Thanks for the great raspberry pi project. I am a convert from other embedded linux boards.
However, I tried using the emergency kernel with the release "2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.zip", and it hung just after loading the USB Ethernet driver. Here is the startup log from serial:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/893vuhzel0ulo ... _fails.txt
I'm interested in modifying the emergency kernel for a project, but it seems not even to boot. To install it, I literally took the image, booted it once to make sure it booted, and then I renamed kernel_emergency.img to kernel.img.
I had the same problem with the prior rasbian release 2012-10-28. It hung at the same part of the boot sequence.
As far as I can tell (no monitor to connect at the moment), the issue isn't that it stops writing to the serial, but rather that it really hangs. To verify, I configured it with static IP. If it boots up using the default kernel.img, then I can ping it, log in, etc. However, when booting with the emergency kernel, it stops as documented in my bootlog (see above). The PWR, FDX, and 100 lights are on solid. The LNK light blinks sometimes. (However, if I disconnect the ethernet, then only the PWR light is on.)
I *also* had the same issue when I took a working kernel and compiled in the target_fs using the kernel switch CONFIG_INITRAMFS_SOURCE. It just stops booting. I wonder if the initramfs is somehow messing up the mounting of root, but really that is just speculation. There is no indication in my bootlog (as far as I know) that it is in fact ever starting the initramfs.