/GLaDOS/xen-portaltest,xvda,w']

its on a logical volume, not a file, but that shouldn't matter. Giving it xvda1 or whatever didn't work; it wanted to partition that, which is fairly silly.

With xvda, I went ahead and partitioned that (into a xvda1 for /boot and an xvda2 for a LVM physical volume, but you could certainly just use that for root). The installer then completed normally, and it works after dealing with the bootloader not executable error documented on the Debian Wiki's Xen entry.

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Yep, initramfs was screwed up thanks to Debian. Marking this as correct, thanks. – kmelva Jul 22 '09 at 11:18

How is the domU's fstab ? You may have erroneous lines that try to mount /sys under /root/sys

mount: mounting /sys on /root/sys failed: No such file or directory
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