Kernel Compile Issue

Thomas Bracht Laumann Jespersen t at
Tue Jun 29 05:25:56 EDT 2021

> > > Jun 25 10:46:42 debian systemd-modules-load[201]: Failed to find module 'vmhgfs'
> > > Jun 25 10:46:42 debian systemd[1]: Failed to start Load Kernel Modules.
> > > Jun 25 10:46:42 debian systemd[1]: Unit systemd-modules-load.service entered failed state.
> > >
> > > Does that make sense to you or anyone ?
> >
> > For reasons understandable only to systemd, it tried to modprobe vmhgfs and
> > didn't find it in the initramfs.

What Valdis says: I would expect that you can find a 'vmhgfs.ko' file somewhere
in /lib/modules that systemd is trying to load, but can't because it wasn't
included in the initramfs.

*Goes looking for 'vmhgfs.ko' in package manager*

Oh, so the vmhgfs.ko module is installed with open-vm-tools, not
virtualbox-modules. TIL.

Also it appears that vmhgfs is for VMware, not VirtualBox.

> > Does this configuration actually *need* a  vmware shared folder in order to boot?
> Uh-uh no it does not.
> I guess  it is looking for that 'vmhgfs' because I installed VirtualBox.
> And something really interesting, I deleted VirtualBox or so I
> thought. I recompiled the kernel
> and checked, same 'bleeping' error. So reinstall VirtualBox and like
> some Voo Doo magic all
> my operating systems showed up which tells me Virtual Box keeps its
> folder and settings in
> your home folder. One lives and learns :-)

Just so we're on the same page: This module is for VMware, not VirtualBox. So I
wouldn't expect (un)installing VirtualBox would affect this module.

> > If so, you'll need to tell your dracut/  mkinitramfs/whatever command to include it.
> > If not, you'll need to tell it to not look for it.

Exactly. I don't know if/how you do this with systemd, but if you don't need the
module at boot, systemd shouldn't be trying to load it.

> I am going to keep working on this as and when I have the time I want
> to know how to fix this.
> We know it is because I installed VirtualBox, now I gotta find a fix :-(

Silly idea maybe (because I'm no systemd expert): In OpenRC you can blacklist
modules in /etc/modprobe.d. Maybe something like this [0]:

	echo "blacklist vmhgfs" >> /etc/modprobe.d/vmware

Looks like you can even add it as a boot parameter. And I would assume that it
works with systemd as well, because Arch Linux uses systemd by default.


Best of luck!
-- Thomas

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