groovy daily won't boot anymore on some older BIOS boxes

Bug #1883040 reported by Chris Guiver on 2020-06-11
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu CD Images
casper (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

** Synopsis

I haven't been able to get ISOs to boot on [some] older BIOS based boxes since late Sunday (7-June). Examples are Ubuntu, Ubuntu-Studio, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and since then Lubuntu too.

NOTE: This `ubuntu-bug` report was filed on the only box (I'd noted at the time) that booted, and didn't have an issue, so details of box are NOT the problem.

On boxes that have the issue boot stops at

"unable to find medium container a live file system
Attempt interactive netboot from a URL?"

(no squashfs check on plymouth type display is seen)

** Addendum - It's not impacting all BIOS boxes either
FAILED to boot are
- hp dc7700 (c2d-e6320, 5gb, nvidia quadro nvs 290)
- dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)

But boxes that boot are
+ dell [optiplex] 745 (c2d-6600, 6gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)
+ dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e8300, 8gb, amd/ati radeon rv610/radeon hd2400 pro/xt)
+ dell [optiplex] 780 (c2q-q9400, 4gb, amd/ati cedar radeon hd 5000/6000/7350/8350)
+ hp dc7900 (c2d-e8400, 4gb, intel 4 series integrated i915)
+ hp 8200 elite sff (i5-2400, 8gb, nvidia quadro 600)
+ lenovo thinkpad sl510 (c2d-t6570, 2gb ram, i915)
+ motion computing j3400 (c2d-u9400, 4gb, intel mobile 4 series)

It APPEARS the boxes that boot are newer; OR issue only impacts a small subset of BIOS boxes. I had a fail & pass with two d755s (identical boxes but different motherboards; worked on one without PS2 mouse/keyboard ports)

** Background (timing)

On Sunday Morning 7-June I zsync'd the lubuntu daily & wrote to media to continue testing of our updated LXQt (0.15.0) without issue (AEST or my local Melbourne time)

That night I grabbed ubuntu-studio, ubuntu, xubuntu, kubuntu (& tried to grab ubuntu-mate but it's not available yet) and was unable to get these to boot I may not have tried all or in many combinations - just gave them all up as problematic. I also deleted all entries I'd started on (assuming bad media). Note I would have used the failed boxes as they're on the same desk as my primary box.

Last night (Wednesday 10 June) I grabbed all again, wrote to media again, and tried booting & failed. ISO was tried on four different thumb-drives, using two boxes to write the media. It failed to boot on multiple tried boxes (HP, DELL.. all BIOS). Also the Lubuntu was updated (zsync) & written and it won't boot either anymore.

Most hardware I test on is old/BIOS boxes. Just now I re-tried a thumb-drive on this newer UEFI and it boots here - ie. issue appears to impact only BIOS boxes (c2d, c2q etc)

Note: I also have loads of issues with thumb-drive (worn out maybe?) which is why I deleted my entries, and didn't raise this till today. 3 thumb-drives were purchased this year, 2 have never given me issues.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.10
Package: syslinux 3:6.04~git20190206.bf6db5b4+dfsg1-2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-26.30-generic 5.4.30
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-26-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: zfs zunicode zavl icp zcommon znvpair
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu38
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: pass
CasperVersion: 1.449
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Thu Jun 11 03:31:57 2020
LiveMediaBuild: Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla" - Alpha amd64 (20200609)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: syslinux
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Related branches

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :
Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Chris Guiver (guiverc) on 2020-06-11
description: updated
Chris Guiver (guiverc) on 2020-06-11
description: updated
summary: - groovy daily won't boot anymore on BIOS boxes
+ groovy daily won't boot anymore on some older BIOS boxes
Chris Guiver (guiverc) on 2020-06-11
description: updated
description: updated
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

For ~exact dating on when this issue occurs - look at my Lubuntu daily testing...

Lubuntu daily boots on hp8200 (the same thumb-drive that I mentioned failing earlier as it no longer boots on hp dc7700 which is a box I very regularly re-wipe with QA-test installs). Of late I've favored the d755 that still boots (it has an issue with calamares.) but my logs should I'd hope show when this issue first appeared by scanning my lubuntu testing.

(PS: if you have a job I can use to copy text from my searches, I'd love it - forum question hasn't got any answers on how to... I'm not a python coder)

We have recently upgraded the xorrisso utility that is used to produce the
images on the host that builds images.

We are also planning to switch the bootloader on the images from syslinux
to grub.

I wonder if this is related to the switch.

For comparison purposes, does the daily focal images boot for you?

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

syslinux hasn't changed since 2020-04-24 so is unlikely to be the culprit. Actually I can't see any candidate that has changed recently.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

syslinux will be wrong package then, sorry.
I don't understand boot process so can't help with cause.

