More no-console weirdness: /etc/mtab is corrupted

Steve Snyder (
Fri, 31 Jul 1998 10:41:00 -0400

Here's some more config-without-console wierdness.

But first, here's some background: I switch frequently between a 2.1.111
kernel built with support for the VGA console and one built without that
support. Enabling/disabling the console support is the *only* difference
between the 2 builds. I define "no-console weirdness" as any misbehavior
seen in the no-console kernel, but not in the kernel in which the VGA
console is supported. FYI, my system is RedHat v5.1 running on a Pentium

Here is the current problem: without a console, /etc/mtab is filled with
boot-time status messages. Specifically:

Finding module dependencies... done
Starting kerneld, version 2.1.85 (pid 28)
Checking filesystems.
Parallelizing fsck version 1.10 (24-Apr-97)
Checking all file systems.
Mounting local filesystems.
Turning on user and group quotas for local filesystems
Setting clock (utc): Fri Jul 31 10:17:49 EDT 1998
Enabling swap space.
Initializing random number generator...

Naturally, this breaks any subsequent processes that rely on /etc/mtab to
be accurate. (I found this problem by tracking down why my locate
database was not being updated daily as it should. The reason is that
cron was running the updatedb script while the system was booted with the
no-console kernel.)

When running the 2.1.111 kernel in which console support is enabled, no
problem is seen. File /etc/mtab just contains the usual mountpoints.

Can anyone suggest a work-around to allow me a no-console kernel *and* a
valid mountpoint table? Thanks.

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