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SLES 11 Installation Can Fail on LVM Based Partition

This document (7008073) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1


Install SLES11-SP1 with an LVM based partition. After the OS installation completes the system reboots.  While loading the Package Manager, YaST displays an error message that the installation media cannot be accessed.


The problem is that sda and sdb are considered as multipath devices and YaST is trying to find the installation media at /dev/sdb when it is really at /dev/sda.  This is happening because SCSI device names are not persistent across reboots. Because of this if a SCSI device is named sda then at the next reboot it may be named sdb or sdc.  This causes some applications like YaST to have trouble accessing SCSI devices.

This can be a problem even during installation of SLES11-SP1. For example, if the local hard disk on which the installation is performed is named as sda and then at the next reboot it is named as sdb, then libzypp will fail when it tries to find the installation source on the hard disk by its previous name (sda).

Changing the installation source name from the default name to the uuid name provides a work around for this issue because the uuid name is unique and persistent between reboots.  For example, change “/dev/sda1” to "/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_WDC-12345656-part1” as the location of the installation source.  This should be changed in menu.lst and fstab.

Additional Information

This issue can commonly occur when Dell's SBUU (Systems Build and Update Utility) is used as a front-end for SLES installation because SBUU creates LVM based partitions.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7008073
  • Creation Date: 07-Mar-2011
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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