Arch Linux: Kernel panic after update – a solution

I am a most impressed Arch Linux user. It is best suited for my low end system. My system is PIII-800MHz/192MB/Intel-82815. After recovery of /home files from lost partition, I cleaned up all my system partitions for fresh and compact installation of Arch Linux. In last 5 months experience in Arch Linux, I tested with a lot of applications installed. Now I know what I need. So I went for fresh Arch installation, otherwise you need not to install Arch to become current version. pacman -Syu will do, to make your system current. OK, let me come to the point.

I installed base Arch installation with 0.7.2 CD in a matter of a few minutes. After reboot, configured pppoe-setup so that I could run pacman -Syu to become updated system. After update, edited /boot/grub/menu.lst and changed initrd value as kernel26.img (based on previous experience, to avoid kernel panic after reboot). This is most important step people have to remember when updating latest 2.6 kernel. So I was cool expecting clean boot, but…. resulted in kernel panic. What to do? No, problem; I have Arch base CD 0.7.2, which is also a good recovery CD.

Booted with Arch CD and entered arch root=/dev/hdX noinitrd ro at boot prompt. My Arch root partition became live. I checked /var/log/ directory for pacman log, which did not give any hint. I was not able to start my broadband cable daemon also due to some module error, as it pointed out. So I was not able to get information through internet. Then I uninstalled and re-installed both mkinitcpio and kernel26. While re-installing it showed some tips about earlymodules=piix to be appended in kernel command line for some Intel chip set based board. I did the same by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst. Now rebooted and found clean Arch Linux command prompt. That’s good. This is also one important step people have to remember when updating latest 2.6 kernel. For other chip set boards, different earlymodules= values are also available. Please search Arch forum for more info on that.

I request Arch developers to take care of this issue which often raises. It is mostly related to update of kernel command line in grub/lilo.

Additional Notes:

After base installation, how to bring GNOME desktop setup? Here is a quick go:

1. To install X windows system: pacman -S xorg

2. To install i810 video driver (for my PC): pacman -S xf86-video-i810

3. To install GNOME: pacman -S gnome-desktop gnome-extra

4. To install GNOME Display Manager (GDM): pacman -S gdm

5. Add fam, hal, portmap & dbus gdm in DAEMONS line of /etc/rc.conf file.

6. To configure the X-Windows if you don’t have high end video cards:
# hwd -u
# hwd -x
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.hwd /etc/X11/xorg.conf

7. Reboot and enjoy the GDM welcome screen.

Share this post


  1. Hi,

    I had changed display setting file etc/X11/xorg.conf and after change start x not working and giving mesg of fetal error.

    i want to resort etc/X11/xorg.conf file help me how to restore default file.

    Amir Raza

  2. OMG… thank you , thank you

    I just installed Arch within qemu on Slackware … did the
    obvious update and wham. Out to lunch. A Google (TM) quickly
    flagged your page. Not much more. Oh, did I say thank you?

    The additional notes are also very helpful.
    Off to enjoy a new distro, with alot less frustration.

    Happy New Year to you and yours… DEC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *