New builds won't boot (fwd)

Chris Hedley freebsd-current at
Sun Jun 7 15:10:27 UTC 2009

Hope it's not bad form for me to forward this on to -current for comments; 
I guess since nobody else has brought this up it's something I'm doing 
wrong rather than a serious flaw, but I'd be most grateful for a pointer 
nonetheless. :)

And, since I think I forgot to mention it, I'm using -current/amd64 and 
ZFS v13.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 11:00:48
From: Chris Hedley <freebsd-current at>
To: freebsd-amd64 at
Subject: New builds won't boot

Hi all,

I was wondering if anybody has any suggestions for me.  Since around January 
this year, I've been unable to get new builds to boot on my system: they go 
through the usual kernel initialisation stage, reach the "ZFS is an 
experimental feature" message, sometimes followed a few other random notices, 
and then it hangs indefinitely.

I've just regressed to a version from mid January which boots without any 
problems, though ZFS from that point is unstable enough that I'm unable to 
update any of the packages on the security alerts list without it locking up, 
so it's not ideal.

I've tried various approaches to see if I can find out what was the problem.  I 
did read that GEOM_MIRROR has displayed similar problems in recent versions, 
especially if combined with k8temp, oddly, but disabling one or other, or both, 
or making it part of the kernel, and various other trial-and-error 
configurations haven't yielded any success.  Other attempts have been to try a 
build both with and without SMP, turning off optimisation in CFLAGS and 
numerous other fiddles that I can't recall now.

A further complication is that USB appears also to be broken in the newer 
versions, so although I can break out into the debugger, the keyboard doesn't 
work from that point onwards.  Not that it makes a lot of difference as I'm not 
really sure what to look for.

It is also worth noticing that a build of GENERIC also has the above two 
problems so I'm not entirely convinced it's a configuration issue unless 
there's something weird in my loader.conf, which is as follows if it looks 
suspect to anybody:



# vfs.zfs.zil_disable=1



My system setup is a uniprocessor Opteron 248 in a Tyan Thunder dual processor 
motherboard with 3GB registered/ECC RAM.  I use ZFS for my main storage array 
in a RAIDZ2 configuration spread across eight of its 10 partitioned SATA discs; 
the system boots off one component of a GEOM_MIRROR enabled partition to avoid 
any need for zfsboot and related issues.

I'm wondering if it might be ZFS that's the problem here.  I'm not especially 
enthusiastic about giving it up, so might I be better off migrating to Solaris, 
do you think?

Any suggestions would be welcome!
freebsd-amd64 at mailing list
To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-amd64-unsubscribe at"

More information about the freebsd-amd64 mailing list