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Suse Troubleshooting



Recommended Books Recommended Links Linux troubleshooting Troubleshooting Linux Performance
 supportconfig Baseliners Suse config files Suse Log Files /proc and /sys Filesystems Enterprise Unix Administration

Script is broken: incomplete LSB comment, missing `Required-Start:' entry

modprobe FATAL could not load modules.dep

Suse Tips

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The SUSE Rescue System

 Using strace
TCP/IP Network Troubleshooting Network Troubleshooting Tools Troubleshooting NTP on Red Hat Linux NIS Troubleshooting Troubleshooting Samba problems DNS Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting X  Syslog analyzers Troubleshooting Linux Performance Too high refresh rate/ too high resolution Resetting the Root Password Security
Troubleshooting of ftpd daemon SSH troubleshooting Linux disk subsystem tuning Loopback filesystem TCP Performance Tuning The Linux Logical Volume Manager
Rescue Mode Too high refresh rate/ too high resolution Linux Tips Linux Troubleshooting Tips Humor Etc

Troubleshooting, problem analysis and root cause determination requires patience, determination, and experience. It is important to fully investigate the problem and collect all relevant data in order to begin troubleshooting on the correct path. Although you may start out on one path and end up on another in order to resolve a complex problem, over time the most important skill will become patience. Keep log as in a process of solving complex problem you can become distracted and forget about important facts or findings. 

Troubleshooting of SLES problems can be a complex process. Also Suse is definitely less popular then Red Hat so Google is less helpful resource and you often need to solve problem in old-fashioned way -- yourself.   It is important to have a baseline of key configuration files see  Baseliners.

Often problem arise as the result of modification of  configuration files in some well organized fashion. So keeping automatic track record by using some configuration management system (or even simple copying of previous version with the timestamp) are really important. If this process is broken and several system administrators are responsible for the server as is typical in large corporations, nasty problems can arise.  In this case communication of  changes is a key.

The following section contains important log files, procedures, and tools used during the troubleshooting process.

The script supportconfig is a standard tool to collect all the relevant for troubleshooting information in Suse. It is recommended to run it periodically from cron at least weekly (daily for important server) so that you have a track record of key configuration files. There is also a tool that helps to analyze the collected information called the Supportconfig Health Check Report Tool (schealth)

Supportconfig Health Check Report Tool Novell User Communities

15 October 2008 - 3:16pm
Submitted by: jrecord

license: GPLv2 home page url: 

The Supportconfig Health Check Report Tool (schealth) parses and evaluates the basic-health-check.txt file generated by supportconfig. The tool is based on the concepts outlined in the article, "A Basic Server Health Check with Supportconfig". The schealth output will be most effective to you if you have read and understand the concepts documented in the article.

Installation Instructions

  1. schealth is included in the supportutils package along with supportconfig.


schealth [-hqv]

  1. Get a supportconfig tar ball from the server.
  2. Extract the supportconfig tar ball.
  3. Change to the directory where the basic-health-check.txt file is located.
  4. schealth requires the basic-health-check.txt file be in the current working directory.
  5. Run schealth.
  6. Observe the output. The output is also stored in the basic-health-report.txt file in the current directory.
  7. Use the supportconfig output to troubleshoot in more detail any red or yellow flags reported by schealth.

Sample Output

Supportconfig Health Check Report Tool v0.95.3

Health Check Files                         [  Green  ]
Processes Waiting for Run Queue            [ Yellow  ]
 Last 1 and 15 minutes: 6 > 5 && 6 > 5

Kernel Taint Status                        [  Green  ]
CPU Utilization                            [   Red   ]
 95% meets or exceeds 90%

Interrupts Per Second                      [ Yellow  ]
 8852 meets or exceeds 8000

Context Switches Per Second                [   Red   ]
 16546 meets or exceeds 10000

Free Memory and Disk Swapping              [ Yellow  ]
 Observed: 3 MB <= 4 MB, Swapping: No

Used Disk Space                            [   Red   ]
 Some meet or exceed limits

Red Flags
/var                 96% >= 90%
/boot                93% >= 90%

Yellow Flags
/dev                 81% >= 80%

Uninterruptible Processes                  [ Yellow  ]
 3 meets or exceeds 3

Zombie Processes                           [  Green  ]

Status:   Red Flag
Checked:  /var/log/nts_jrecord1_080711_0953/basic-health-check.txt
Report:   /var/log/nts_jrecord1_080711_0953/basic-health-report.txt

Suse Log Files

SLES uses the syslog-ng  for logging. System events are written to log files in a way similar to standard syslog with /etc/log/messages as the main file.

