Q: How do I recover from my system hanging after message "VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly"?

My system hangs booting linux after the message:

VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.

All other boot messages look OK. I can boot from the emergency recovery floppy and mount the hard disk. I can run fsck on the hard disk root partition without any problems. The disk appears to be detected by Linux fine in the boot messages, and LILO looks like it is setup OK. The /etc/lilo.conf file on the root hard disk partition assigns the root device correctly. The root device is correct in /etc/fstab .

The diagnostics so far indicate that Linux detected the hard disk and was able to mount the correct root partition. No further messages appear because Linux was unable to run the first process, init, off the hard disk.

A: Boot from floppy, mount the root partition, and check that /sbin/init exists on the hard disk and is not corrupted. /sbin/init usually also depends on /lib/libc* being correct. Check that those files exist and are not corrupted.

The file /etc/ld.so.cache could also be corrupted. That file caches shared library information and is initialized later in the boot cycle. If it becomes corrupted the system may not boot. Simply remove it. It is not necessary to boot, and will be re-created later in the boot process anyway.