Updating the filesystem package fails with due to /mnt being read-only

  • 7006556
  • 03-Aug-2010
  • 27-Apr-2012

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux

Situation

During an update or upgrade of a SUSE Linux Enterprise system with zypper the error message "unpacking of archive failed on file /mnt: cpio: chown failed - Read-only filesystem" appears while installing the filesystem package. Zypper then prints the message "Abort, retry, ignore? [a/r/i] (a):" and waits for input.

Resolution

It's advised to umount active mounts from /mnt before updating the filesystem RPM or performing a system upgrade to avoid this situation. In case it already happened, choosing ignore (i), completing the update and installing the new filesystem RPM by re-running zypper afterwards is safe. Alternatively, umounting /mnt in a different terminal window or console and choosing retry (r) should also work.

Additional Information

The filesystem package contains the basic directory structure for a SUSE Linux Enterprise system, including the default ownerships and permissions of the directories. The directory /mnt is one of those basic directories. Trying to change the owner or permissions of a mounted directory will not affect the mount point itself, but the root directory of the filesystem that has been mounted. In case it is mounted read-only, the change of ownership and permissions will fail. Subsequently, this leads to RPM reporting an error while installing the filesystem package

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