 Important Log Files
/var/log/messages The majority of syslog messages are stored in this file.
/var/log/boot.msg All boot-related messages are written to this file upon system startup.
/var/log/YaST2 This directory contains log files for the operation of YaST and YaST modules.
/var/log/cups CUPS-related log files can be found in this directory.
/var/log/mail Log file for mail-related messages.
/var/log/XFree86.0.log Log file containing messages relating to the XFree86 server.
yast2 view_anymsg

yast view_anymsg
Command used to launch YaST into the system log monitoring module. (yast2 is the graphical utility, and yast is the command-line version.)

NOTE: Log files for OES components can normally be located in /var/opt/novell/log.

/proc and /sys Filesystems

When you're troubleshooting hardware-related problems, it is often important to determine exactly what view the kernel has of all hardware devices attached to the server. The /proc filesystem is a virtual filesystem that allows an insight into the running kernel. Many kernel configuration values can be analyzed by viewing the appropriate file within the /proc directory structure.

Starting with the 2.6 kernel, the sysfs filesystem has been added for accessing additional information regarding kernel data structures and attributes. This filesystem is mounted at the /sys directory and can be used to query specific settings of hardware devices recognized by the current kernel. As not all devices have interfaces within the sysfs filesystem, both the /proc and /sys filesystems must be used for low-level device management.

Important Files Found Within /proc and /sys
/proc/cpuinfo Contains information regarding all identified CPUs.
/proc/interrupts Contains information regarding allocated interrupts.
/proc/ioports Contains information regarding configured I/O ports.
/proc/scsi/ Directory containing information regarding the SCSI subsystem. Adapter- and device-specific information can usually be located in adapter- specific directories beneath /proc/scsi.
/proc/modules Contains information regarding currently loaded modules.
/sys/devices Directory structure containing a view of all devices recognized by the running kernel.
/sys/bus Directory structure containing a view of all bus-specific devices recognized by the running kernel.

Rescue Mode

See also The SUSE Rescue System

Rescue mode is a method of running Linux from the installation media rather than a damaged SLES installation. This mode is useful for advanced troubleshooting and disaster recovery when the installed operating environment is failing to start up properly. Rescue mode is accessed by following these steps:

1. Boot from the installation media and select Rescue System from the GRUB menu.
2. When prompted, select an appropriate keyboard map.
3. At the Rescue Login prompt, enter root. After pressing Enter, you will be provided with a BASH prompt.

At this point, SLES is actually running off the CD rather than the hard disk. The real root filesystem must now be located and mounted.

Use fdisk <root hard disk device> (the hard disk device might be /dev/sda, for example), and then press p to view the partition table of the selected disk. The root filesystem device will have an ID of 83 and a System of "Linux". When you've located it, record the device name of the root filesystem. If you are unsure of the entry that contains the root filesystem, record all possible matches. These potential matches can be checked one at a time.


4. Mount the root filesystem that was located in the previous step using the following command:
mount -t reiserfs <root device (e.g. /dev/sda1)> /mnt

(If your filesystem type is not reiserfs, be sure to modify the command line accordingly.)

5. Change the current directory to /mnt and ensure that the root filesystem is correctly mounted. If it is, the original root directory structure should be visible. If this directory is not visible, unmount the /mnt directory (using umount /mnt) and then go back to step 3 to try locating the root filesystem device again.

6. Change your root directory from the CD-based SLES to your installed operating system using the chroot command as follows:
chroot /mnt

At this point, a new BASH shell has been opened within the filesystem of your SLES installation. Additional troubleshooting (reviewing log files, changing passwords, disabling services, and so on) can all be performed prior to rebooting in normal mode.

