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Re: [Xen-users] xen 4.1.3, EFI boot and "no console to OS" problem

  • To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: Janno Loide <janno@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 20:07:19 +0200
  • Delivery-date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 18:08:17 +0000
  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xen.org>

Hi Casey,

Fortunately, yes, I do have ssh access, and even vnc. So I can probably debug it in any possible way you'll recommend :)

But this is just my testing configuraton, laying on a desk next to me. Implementing that software on the remote production site is what makes me really worried.

I did try to switch TTYs, from the usb keyboard, without any result :( The keyboard, connected to usb port, doesn't even put any leds on, neither blinks when disconnecting/connecting after loading Xen. The system does recongize the keyboard, though:
kernel: [    4.510357] input: Lite-On Technology Corp. Lenovo Low Profile USB Keyboard as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.0/usb1/1-1/1-1.3/1-1.3:1.0/input/input1
kernel: [    4.517658] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
Mar 19 17:54:58 linux-z01z kernel: [    4.517659] usbhid: USB HID core driver

The system has a remote management module with java-based remote console applet and that behaves exactly the same as the real console: Kdm login screen appears, the cursor blinks, but typing on a keyboard has no effect.

The graphics adapter is Matrox G200e2 with 16MB RAM.
Before Xen loading the console input works normally, btw. On the GRUB menu I can choose between entries. And when I boot up with either default or desktop profiled kernel the console stays on, fully functional. Just when I choose Xen kernel, the input disappears (the usb keyboard stops responding to NumLock) just after the ramdisk is loaded and screen blanks for a moment.

Xen seems to recognize the right amount of RAM, though:
#xm dmesg | grep -i 'system ram'
(XEN) System RAM: 98237MB (100595124kB)

Some other thing I noticed -- 'xm dmesg' output ends with:
(XEN) Xen is relinquishing VGA console.
(XEN) *** Serial input -> DOM0 (type 'CTRL-a' three times to switch input to Xen)
(XEN) Freed 232kB init memory.
(XEN) physdev.c:172: dom0: wrong map_pirq type 3

And exept host console, everything else seems to work. I can even install and run guest vm-s without problems (though tested HVM and PVHVM guests so far).

I do prefer standardized solutions of course, but modifying source and recompiling things is ok also, if only this would help.


Hello Janno,

First question, do you have SSH configured and can you access via SSH?

Second, have you tried switching TTY consoles after the login screen freezes?  Is it possible it could just be the GUI and not the console?  Hotkeys like ctrl+alt+F# will switch you to various terminal consoles which may allow you to at least gain access and try to debug locally.

This may be a long shot, but what GUI are you using?  Xen 4.1 had an EFI bug for me where it would not recognize all available memory, and Gnome3 (as an example) locks up with 512MB or less.

If you can access the system via the alternative TTY or via SSH you may be able to check using the xm or xl toolstacks `dmesg` and searching for "System RAM".

Unfortunately if that is the cause the only solution I am aware of involves modifying the source and rebuilding, which is not at all helpful if you are using packages.

Hope these suggestions help with troubleshooting.


On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM, Janno Loide <janno@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hello All!

    I have a new OpenSuse 12.2 (with 3.4.33-2.24-xen kernel) + Xen 4.1.3 install on an IBM x3550 server. The system is booted via EFI with Grub2 bootloader and it boots up normally, either with or without Xen.
But i have one trouble with it: I can't get console access working with Xen.

The strange thing is, despite the "WARNING: no console will be available to OS" appearing during xen loading, the console actually starts, the graphical login screen does even appear... and then freezes. Just the console; the system iself continues to run normally.
Booting the system up without xen leaves also the console working.

Yet i do need this console: after some testing i have to implement this new Suse/Xen install on a distant server (which has a management module for remote console access) and I just can't risk being blinded and cut off in case there will be some confusion with network interfaces, for example.

Some googling on this matter didn't give any help also. It did reveal some opinions, though, suggesting that this console problem is related to EFI.. but, unfortunately, nothing useful.

Can anyone please tell me if/how it's possible to get console access with Xen 4.1.3 and EFI boot? And if not, what would be the closest solution? Xen 4.2?, Xen 4.1.2?, ELILO?

With best regards,

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