(my focusing on a `calamares` issue on the d755 that didn't have this issue also means I've favored that box in hopes to gain more detail on lubuntu's calamares issue, but do regularly use dc7700 for QA full disk installs)

Will grab *focal* and test that as I'm able (I'm assuming flavor doesn't matter, I had failures with same boxes with lubuntu - though it wasn't booted on as many

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

A thought: on Friday/Saturday/Sunday (5-7 June) testing of Lubuntu, I won't have used the d755 that fails to boot now, in fact may not have used either box

(to open all menu programs in 'live' testing, it's faster on keyboards that have a super key; those boxes share a 1980s ibm model m keyboard. The dc7700 does have it's second (newer) keyboard plugged in so may have used that box one day but may not have)

tags: added: rls-gg-incoming
Changed in syslinux (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Focal daily (2020-06-10) booted fine on both d755 & dc7700 boxes that currently fail to boot groovy.

Changed in syslinux (Ubuntu Groovy):
status: New → Triaged
tags: removed: rls-gg-incoming
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

nothing new... I'll type what I see on today's lubuntu ISO on dc7700
( with thumb-drive booted on hp8200 before hand to prove it's good)

[999. ima:Error Communicating with TPM chip (i ignore this & above 13 messages a number of which are just repeated... they're most likely NOT new)
-- messages that I don't expect --

stdin: Not a typewriter
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
Unable to find a medium container a live file system
Attempt interactive netboot from a URL?
yes no (default yes):

then a few more messages I consider unrelated

[a bad] photo of above can be found at

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

identical messages on d755-5 that has this issue
stdin: Not a typewriter
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
Unable to find a medium container a live file system
Attempt interactive netboot from a URL?
yes no (default yes):

[another bad] photo can be found at
(clean this time without the bs messages I ignore on dc7700)

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Lubuntu's current groovy daily booted on d755-5
dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)

[shaky] MOVIE:

Video in case help, you can see
- language selection
- start lubuntu/start lubuntu(safe graphics)/test memory/boot first hdd
- screen blank
- briefly the plymouth then error.

NOTE: the very brief plymouth isn't always detectable on dc7700

WARNING: lower volume.. I didn't think about my playing music

tags: added: id-5ee24bb4edd42c7b21dc5a88
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

is my timeline accurate??

I don't know how to scan to download all my tests so I can grep for those specific (impacted) boxes (I copy/paste boxes from a list on first comment line of recorded tests) to see when I booted each... however ..

I booted dc7700 and it only has focal installs; no groovy. Most of my tests are 'live' anyway, and I've already stated I've been focusing on a box unaffected by this issue (due other calamares ~timing issue) so maybe I've used those boxes less & my timeline is inaccurate (my boxes share keyboard/screens anyway [kvm boxes] so mechanical memory is minimal; only usb-insertion & power switch)

sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :


1. Apropos xnox's comment: You could create a persistent live drive with mkusb. It boots via grub (not syslinux) also in BIOS mode. That way you could make sure that it is not related to syslinux.

2. I have seen [the same or similar] complaints about missing optical media recently, but the boot process continued anyway.

3. How far does the boot process proceed? Is the 'writable' partition created? Is it mounted? Is some error log written to it or some crash dump?

sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :

Item 3 above concerns cloned live drives, that I think you have been using.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

summary: no difference with dus `persistent' over dus `live`

I have written my last lubuntu [groovy] daily ISO (comment #11) using `dus` (mkusb) however where for comment #11 it was written using the 'l' option for 'live' media.. this time I selected "persistent"

In writing (dus) I selected msdos at the format option, default 50% for persistent storage and it wrote.

On booting, on selecting either "Start Lubuntu - persistent" or "Start Lubuntu" the end result is the same
stdin: Not a typewriter
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
/init: line 49: can't open /dev/sr0: No medium found
Unable to find a medium container a live file system
Attempt interactive netboot from a URL?
yes no (default yes):

I booted the 'persistent' thumb-drive on hp 8200 & it booted fine.. (expected result as box isn't impacted by this issue)

I booted the 'persistent' thumb-drive on d755-5 (also impacted) and other than seeing the `plymouth` lubuntu screen (which I do NOT see on hp dc7700, but appears in my pasted video link as it was filmed on this box) it ended with the same "Attempt interactive netboot' issue..

Possibly?? this proves `syslinux` is wrong package? (based on prior comments)

sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :


Yes, syslinux is not involved at all in persistent live drives by mkusb-dus, so it is innocent.

Will you get more information, when you remove 'quiet splash' from the linux line in grub?

sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :


[Unfortunately for squashing this bug] I got rid of some old computers when I moved to a smaller apartment last summer. My oldest 64-bit computer now has an Intel i3 processor, and it is not affected by this bug.

- Can you boot the current groovy mini.iso into the computers affected by this bug?

- Can you install a text screen system with it?

- Can you install Lubuntu or some other desktop flavour of Ubuntu with it?

