Xen Dom0 Fails to boot. Error “elf_init: not an ELF binary”

Recently we installed Debian Lenny on a server machine which was to be used as a Virtualization Server. Xen was then installed from the repository using the binaries. All was supposed to be okay. Xen was supposed to create the Xen kernel and update the GRUB menu.lst to include the Xen kernel. But, nope.. If something can go wrong, it will right? That’s what exactly happened. Following is the apt-get command I issued to install Xen.

apt-get install xen-hypervisor-3.2-1-amd64 xen-linux-system-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 xen-utils-3.2-1 xen-utils-common

After the installation, there was no additional entry in the menu.lst that corresponded to the Xen kernel. I added the entry manually and booted from it. Whoa! Kernel Panic! Machine kept rebooting after showing the following error.

elf_init: not an ELF binary

Searching for through the forums and blogs was the next step, which suggested following possibilities.

  • Corrupt Xen Kernel or GRUB Entry
  • incorrect console entry on the GRUB
  • Incorrect or bad drivers for the SCSI drives

But, nope.. none of the above is possible. Then with the help of a colleague, it was clear that I was missing a package. So in a nutshell, if you are installing Xen on Debian Lenny this is the list of packages that you should use.

apt-get install xen-linux-system-2.6.26-2-xen-amd64 linux-modules-2.6-xen-amd64

Everything was cool after this. GRUB entries were updated. Booted in to the new kernel and voila! You have Xen!

2 thoughts on “Xen Dom0 Fails to boot. Error “elf_init: not an ELF binary”

  1. I have met the same question,but I want to know how to install the xen from source and make the installed Linux as a Dom0 if I have a Linux running on my PC ,thanks!

  2. Thanks for that. I had a similar problem with a newer kernel and this gave me a hint about where to look for a solution.