PSA: x86_64 F38 and F39 Server network install to BIOS fails to boot (any install with xfs /boot)

Hey folks! Just a heads up on a fairly significant problem we’re working on: Right now, probably any x86_64 BIOS network install of Fedora 38 or Fedora 39 that uses an XFS-formatted /boot will fail to boot after install. This particularly affects Server, since Server defaults to XFS for /boot.

This seems to be 2259266 – grub2-2.06-117.fc40 breaks boot of installs with XFS-formatted /boot on BIOS with xfsprogs 6.5.0 suddenly affecting stable releases. That was initially found and mitigated on Rawhide, and we thought the corresponding updates for F38 and F39 didn’t have the same problem because those distros have older versions of other relevant packages, but now it looks like they did. Those updates were pushed stable last week after some delay.

Existing installs should not be affected by this (so it should be safe to upgrade your existing install), because we don’t actually reinstall the bootloader on grub2 updates (though if you were to manually do so after updating on a system with XFS /boot, it might break). Fresh installs from the Server DVD, or installs that don’t use XFS /boot, should also be fine. It’s just fresh installs that use the network repositories that are affected, I believe.


Thanks for the warning!

As I read it, only affected is a Network installation on a biosboot machine. And with DVD install you must not activate the update repository as an additional installation source, I guess.

On a EFI RAID system we install the efi files on a RAID partition with XFS. Could that become a problem now? I guess not.

Yes, that’s about right. No, UEFI installs are fine because (as the grub2 maintainer explained it to me) on the UEFI path grub2 does not need to load any additional modules from the filesystem, so it happens not to be a problem that it can’t access it.

The current plan is that he (the maintainer) is trying to work out a proper fix for this by early next week. The problem with just putting back the patch that “fixes” this is that the same patch breaks boot for some other configuration, apparently. He’s trying to come up with a fix that works for everyone.

Sounds like a good plan :slight_smile: And forward him the appreciation of the server WG for prompt fix.