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XFS w/ extern journal as root on Linux?

To: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: XFS w/ extern journal as root on Linux?
From: Mark <musicman529@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 21:50:11 -0700 (PDT)
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Reply-to: MusicMan529@xxxxxxxxx
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Well, I tried to convert my non-/home space to XFS with an external journal, 
but Linux consistently choked on it. I passed "rootfstype=xfs root=/dev/sdb5 
rootflags=logdev=/dev/sda2" on the kernel command line (via GRUB) but it 
panicked every time. 

Here is a transcript of the boot panic from an unmodified kernel:

md: Autodetecting RAID arrays.
md: Scanned 0 and added 0 devices.
md: autorun ...
md: ... autorun DONE.
XFS: Invalid device [/dev/sda2], error=-2
VFS: Cannot open root device "sdb5" or unknown-block(8,21)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions:
0800  390711384 sda driver: sd
 0801 1005448 sda1
 0802 3008880 sda2
 0803 30005640 sda3
 0804 1 sda4
 0805 356688328 sda5
0b00  1048575 sr0 driver: sr
0810 488386584 sdb driver: sd
 0811 146488671 sdb1
 0812 4008217 sdb2
 0813 3004155 sdb3
 0814 1 sdb4
 0815 334882926 sdb5
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,21)

Judging from the output, it seems not to be able to open the log device 
/dev/sda2. I slipped in a couple statements in xfs_vfsops.c to watch for 
function entries and successful exits. I saw where xfs_blkdev_get() was called 
twice, the first time successfully (probably corresponding to /dev/sdb5), the 
second time unsuccessfully (/dev/sda2). Yet, the partition list at the end of 
the panic shows /dev/sda2 as recognized and available.

Is this a known issue?

As an acceptable substitute, I moved /usr to XFS with an external journal. 
Staying with the deadline scheduler, it's a noticeable difference. OOo launches 
in about 4 seconds.

"What better place to find oneself than
 on the streets of one's home village?"
      --Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, "Family"

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