Bypass fsck on Linux startup

While re-installing the server hosting this site yesterday I ran into an interesting problem: The inital run of

fsck

on booting up the Linux image provided by my hoster would would report a file system inconsistency and wait for either the “root” password or a press of CTRL-D.
Since I didn’t know the “root” password (this is only supplied after installation has finished) and CTRL-D resulted in a reboot with the same result as before, I was stuck in a catch 22. Or so it seemed.

{openx:6}

Luckily I had access to a serial console. So I could interrupt the boot process and edit the grub line with the kernel options. There adding the statement

fastboot

made the Linux kernel skip the inital fsck run and voila, installation completed successfully.

To give you the whole picture: All I had to was to change this

title CentOS 5
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS0,57600
    initrd /initrd

to that

title CentOS 5
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS0,57600 fastboot
    initrd /initrd