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I have a brand new DELL server running SLES11 SP1 where I am trying to install my very first Xen Hypervisor. So I installed "Hypervisor and Tools" via YaST (excluding graphical elements), which completed successfully. Though I should mention that given the environment, the server does not have any access to the internet so I used the packages from the SLES11 SP1 DVD. So I am stuck with Xen v4.0. Virtualization is enabled in the BIOS.

I then restart my server, choose the new Xen option that appeared in the grub, and wait for it to launch... except it doesn't. At some point during the starting process (shortly after the "Scrubbing Free RAM" step completes), the text encoding goes all crazy on my server console for about one screen height, and the terminal dies. (I'm using a serial port console, COM1)

...
[    0.387810] ACPI: PCI Root Bridge [P0B1] (0000:3f)
[    0.393547] ACPI: PCI Root Bridge [P1B1] (0000:7f)
[    0.396579] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK00] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 11 14 *15)
[    0.396722] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK01] (IRQs 3 4 5 *6 7 11 14 15)
[    0.396830] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK02] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 11 *14 15)
[    0.396936] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK03] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 *11 14 15)
[    0.397039] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK04] (IRQs 3 4 *5 6 7 11 14 15)
[    0.397140] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK05] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 11 14 15) *0, disabled.
[    0.397243] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK06] (IRQs 3 4 5 *6 7 11 14 15)
[    0.397346] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LK07] (IRQs 3 4 5 6 7 11 *14 15)
[    0.397413] xen_mem: Initialising balloon driver.
[    0.397639] vgaarb: device added: PCI:0000:0d:00.0,decodes=io+mem,owns=io+mem,locks=none
[    0.397663] vgaarb: loaded
[    0.397733] PCI: Using ACPI for IRQ routi ng
[    0.39852 NLABELED CIPSOv4 VF6╓
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│f═╫6╦¢ú+kªf : BAR 6: address ┌kµ&Vv6fû╓
V ╦╠gµ+╗VmMF+│K###ô+¢¢6╓
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 [    2.146050] u ╓µfµªµ+╗VmM ¢+sfô{k6C{Kªªs÷V¢ï w0: USB HID v1.0 ô#{╓{½¢+f½sK{ âª÷ª 2645] generic-us put,hidraw1: USB ╢+╦{ô#{╓{½¢+f K¢{âª÷    2.214409] gen 6ªûsâ½úcåK#ô╗ ver usbhid
[    MåK#6{ô+FôK│+ .............................Could not find /dev/disk/by-label/my_root_device.


Want me to fall back to /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-36b8ca3a0e72e19001a2b90ef1154892a-part2? (Y/n) 

And then whatever I choose doesn't work, and I end up in a dumb shell where no disk can be found in /dev, and shutdown command cannot be found so I am forced to hard reset my machine.

When I choose the SUSE entry in GRUB, which uses the same /dev/disk/by-label/my_root_device as root, it still works like a charm. Here are the two entries as written in menu.lst :

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: xen###
title Xen -- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/xen.gz console=com1 com1=115200n8 dom0_mem=2048m nmi_watchdog=panic,lapic,timeout=15 elevator=noop loglevel=8 log_buf_len=4M crashkernel=512M-42G:256M,42G-:384M printk.time=0 unknown_nmi_panic=1 udev_timeout=180 cgroup_disable=memory softlockup=0 
    module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32.12-0.7-xen root=/dev/disk/by-label/my_root_device console=ttyS0,115200n8 tdcmanaged splash=silent showopts
    module /boot/initrd-2.6.32.12-0.7-xen

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-label/my_root_device splash=silent showopts nmi_watchdog=panic,lapic,timeout=15 elevator=noop loglevel=5 log_buf_len=4M crashkernel=512M-42G:256M,42G-:384M printk.time=0 unknown_nmi_panic=1 udev_timeout=180 cgroup_disable=memory softlockup=0 console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n
    initrd /boot/initrd

I actually have two brand new machines where I did this exact same process, and I get the exact same error in both, so it's probably not a hardware issue.

Does anyone have any idea on how to cleverly debug this situation?

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Does your system boot up with the normal non-xen-Kernel? Apart from that you should be using SP3 and you should patch your system. –  Nils Jan 29 at 9:40

1 Answer 1

start by adding proper console entries

console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n

without console entry setting the 115200N your will get a garbled screen indeed and thus will never be able to see the error messages you may need to solve. your "com1" is not being picked up, likely nonexistent device.

/dev/disk/by-label/my_root_device doesnt exist.. is that really your device ?

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