Troubleshooting Utilities

Troubleshooting Linux-related problems sometimes involves in-depth investigation of the disk, running processes, networking configuration, and countless other topics. Here is a small list of utilities often used in the troubleshooting process.

df Reports total, used, and available disk space across all mounted filesystems
du Estimates disk space usage by directories
free Displays total, used, and free memory statistics; also reports information on memory buffers and swap space
hwinfo Reports detailed information on known hardware
iostat Reports input/output statistics for block devices
KDE System Guard (ksysguard) Graphical utility used to monitor system load performance
lsof Lists currently open files
ltrace Traces library calls made by a process
netstat Reports network statistics and route information
sitar Comprehensive reporting tool used to generate a report documenting the entire running environment
strace Traces system calls and signals made by a process
tcpdump Used to capture network traffic for later review using a utility such as Ethereal
top Displays running process and various statistics regarding each process (CPU utilization, memory, and so on)
vmstat Reports virtual memory statistics
xosview Graphical utility used to report system statistics such as CPU usage, load average memory usage, and several other parameters

Using these troubleshooting utilities to track down and resolve issues can be a daunting task. For help with this process, or any technical issue you may face, contact Novell Technical Support (

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[Jun 02, 2012] Optimizing and Troubleshooting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Advanced Technical Training, Course 8256

Day 1: Optimization 1

Section 1: Introduction to System Optimization Section 2: CPU Subsystem Optimization Section 3: Memory Subsystem Optimization

Day 2: Optimization 2

Section 4: Storage Subsystem Optimization Section 5: Network Subsystem Optimization Section 6: Application Subsystem Optimization

Day 3: Troubleshooting

Section 1: Troubleshooting Methodology Section 2: Troubleshooting Tools Section 3: Troubleshooting System Startup and Shutdown Section 4: Troubleshooting Kernel Configuration Section 5: Troubleshooting Kernel Panic Dumps

Day 4: Advanced Troubleshooting

Section 1: Introduction to Configuration Backups Section 2: Configuration Backup Fundamentals Section 3: Rapid Recovery

[Jul 24, 2011] Troubleshooting Common Boot Issues

This document (3864925) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

This document is intended as a general guideline for troubleshooting system boot issues. Please read and evaluate the entire document prior to contacting Novell Technical Support.

Symptom: Regardless of the kernel selected to boot (failsafe or default), a kernel panic stops the system from booting.

Error(s): RAMDISK: Couldn't find a valid RAM disk image starting at 0.
VFS: Cannot open a root device "sda2" or unknown-block(0,0)
Please append a correct"root=" boot option
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Cannot open a root device "sda2" or unknown-block(0,0)

Probable Cause: A corrupted or missing initrd.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Verify that the / (root) and /boot (if used) filesystems are mounted. The mount command should supply sufficient information. If not, comparing its output with the contents of /etc/fstab should.
  4. Run mkinitrd.
  5. Reboot.

Symptom: The system fails to boot and prompts for the root password.

error on stat() /dev/hdb3: No such file or directory
Failed to open the device'/dev/hdb3' : No such file or directory
fsck.reiserfs /dev/hdb3 failed (status 0x8). Run manually!
fsck failed for at least one filesystem (not /).

Probable cause:
Invalid/etc/fstabentry, /dev/hdb3 is a non-existent device.


  1. Enter the root password to enter maintenance mode.
  2. Remount the root filesystem as read-write:

    mount -o rw,remount /

  3. Edit /etc/fstab and remove the non-existent device entry. Comparing the output of fdisk -l may provide additional guidance for the non-existent device.
  4. [CTRL]+[D] reboots.

Symptom: The system simply hangs after POST. The screen is completely blank. The option to Boot Installed System* is not available.

If Rescue System is attempted, and fdisk -l run, no partitions are seen. If parted is used, and check run,Error: Partition doesn't existis returned.

Probable cause:
The MBR has been damaged or corrupted.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Reinstall GRUB:

    grub-install bootdevicepath (e.g. /dev/sda)

  4. Reboot.
  1. If Boot Installed System* is unavailable, the most likely probable cause is that the partition table is damaged or corrupt, no recovery is possible unless a previous backup of the partition table is available.

Symptom: When the system boots, an error message is seen, and the system locks. Sometimes the screen just goes black or the server reboots. Sometimes all that is seen is the grub details screen halted after trying to load the/boot/initrd(see below).

