Virtual Linux machine returns Kernel Panic error

1050 pts.
Linux servers
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
Virtual PC
We have an old red hat box here I am trying to virtualize with little success. I have the drives backup up and restored from backups to virtaul drvies using Acronis. I have done this in the past with windows and had no issues. However I am getting a kernel panic error when I try to boot the linux box up. The linux box is on a RAID, should I create a virtual drive for each RAID drive? and is it possible to make a RAID setup on a virtual machine? Currently I have two virtual drives, which is what the linux box sees only physical. I was reading about how you need to edit the lines in the linux machine to modify the mount/boot points, but don't have any idea how to do that. Any help or ideas would be wlecome.

Software/Hardware used:
server2003 linux red hat virtual pc 2007

Answer Wiki

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You got right to the point – the reason of kernel panic is that kernel can’t find RAID device node for mounting it’s root file system…

However, you shouldn’t create any “virtual RAID” for your guest VM – RAID is a “real hardware” business and the host should care about it. You should do at least two things before migrating the server to VM:

(1) edit /etc/fstab so all references to whatever RAID device you have will point to a /dev/hd* or /dev/sd* node, which you’ll create/attach in the VM;

(2) instruct kernel to look for the root file system in a correct place – that is virtual drive /dev/hd* or /dev/sd*, as in (1). The exact procedure depends on your bootloader – with GRUB, just edit /boot/grub/menu.lst (or /boot/grub/grub.conf, whichever you have) and add root=/dev/hd.. to the “kernel” line, and you are done; with LILO – edit /etc/lilo.conf to change the device on root= line , AND then run lilo to update the boot record (if your Red Hat is old enough, you may have LILO).

If you have any other references to the RAID device node, change them also (chances are that you have no other references to real devices)

Make sure NOT to reboot the real server with this changes made – you’ll get kernel panic, of course; now you can make backup of the drive(s), restore them in VM, and you have to be OK (hopefully).

Good luck!

Discuss This Question: 3  Replies

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  • swinehart6803
    Thanks, I'm going to give it a go and see whats happens.
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  • petkoa
    Any follow-up? Petko
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  • swinehart6803
    I have not tried this yet. My boss is the LINUX guru and has been out sick for almost three weeks. I am going to try this out a soon as we can. I appreciate your help and will update the post with hopefully a success story Once again for the step by step
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