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LVM and ext3 FS labels not playing nice?

This applies to RHEL ES 3.0 running on Dell PowerEdge machines.

All of our ext3 filesystems (except /boot) are on logical voumes.

As a general rule, I like to use FS labels whenever possible, just to avoid confusion. I don't want to remember which LV is /var; I just want to know it's the one with LABEL=/var. So I replaced all of the /dev/vg##/lvol## entries in my /etc/fstab file with LABEL=<whatever>. So far, no problems. The system will boot like this.

The problem happens after I upgrade the kernel. After upgrading the kernel, the kernel panics at boot time because it can't find the initrd image.

After rescuing the system, rewriting the fstab so it no longer uses LABELs, and manually running mkinitrd for the new kernel, everything is back to normal. hrm.

So it seems that using LABEL entries for logical volumes in fstab causes mkinitrd to create a broken img file (though it doesn't error out). Replacing the LABEL entries with /dev/vg##/lvol## and rerunning mkinitrd fixes this problem.

Can somebody shed some light on what exactly went wrong here? I've had success running mkinitrd with LABEL entries before I was using LVM but it apears that LVM + FS labels + mkinitrd = kernel panic. What's broken and how do I fix it?

- James Puellmann

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