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Kernel 5.10.99 compiled staying with 5.10.90

February 11, 2022 — BarryK

I have been regularly compiling the Linux kernel since 2003. In 2021 and now 2022, EasyOS Dunfell-series uses the 5.10.x kernel, and I have been quite happy with it ...until now.

I earlier reported that when I compiled the 5.10.94 kernel, got filesystem corruption in my HDD partition at bootup, that cause a hang. I had to hold down the power button to power down.

It also output a lot of text to the screen, which is new, as I have set the log-level to output nothing to the screen. So, handling of log levels has changed.

One thing about that failed bootup. I booted with /lib/firmware folder empty. This is the way I always do it when compile a kernel. Compile it, then with /lib/firmware empty, reboot with the new kernel. It does mean that some kernel modules won't load, but that is OK, the kernel has everything builtin needed to bootup and run.

Due to the filesystem corruption, I went back to the 5.10.90 kernel and did a f.s. fix at bootup, and everything was fine from then on.

Today I compiled the 5.10.99 kernel, and on the reboot, got that text output to the screen again, and it did boot to the desktop; however, the date is wrong. Huh? Did the kernel fail to read the hardware clock? It was 12 hours behind.

I then chose to reboot, but it froze at shutdown:

Requesting system reboot
[810.215491] kvm: exiting hardware virtualization

Oh dear, had to do the hard power off again.

I booted up, with a f.s. check to be careful, and with /firmware contents restored, and got to the desktop without all of that text on the screen. And it powers off.

A quick online search shows that kvm freeze problem has been around for a long time. It comes and goes. Many people have reported that it happened with a kernel upgrade and rolling back to the previous kernel fixed it. This has been going on for years.

My PC is a Lenovo Ideacentre, very "plain vanilla" hardware, Intel CPU and GPU. 8th-gen i3, so not as though the kernel has to cope with something new-fangled.

Although it has now booted OK and shuts down, I don't have much confidence in this kernel so staying with 5.10.90.   

Tags: easy