[Bug 238257] zfsloader: 11.2-STABLE r345498 to r347183 update leaves unbootable system

bugzilla-noreply at freebsd.org bugzilla-noreply at freebsd.org
Fri May 31 08:13:11 UTC 2019


            Bug ID: 238257
           Summary: zfsloader:  11.2-STABLE r345498 to r347183 update
                    leaves unbootable system
           Product: Base System
           Version: 11.2-STABLE
          Hardware: amd64
                OS: Any
            Status: New
          Severity: Affects Only Me
          Priority: ---
         Component: kern
          Assignee: bugs at FreeBSD.org
          Reporter: bennett at sdf.org
                CC: bennett at sdf.org

After installing the new r347183 kernel and rebooting, the new kernel appeared
to be working, so I proceeded to do the mergemaster -p -F, make installworld,
mergemaster -F, reboot sequence.  After entering the GELI passphrase for the
boot pool primary device, I got a message beginning with "BTX" followed by
several lines of hexadecimal with spaces interspersed.  I got help from another
subscriber to the freebsd-stable list, a suggestion to wait one second after
entering the GELI passphrase, then hit space.  This action resulted in a prompt
showing the path to the broken zfsloader and allowing entry of a different
path.  I entered the same with ".old" appended, and that got me a boot menu. 
Once the system was running, I renamed the broken zfsloader to
zfsloader.bad.r347183 and renamed zfsloader.old to zfsloader and added a hard
link to it called zfsloader.good.r345498.  I then reactivated the r345498 boot
environment and eventually, after further exploration, rebooted, so I am
currently back to running r345498.

Since reverting, I have continued to update my source tree, but have not
bothered to run a "make buildworld" because I have seen no further updates to
either loader or zfsloader from r347183 through r348441.  IOW, I cannot update
my FreeBSD system any further until this bug is fixed unless I want to
implement a local addition to the updating procedure to add steps to reinstall
a working-but-outdated copy of zfsloader after the "make installworld" step and
remember to do that without fail for every update.

For the unsuspecting, but affected, FreeBSD user, who may not know how to get
the second-stage boot code to ask for a new path to a working boot loader (as I
did not), it would be unconscionable to release 11.3 before zfsloader is fixed.
 I do not know whether loader is similarly broken.

I consider such a bug to be of a severity just less than critical because there
is a way to get the system booted *provided* one knows the trick.  I have not
seen this trick documented anywhere, and I remain grateful to crahman Ta gmail
for responding to my plea for help on the -stable list with the instructions
for that trick.  IMO, the trick should be included and *highlighted* in the
Handbook's instructions for updating from source.

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