misc/118160: unable to mount / rw while booting 7.0-BETA3

Bruce Evans brde at optusnet.com.au
Tue Nov 20 23:10:03 PST 2007

The following reply was made to PR misc/118160; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: Bruce Evans <brde at optusnet.com.au>
To: Yuri <yuri at tsoft.com>
Cc: freebsd-gnats-submit at freebsd.org, freebsd-bugs at freebsd.org
Subject: Re: misc/118160: unable to mount / rw while booting 7.0-BETA3
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 18:02:10 +1100 (EST)

 On Wed, 21 Nov 2007, Yuri wrote:
 >> Description:
 > After recompiling and reinstalling the current BETA3 my system has a reboot problem.
 > While booting log says:
 > Starting file system checks:
 > <here goes the list of file systems that it reports, this is ok>
 > mount:  : Operation not permitted.
 This is probably a secondary problem.  You apparently have the root device
 mounted on "" or something like that.
 > Mounting root file system rw failed, startup aborted.
 > /etc/rc: WARNING: $true is not set properly - see rc.conf(5)
 Whatever caused this is probably the main problem.
 > and system gets to single user mode.
 > In single user mode / is read-only. And command 'mount -uw /' fails Operation not permitted. I count't find the workaround so far.
 Please keep line lengths below 80 in mail.
 What does mount shouw for the root device?
 > The major bug seems to be in the 'mount' system call. 'man mount' says that EPERM is returned if "The caller is neither the super-user nor the owner of dir." I am root.
 THis was broken in GEOM somewhere near g_vfs_access().  g_vfs_access()
 returns EPERM for all errors involving exclusive access.  This breaks
 the documented behaviour of [n]mount() returning EBUSY for attempts to
 mount the same device more than once (unless all mounts are r/o -- multiple
 r/o mounts are broken differently, by allowing them and panicing on a
 garbage bufobj pointer later).
 You are apparently attempting to mount the same device twice (even though
 -u specifies an already-mounted device, the kernel is apparently confused
 about where it is mounted).
 > The secondary problem is this printout: WARNING: $true is not set properly - see rc.conf(5)
 > It shouldn't print $true
 FIx this first.
 > Another secondary problem is with man mount(2). Isn't is supposed to mention that setting securelevel also makes 'mount' return EPERM?
 I think securelevels break a lot of man pages like that.
 > So now I can reboot normally only choosing "single user mode" when I boot and running "mount -uw /" as a single user. And then continuing the boot process.
 Yes, it makes some sense for mounting / r/w in the right place gets it
 mounted r/w before other things mess it up.  Don't forget to run fsck -p
 manually before continuing.
 I can now see a plausible way to reach the bad state:
 - after booting, the root device is mounted on / r/o with no problems
 - mistype a mount command or have $true generate a wrong mount command,
    so that the root device is mounted somewhere else (I don't know how
    it can be on "", but it could be on " " or on any valid pathname).
    If you preemptively mount it r/w, then this other mount will fail
    -- look in the logs for messages about this.
 - now try to remount / r/w normally.  This will fail due to the r/o mount
    not on /.
 - if there is only 1 extra r/o mount of /, then the r/w mount should work
    after unmounting the extra.  If there are several extras, then unmounting
    them in a certain order should give the bufobj panic.
 The EPERM instead of EBUSY error is very confusing.  Another variation
 on it is that after shutdown to single user mode (using "kill -TERM
 1" or similar), and unmounting all devices except / an /dev, and
 remounting / r/o, "fsck -p" and "fsck /" are broken due to problems
 near g_access().  They fail with the now familiar error EPERM.  Some
 file systems have a a hack to allow them fsck to work after booting,
 but it doesn't apply later.

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