Friday, July 31, 2009

dhclient, firstboot and hald woes ...

In the last 2-3 weeks, I have run into some issues on my ARM board.

1) The first one was the udev-dhclient issue. The basic rootfs from the Fedora-ARM page worked fine for me. But, when I installed some packages, the board refused to reboot. It used to freeze on "Starting udev". After tinkering around a lot with udev, I finally decided debugging udev wasn't my thing. So instead tried to determine which package was causing the problem. After some brute-force and binary search, realised that dhclient was the culprit. After installing dhclient, the board hung at "Starting udev" on the next reboot. Weird. For now, I have just refrained from installing dhclient and everything is working fine. Any one have any ideas about this? (Probably dhclient gets the lease calculation wrong because udev accesses the hardware clock at the same time?)

2) Now firstboot. Its weirder! So, after I installed X and Gnome package group and restarted the board, it used to hang on the login prompt (run level 3). I could key in characters using the keyboard, but hitting return gave no response whatsoever. I couldn't even ssh into the board. At first, I thought it was a system freeze, but I enabled autologin on tty3 and wrote an infinite loop in .bash_profile and it worked fine. Finally, after 1-2 days of wandering off in different directions, the only option that remained was: the keyboard input is losing its way somewhere. So, copied my i386 system's /etc/sysconfig/keyboard to ARM's rootfs. And the system now responded fine to the keyboard input. But, it hung on "password:" prompt. Damn! Finally, realised that I need to run firstboot, so that it configures keyboard and authentication (using pam.d). (Now, as I didn't have a console on this rfs, took the basic working rfs, ran firstboot there and copied the generated configs on the new rfs.) Now things worked fine! firstboot!

3) hald. I still havn't been able to resolve this one. Its been 3 days and I have no headway. Problem is, whenever I start hald, the system just freezes. No I/O, no ssh nothing. A quick infinte loop in .bash_profile suggests that the system has crashed. I have posted the logs and lshal outputs to the mailing lists. Waiting for a reply. Without HAL, my USB mouse and keyboard aren't working in Gnome.

Do leave a message if you face a problem trying something out with your setup ...

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