No setup signature found ...
initrd /boot/initrd
[Linux-initrd @ 0x1fc38000, 0x2a7ab8 bytes]

Probable cause:
Damaged or corrupted kernel in/boot.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Install a valid kernel rpm. This can be had from the selected installation medium (under /suse/arch) or from our website at (search the patches section for kernel-).

    rpm -Uvh --force kernel-type-revision-arch.rpm

  4. Reboot.

Symptom: The system boots up to System Boot Control: Running /etc/init.d/boot.local, then gracefully reboots.


Probable cause:
Corrupted or misconfigured boot script.


  1. At the GRUB menu, type in


    on the Boot Options line.
  2. Edit /etc/init.d/boot.local and modify or remove the corrupted or misconfigured line.
  3. Reboot.

Once exited from a virtual console, the console is not respawned. The console prompt just blinks.

INIT: no more processes left in this runlevel

Probable cause:
Corrupt or misconfigured/etc/inittab


  1. Login as root.
  2. Edit /etc/inittab and change any tty configuration(s) from once to respawn.
  3. Reboot or pkill -1 init.

Symptom: The kernel panics after trying to mount the root filesystem.

Waiting for device /dev/sda1 to appear: . ok
rootfs: major=8 minor=1 devn=2049
rootfs: /sys/block/sda/sda1 major=8 minor=1 devn=2049
mount: unknown filesystem type 'swap'
umount: /dev: device is busy
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on sda1

Probable cause:
Corrupt or misconfigured/boot/grub/menu.lst.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst.
  4. Modify the kernel parameter root= to point to the correct root partition. fdisk -l should provide sufficient guidance to determine the root filesystem.
  5. Reboot.

The system boots to the GRUB prompt (grub>).


Probable cause:
Corrupt or missing/boot/grub/menu.lstfile.


  1. Boot Installed System* -or- if sufficiently familiar with GRUB, manually boot the system.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Verify the existence of /boot/grub/menu.lst.
    If existing, but misnamed, rename it.
    If corrupt, delete it and Repair Installed System** (just the Boot Loader Configuration check should be sufficient).
    If missing, Repair Installed System** (just the Boot Loader Configuration check should be sufficient).
  4. Reboot.

The system boots, but filesystems are not mounted. Many mount-related errors are seen during boot.

Mostly mount-related error messages are seen during boot.
startproc: mount returned not-zero exit status
startproc: /proc not mounted, failed to mount: No such file or directory failed

Probable cause:
The mount binary is either corrupt or missing.


  1. Either Repair Installed System** -or - the following.
  2. Boot into rescue mode (Rescue System) from the selected installation medium.
  3. Login as root.
  4. Manually mount the root filesystem (i.e., mount /dev/sda2 /mnt). fdisk -l should provide sufficient information to determine the correct partition.
  5. Copy in a valid mount binary from the Rescue System.
  6. Reboot.

The system boots, but login fails.

INIT: no more processes left in this runlevel
INIT: /etc/inittab[xx]: missing action field

Probable cause:
Corrupt or misconfigured/etc/inittab


  1. Login as root.
  2. Edit /etc/inittab and change any tty configuration(s) to include an action (once or respawn) in the action field (third column).
  3. Reboot or pkill -1 init.

The system boots, but only to a GRUB screen, then hangs.

GRUB Hard Disk Error

Probable Cause:
As the full GRUB prompt is not achieved, the problem lies somewhere in GRUB stage1. The /boot/grub/stage1file may be missing or corrupted.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Copy /usr/lib/grub/stage1 to/boot/grub/stage1.
  4. Reinstall GRUB:

    grub-install bootdevicepath(e.g., /dev/sda).

  5. Reboot.
  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Identify the installed version of GRUB:

    rpm -q grub

  4. Remove the installed version. E.g.,

    rpm -ev --nodeps grub-0.97-16.1

  5. Reinstall the grub package. This can be had from the selected installation medium (under /suse/arch) or from our website at (search the patches section for grub).

    rpm -Uvh grub-version.rpm.

  6. Reinstall GRUB:

    grub-install bootdevicepath(e.g.,/dev/sda).

