Bug #2640

cp -R kernel does not boot on two older pure i386 PCs

Added by davshao 8 months ago. Updated 8 months ago.

Status:NewStart date:02/16/2014
Priority:NormalDue date:
Assignee:-% Done:


Target version:-


On a Pentium 4 PC, Asus P4B266 motherboard, and on a Lenovo Ideapad Intel Atom N270, both pure i386 and with 1GB of RAM, copying a kernel from /boot such as
cp -R kernel kernel.good
does not result in a bootable kernel. Booting fails at the loader prompt with:

can't load 'kernel'
boot: no bootable kernel

cd-ing into /boot/kernel.old boots properly.

The same cp-ing procedure results in bootable kernels even running i386 on 64-bit machines or even i386 in Vmware Fusion on a 64-bit Macbook.

Booting is done from Ubuntu LTS 12.04 grub2. The original installations date back to early 2010.

Examination using

ls -loa

shows no unusual flags or permissions in /boot. But an obvious question is should the schg flag be temporarily removed from /boot/kernel/kernel when copying?

Also, should there be a symbolic link of kernel.BOOTP -> kernel in directory /boot/kernel?


#1 Updated by swildner 8 months ago

Between the working case and the non-working case, are there other differences than just i386 vs. x86_64? Is one a hammer install and the other a UFS install for example, or something else along these lines?


#2 Updated by davshao 8 months ago

I have i386 on UFS filesystem partitions where the problem does not manifest, so it is not a UFS problem. These alternate machines are x86_64 capable machines where I have installed i386 as a variant, unlike the older pure i386 machines where the problem manifests.

As a workaround, for a good working kernel, I simply keep

cd /usr/src
make installkernel
cd /boot
mv kernel.old kernel.good
cd /usr/src
make installkernel

for however many copies I want to make. In other words, with mv there is no problem, with cp -R for specific older i386-only machines there is a problem.

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