Note: This is a beta release of Red Hat Bugzilla 5.0. The data contained within is a snapshot of the live data so any changes you make will not be reflected in the production Bugzilla. Also email is disabled so feel free to test any aspect of the site that you want. File any problems you find or give feedback here.
Bug 163813 - fstab-sync fails with "error: libhal_ctx_init_direct: (null): (null)"
Summary: fstab-sync fails with "error: libhal_ctx_init_direct: (null): (null)"
Alias: None
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: hal
Version: rawhide
Hardware: i386
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: John (J5) Palmieri
QA Contact:
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2005-07-21 12:09 UTC by Bill Crawford
Modified: 2013-03-13 04:48 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2005-11-12 18:42:31 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description Bill Crawford 2005-07-21 12:09:19 UTC
Description of problem:
error: libhal_ctx_init_direct: (null): (null)

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:
run "fstab-sync" in root shell

Actual results:
error message as shown
fails to detect cdrom, no entry added to /etc/fstab

Expected results:
will create /dev/cdrom entry in /etc/fstab

Additional info:
I appear to have no /dev/cdrom but the drive is there.
Manually creating a symlink cdrom -> hdc in /dev allows other programs to work
correctly, but ...

Comment 1 Sammy 2005-07-21 13:48:10 UTC
I can confirm this too. 

Comment 2 Bill Crawford 2005-07-21 14:00:43 UTC
It sometimes works.

I'm still having trouble with xcdroast, I'll 'zilla that separately later.

Comment 3 Bill Crawford 2005-07-21 14:03:40 UTC
Actually, the plot thickens: it is now working at boot time (adding cdwriter ->
hdc) since I removed "alias radeonfb off" from /etc/modprobe.conf

I wouldn't know where to file this one ...

Still fails with that error message if I run "fstab-sync" from a console.

Comment 4 Sammy 2005-07-21 18:06:37 UTC
It worked at boot time for me too. It does have the correct fstab entry. However, no 
logical link.....logical link is done by udev, I believe! 

Comment 5 Jacob Kroon 2005-09-05 12:16:45 UTC
I'm having the same problem with fstab-sync bailing out:

bash$ /usr/sbin/fstab-sync
error: libhal_ctx_init_direct: (null): (null)

As a consequence I can't mount my portable MP3-player, even though it shows up
in Nautilus under "Computer", and the device _is_ created at /dev/sda.

bash$ rpm -q hal

Comment 6 Alexander Hunziker 2005-09-05 22:54:40 UTC
Confirm this on a machine running Arch Linux ( with
newest hal and dbus.

Comment 7 Jeremy Katz 2005-09-07 02:32:18 UTC
It looks like there is a "fix" for this in hal CVS by changing the category of
audio players back to storage instead of portable_audio_player.  That doesn't
quite seem entirely like the right fix, though.

2005-08-31  Danny Kukawka <>

        * fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-usb-music-players.fdi:
        Removed merge of not useful key info.category=portable_audio_player.
        This merge breakes the storage policy and prevent mount of USB storage
        players. See bug:

Comment 8 John (J5) Palmieri 2005-11-08 16:38:25 UTC
It isn't the right fix per say.  David says category is broken and shouldn't be
used by programs.  The fix is to have fstab-sync look at info.capabilities.  I
will look into fixing this in fstab-sync

Comment 9 Tom London 2005-11-08 16:45:44 UTC
I don't suppose this is related:

(mount points, etc. not created for lvm vol-group on USB drive)?

Comment 10 John (J5) Palmieri 2005-11-08 16:51:24 UTC
Nope bug 171296 looks like it deals with a /dev/ device node not being created.
 That would be a udev issue.

Comment 11 John (J5) Palmieri 2005-11-08 18:16:37 UTC
Ok this isn't right.  I looked through the code and it is looking at
capabilities correctly.  The problem looks deeper.  

The error - libhal_ctx_init_direct: (null): (null) is a red herring when running
from fstab-sync from the console.  fstab-sync needs to run from a hal callout so
it can get a direct connection to HAL (hal does this to avoid spamming the bus).
 The biggest problem there is the code errors out without setting an error hense
the (null): (null) which upstream should deal with.

Anyway, I think this is a udev problem.  Can you attach the contents of lshal
and fstab when the cdrom does not work?  Also a better discription of what goes
wrong.  Thanks.

Comment 12 Tom London 2005-11-12 18:39:53 UTC
Works for me with today's rawhide:

Inserting iPod mini now results in /media/ipod being created and mounted.

Comment 13 Jeremy Katz 2005-11-12 18:42:31 UTC
Yep, J5 fixed it

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.