The result of such tests might reveal something about the bug.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I'll respond as I can do items. For now I'll provide

Lubuntu groovy daily (maybe two days old, same as my prior two comments)

photos are of same thing, first portrait (more lines vertically seen), second landscape (you can read more of each line) booted on dell 755(-5)

FYI: I haven't found a mini.iso, only netboot iamges for releases up to focal

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Found it :) (thanks to @dax on IRC)

it boots on both boxes (to installer boot menu). I won't overwrite d755 so only went further on dc7700; it commenced debian installer, i went language, keyboard, it recognized network, I selected mirror and it started downloading components... I installed (full disk), including basic server, lubuntu desktop & ssh-server

The install worked perfectly (no date in the /etc/apt/sources.list) file where I usually look for install .. but I can provide /var/log/installer/syslog or whatever but quick glance & all looks good.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Nope; scratch my last (#19) - it's reporting 20.04 & not focal (lsb_release & neofetch given lubuntu-desktop is installed)...

Something is wrong with what I did in #19

sudodus (nio-wiklund) wrote :

Via this link:

and its 'Link to the download information' you *should* be able to download the relevant mini.iso file. That way I find #621, the same as you refer to. But your results indicate that it is not upgraded from focal, so it was a dead end street :-(


Looking at your screenshots I see 'casper' mentioned

Begin: Running /scripts/casper-premount ... done.

/init: line 49 ...

If not casper maybe in a more basic 'init' system script.

I think the screenshots in comment #18 are helpful for a developer who knows better than I what should happen when booting a live drive :-)

Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

Thank you for pictures in comment #18

So the above means that it did boot. I.e. bootloader was found, kernel was found, initrd was found, and initrd is booting.

However initrd fails to find the block device where the .iso is.

One change that was done in groovy is to reduce the timeout that initrd waits for was reduced a lot. I am guessing it might be causing the issue here. Let me revert that, and see if things look better.

Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

Please never assign bugs to syslinux.... Please always use "ubuntu-cdimage" project. Because it is clear that iso did boot past the bootloader, kernel and the initrd. Thus it cannot be a syslinux issue.

no longer affects: syslinux (Ubuntu Groovy)
no longer affects: syslinux (Ubuntu)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package casper - 1.451

casper (1.451) groovy; urgency=medium

  * caser: revert changes to quick-boot (LP: #1883040)

 -- Dimitri John Ledkov <email address hidden> Mon, 15 Jun 2020 11:46:39 +0100

Changed in casper (Ubuntu Groovy):
status: New → Fix Released
Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

Partial revert is uploaded.

Please try _tomorrows_ images with build-stamp 20200616 or higher, and let me know if you see improvements in bootability of lubuntu images.

Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2020-06-15
Changed in ubuntu-cdimage:
status: New → Invalid
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Today's Lubuntu groovy daily (20200615) booted on dc7700 :)
Alas it failed on d755-5 box
I'll monitor it anyway (fingers crossed for 20200616...)

Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :


If 20200616 is successful, please attach the full syslog from said machine.

i.e. $ sudo journalctl -b > journal.txt

And then attach that file here.

I am interested to know the exact timings, from that machine that was affected. I.e. the d755-5 box with a successful groovy boot.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Successful boot of 20200616 on
dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)
and requested file

(I'll complete a quick QA-test on this box; then upload same from dc7700 or the other box that was impacted by this issue (the one that booted in comment #26))

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Successful boot on 20200616 on
hp dc7700 (c2d-e6320, 5gb, nvidia quadro nvs 290)

(this is NOT the box wanted; but in case it's helpful as it suffered from this issue too)

Bill (franksmcb) (franksmcb) wrote :

This is now occurring on Ubuntu MATE 2020078 Groovy ISO.

Thinkpad T430N , this system has previous installed prior Groovy Daily ISOs.

Norbert (nrbrtx) wrote :

Confirmed Ubuntu MATE 20200807 on VAIO F13, i7-740qm, legacy only - fails to boot

Norbert (nrbrtx) wrote :

Confirmed Ubuntu MATE 20200708 on Thinkpad SL500, c2d T9550, legacy only - fails to boot

Norbert (nrbrtx) wrote :

Confirmed Ubuntu MATE 20200708 on Asus UX32A, i7-3537u, legacy - fails to boot

Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

Please see bug #1886148 for tracking of the current issue.

Adam Reviczky (reviczky) wrote :

A workaround is to write the daily image with that uses syslinux instead of grub.

Harry Coin (hcoin) wrote :

This is still an issue 9/13/20, ubuntu mate groovy daily build. pre-uefi server won't boot w/ubuntu usb creator, works with unetbootin. Whatever the change was, it happened within the last 10 days or so. An earlier daily build did boot on that same machine without trouble.

Harry Coin (hcoin) wrote :

server was bare-metal S5000PSL

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