Booting LPARs with very large amounts of CPU and memory assigned, the system may exit to the emergency shell

This document (7023433) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3 (SLES 12 SP3) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 4 (SLES 12 SP4) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 5 (SLES 12 SP5) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 1 (SLES 15 SP1) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 2 (SLES 15 SP2) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 3 (SLES 15 SP3) (ppc64le)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 4 (SLES 15 SP4) (ppc64le)

Situation

When booting logical partitions (LPARs) with large amounts of CPU and memory assigned, the system may time-out and exit to the emergency shell, showing messages similar to the following:
 
You are in emergency mode. After logging in, type "journalctl -xb" to view
system logs, "systemctl reboot" to reboot, "systemctl default" or ^D to
try again to boot into default mode.
Give root password for maintenance
(or press Control-D to continue):

The system should show messages prior to this that complain of a timeout waiting for devices, specifically the device for the /home filesystem.

Resolution

The system can usually be booted simply by entering the root password and pressing Ctrl-D or typing "exit" at the shell prompt. In some cases, it may be necessary to enter the command "lvm lvchange -a y system" before exiting the emergency mode shell.
 
A more-permanent workaround is to edit the file /etc/default/grub and append "systemd.default_timeout_start_sec=1800" to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT entry, for example:
 
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="resume=/dev/sdXX splash=silent quiet crashkernel=226M-:113M showopts systemd.default_timeout_start_sec=1800"
 
For a system with more than 32TB main memory please use "systemd.default_timeout_start_sec=3600"  in the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT entry.
 
After making this change it is required to run "grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg" to update the boot loader configuration.

Additional Information

Note that SUSE is working closely with IBM to release a fix for this issue which should be released as part of a future SLES maintenance release. For additional information see Bug # 1103094.

Disclaimer

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:7023433
  • Creation Date: 11-Oct-2018
  • Modified Date:25-Oct-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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