Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

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Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 20:14:48

Hello all.

My apologies if this is in the forums somewhere.
I searched for a while and did not come up with anything helpful.

Long story short, I have a Centos4 server on a VMWare ESX 3.5 host (version 4 vmware image) that gives a kernel panic as soon as I update to a new kernel and try to boot into it.
It appears that it may not loading the kernel module for VMWare's SCSI disk.
I have to boot back into the old kernel to bring the server online.

I tried to make a new init image but it did not help.
Granted, I may have done it wrong.

I have several RHEL4 & RHEL5 boxes that work just fine on ESX and they have had no such problem.

I can post some screen shots of the kernel panic by booting into the other kernel if it would help but I am curious if anyone else has had similar issues or can point me in the right direction before I ask for an outage to reboot the box.

Thanks,
Dave
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Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby toracat » 2010/04/02 20:35:02

Can you show us the output of:

uname -mri
rpm -qa kernel\* | sort
cat /etc/redhat-release
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 20:41:30

Hello.

Thank you for the quick reply.

I have too many boxes to keep straight.
This is a Centos4 box, not Centos5...
Is there some way to move this thread into the right forum?

Here is the info you requested.
kernel "11" is the only one I can boot into.

# uname -mri
2.6.9-89.0.11.ELsmp x86_64 x86_64

# rpm -qa kernel\* | sort
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.18.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.23.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.0.23.EL
kernel-utils-2.4-20.el4

# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 4.8 (Final)
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby toracat » 2010/04/02 20:46:35

Moving to the CentOS 4 forum...

Do you happen to know if the corresponding versions of RHEL4 boot fine or not?
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 20:50:58

I am checking which ones are on VMware now.

I should have some data in a few minutes.

Thanks again.
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 21:00:09

Several systems on ESX are RHEL4 and do not have this issue:

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 1...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 8)
2.6.9-89.0.23.ELsmp i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 2...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 8)
2.6.9-89.0.23.ELsmp i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 3...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 8)
2.6.9-89.0.19.ELsmp i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 4...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 8)
2.6.9-89.0.20.ELsmp i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 5... --problem server
CentOS release 4.8 (Final)
2.6.9-89.0.11.ELsmp x86_64 x86_64
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter


cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 6... -- works, very simliar server
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 8)
2.6.9-89.0.23.ELsmp x86_64 x86_64
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter


cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 7...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.4 (Tikanga)
2.6.18-164.11.1.el5 i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter

cat /etc/redhat-release ; uname -mri ; lspci | grep -i vmware on 8...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.5 (Tikanga)
2.6.18-164.15.1.el5 i686 i386
00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby toracat » 2010/04/02 21:18:55

Is it coincidence that all RHEL kernels are i686 and the troubled CentOS one is x86_64?
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 21:27:37

I wondered that originally, but the one in the list right under the problem child is RHEL4u8 64-bit as well.
I tried to put it it italics but it did not help much.

Might still be the issue but I am not sure how to check it.
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby toracat » 2010/04/02 21:32:07

Sorry, I missed it. :-(

No idea why something works with RHEL4 but not CentOS4. Strange -- unless ESX is checking the content of /etc/redhat-release or some such.
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Re: Centos4 & VMWare ESX server - kernel panic

Postby freethinker » 2010/04/02 21:45:26

I can change redhat-release of course but how can ESX or anything else be reading /etc/redhat-release when the root volume is not even mounted yet?

The kernel panic is right when root is trying to mount - hence my suspicion that it has something to do with the kernel modules not loading.

I think it needs "mptsas, mptspi & mptscsi" for the VMWare ESX "LSI Logic / Symbios Logic 53c1030 PCI-X Fusion-MPT Dual Ultra320 SCSI" controller.
It is not loading the module so it cannot mount the root volume and then I get a Kernel Panic.
Just my working theory.

I'll try to get an outage for Monday evening and then post a screen shot.
Maybe that will give everyone some ideas.

Thanks again for your time.

Dave
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