The system either doesn't boot, or boots, but some modules aren't loaded and/or some devices are undetected.

FATAL: Error insertingmodulename(modulepath): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg).
modulename: Unknown symbol symbolname

Probable cause:
Occasionally, when modules are updated, the modules dependency file/lib/modules/kernelversion/modules.depis improperly configured or corrupted prior to updating the initial ramdisk.


  1. Boot Installed System*.
  2. Login as root.
  3. Run depmod to regenerate the modules dependency file.
  4. Run mkinitrd to generate a new initial RAM disk image.
  5. Reboot.

EVMS is used for the root filesystem. The system doesn't boot, with errors related to finding the root filesystem.

Waiting for device /dev/evms/lvm2/system/root to appear: ... not found

Probable cause:
The initial RAM disk image lacks EVMS support.


  1. Boot the rescue system and enter the shell.
  2. Probe EVMS information:

    echo "probe" | evms -s

  3. Query devices:

    echo "q:d" | evms -s

  4. Query volumes:

    echo "q:v" | evms -s

    This should display the name your root container.
  5. Mount the root filesystem (note the comma in the mount command):

    mkdir -p /old
    echo "mount:/dev/evms/lvm2/system/root,/old" | evms -s

  6. The contents of the old root filesystem should be visible now:

    ls -l /old/

  7. Enter the environment of the installed system:

    chroot /old

  8. Generate a new inital RAM disk, with EVMS support:

    /sbin/mkinitrd -f evms

  9. Exit the environment of the installed system through [CTRL]+[D].
  10. Reboot.


Top Issue

Additional Information

* Boot Installed System is the process of using a SuSE Linux Enterprise Server installation medium to boot the installed system. These are the steps:
  1. Boot the system off of the selected installation medium (CD/DVD in most cases). This medium should be the same (or later) revision level as the installed system. I.e., if the installed system is SLES9SP2, the installation medium should be SLES9SP2 or later.
  2. At Welcome screen, Installation should be selected in place of Boot from Hard Disk.
  3. Select the desired Language.
  4. Accept the License Agreement(s) (if prompted).
  5. At the Installation Mode screen, select Boot Installed System. On SLES10 and later, click on the [Other] button to see these options.
**Repair Installed System is a process similar to Boot Installed System and provides a more automatic repair process. In some cases, when a broader approach to fixing the issue is needed (sledgehammer rather than scalpel), Repair Installed System is the desired process. These are the steps:
  1. Boot the system off of the selected installation medium (CD/DVD in most cases). This medium should be the same (or later) revision level as the installed system. I.e., if the installed system is SLES9SP2, the installation medium should be SLES9SP2 or later.
  2. At Welcome screen, Installation should be selected in place of Boot from Hard Disk.
  3. Select the desired Language.
  4. Accept the License Agreement(s) (if prompted).
  5. At the Installation Mode screen, select Repair Installed System. On SLES10 and later, click on the [Other] button to see these options.

[Jun 09, 2010] SUSE Broken Don't fear the chroot ! by johnlange

September 22, 2009 | Blang!
SUSE hasn't let me down very often but recently I had a bad experience while applying some updates to an OpenSUSE laptop. There were quite a few updates so I undocked the laptop so I could relax while they downloaded.

For reasons that I have not yet resolved, the wirless networking became unstable and as a result, the updates had to be aborted.

Unfortunately, a new kernel was part of the updates and when the laptop rebooted it was in a bad state. X windows wouldn't start and critically, there were no network drivers for the new kernel. To make matters worse, OpenSUSE does not keep the old kernels in /boot (why is that?) so there was nothing to fall back on.

With nothing left to do, it was time to try rescue mode and in a few short steps I had the system fully working again. Here is what I did:

Step 1: boot to rescue mode (duh).

Step 2: mount your hard disk partitions under /mnt in the same layout they would be normally. For example:

# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

Ö etc.

Step 3: Next we need to make sure we have access to all the important system resources.

# mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
# mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
# mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev

Step 4: We're ready to chroot into our new environment.

# chroot /mnt

Step 5: We are now running on our system just as if we had booted to it and we can perform repairs. In my case all I needed to do was complete the updates:

# zypper up

I rebooted and everything was back to normal.



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