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I am a spanish speaker so excuse me for my bad english.

I am learning how to compile slackware kernel, so I have downloaded linux-3.2.7.tar.bz2 from


  • Slackware installed on a vmware virtual machine.
  • Host o.s windows 7.
  • Slackware root filesystem: ext4
  • Slackware old kernel:
  • Slackware partitions: sda1 for swapping, sda2 for the kernel.

Basically I have followed the following steps:

#cd /usr/src
#tar jvxf linux-3.2.2.tar.bz2
#mv /usr/src/linux /usr/src/linux.old 
#ln -s /usr/src/linux-3.2.2 /usr/src/linux
#cd linux-3.2.2
#make mrproper
#cp /usr/src/linux- /usr/src/linux-3.2.2/.config
#make menuconfig

Load an alternate configuration file: .config INCLUDED (OPTION Y):

ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support (DEPRECATED) (at Device drivers)
SCSI generic support (at Device drivers)
second extended support (at filesystems)
ext3 journaling (all)
ext4 (all)
ext4 (at filesystems)
JBD (ext4) debuggin support
JBD2 (ext4) debugging support
ReiserFS support
XFS filesystem support
"compile kernel with debug info" (at kernel hacking)

make dep
make clean
make bzImage
make modules
make modules_install
mv /boot/ /boot/
cp /usr/src/linux/ /boot/
ln -s /boot/ /boot/
mv /boot/vmlinuz /boot/vmlinuz.old
cp /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.2
ln -s /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.2 /boot/vmlinuz
nano -w /etc/lilo.conf


label = oldSlack
root = /dev/sda2

#lilo -q
#shutdown -r now

When kernel 3.2.2 is booting, it stops showing the following:

VFS: Cannot open root device "802" or unknown-block(8,2)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel Panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-bloc(8,2)

I hate this message because I have recompiled the kernel many times, and after hours of compilation I always get this message. :(

Can anyone help me to understand what I am doing bad or why is that error?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

NOTE: I am not familiar with Linux 3.

I can guess right now, wrong path cause this problem while executing lilo command. Lilo installed mbr somewhere else.

1st: Stop recompiling your kernel because i think it even didn't start booting.

2nd: Check again path for boot files, and paths when executing lilo. Read about lilo -r switch

 lilo -F -r /mnt/$system -b /dev/$mbr -C /etc/lilo.conf

Show output:

/sbin/sfdisk -d /dev/sda
ls -all /boot/

I would suggest you to use L switch:

cp -L /usr/src/linux/ /boot/
cp -L /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.2

Are you sure, Linux is boting?

share|improve this answer
Thanks for answering, this is what I have gotten: I have done the same steps in a virtual box virtual machine and it has worked, now I am trying on vmware and it doesnt work – adrian4aes Oct 7 '12 at 17:38

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