grub-probe: error: cannot stat `aufs'.

Bug #703009 reported by tekstr1der on 2011-01-14
This bug affects 30 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
grub2 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: grub2

I can no longer install/upgrade grub2:

$ sudo grub-install --force /dev/sdb1
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: cannot stat `aufs'.

$ cat /proc/self/mountinfo
14 22 0:14 / /sys rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime - sysfs none rw
15 22 0:3 / /proc rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime - proc none rw
16 22 0:5 / /dev rw,relatime - devtmpfs none rw,size=1917364k,nr_inodes=479341,mode=755
17 16 0:11 / /dev/pts rw,nosuid,noexec,relatime - devpts none rw,gid=5,mode=620,ptmxmode=000
18 14 0:15 / /sys/fs/fuse/connections rw,relatime - fusectl fusectl rw
19 22 8:17 / /cdrom rw,relatime - vfat /dev/sdb1 rw,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=cp437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro
20 22 7:0 / /rofs ro,noatime - squashfs /dev/loop0 ro
22 1 0:16 / / rw,noatime - aufs aufs rw,si=f61b339350ef0b2d
23 14 0:7 / /sys/kernel/debug rw,relatime - debugfs none rw
24 14 0:10 / /sys/kernel/security rw,relatime - securityfs none rw
25 16 0:17 / /dev/shm rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime - tmpfs none rw
26 22 0:18 / /tmp rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime - tmpfs tmpfs rw
27 22 0:19 / /var/run rw,nosuid,relatime - tmpfs none rw,mode=755
28 22 0:20 / /var/lock rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime - tmpfs none rw
29 15 0:21 / /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime - binfmt_misc binfmt_misc rw
31 22 0:22 / /home/ubuntu/.gvfs rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime - fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon gvfs-fuse-daemon rw,user_id=999,group_id=999

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: grub2 (not installed)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.37-12.26-generic 2.6.37
Uname: Linux 2.6.37-12-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Fri Jan 14 18:50:37 2011
LiveMediaBuild: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Alpha amd64 (20110109)
SourcePackage: grub2

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Could you please try upgrading to grub-pc 1.99~20110112-1ubuntu1 or newer? I think this should fix your problem.

tekstr1der (tekstr1der) wrote :

This problem is seen with grub-pc 1.99~20110112-1ubuntu1.

tekstr1der (tekstr1der) wrote :

I was initially subscribed to Bug #700910 but that was duped to Bug #700147 which was marked fixed.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

In that case, can I have the output of this command as a starting point, please?

  sudo grub-install --debug --force /dev/sdb1

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
tekstr1der (tekstr1der) wrote :

Thanks for looking at this. I could not get the debug's output text to redirect to a file for some reason, and can't change the profile settings (file menu is greyed out) in the terminal to show more lines, so attached is all I could copy/paste...

Tr4sK (tr4sk) wrote :

Same trouble here.

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Perseid (perseid) wrote :

I had this problem while installing Ubuntu 11.04 Beta. I updated the installed grup-pc to 1.99~rc1-8ubuntu1, but that didn't help. As the root partition of the new installation was formatted with btrfs (though I guess this would have happened with ext4 too) this left me hanging without a bootloader.
Attachment: Full "sudo grub-install --debug --force /dev/sda6" output.

Confirming for Ubuntu beta any my external usb drive (internal one disabled for testing)

# grub-install --debug --force /dev/sda
+ /usr/sbin/grub-probe --device-map=/boot/grub/ --target=device /boot/grub
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: cannot stat `aufs'.
+ grub_device=
+ exit 1

Dmitry Tantsur (divius) wrote :

This error prevents from installing [X]Ubuntu from beta1 iso.

tags: added: regression-release

still valid for beta2

Steffen Neumann (sneumann) wrote :

Still valid in 11.04 final

Craig Theunissen (craigels39) wrote :

I can also confirm that this is still valid in the final release of 11.04

Kub123 (kub123) wrote :

Same here: Kubuntu 11.04 final, 2x HD 2TB (sda/sdc), 1x SSD 40GB (sdb), Installer created GPT, root on sdb5.
MB is MSI H67MA with Core i3-2xxx.
debug-output see attachment..

Kub123 (kub123) wrote :

Workaround: boot again from installer/live medium, mount all partitions, do the usual mount --bind for /proc /dev /sys and chroot. From within there, grub-install succeeded. However, there was no grub.cfg saved, so you only get a plain grub commandline and have to specify linux/initrd to boot. To get the grub.cfg, call update-grub.

phinn (phinnvr6) wrote :

Not sure if this is my exact problem but 11.04 completely trashed my bootloader. I've run Ubutnu for years and years on my main machine and now dual boot Win7 and 11.04... At the end of the install I got this same grub error and no bootloader would install. Upon reboot I would get the recovery screen which is absolutely useless.

Gregg (gregg-suaning) wrote :

Happens to me too (can't even get back to Windows)...and this was reported when in beta!?
Perhaps we can contribute to fixing by stating what hardware/config we have. I have a VAIO VPCZ1 with RAID0 solid state hard disks. This required some very complex installation steps before 11.04 so I ran Ubuntu 10.10 as a virtual machine under Win 7 - perhaps this is the same issue? Did everyone above also have this hardware or the install issue for 10.10? The install I've tried was ext4 with ~20GB /, 100GB for /home, and the ntfs Windows disk (not the recovery) as /windows. The fdisk setup looked very different to what I've seen before /dev/m<something> instead of the traditional /dev/sda, etc. If anyone has a work around (even to get me back to Windows) I'd be grateful. Can't do much as-is with the USB startup disk.

Perseid (perseid) wrote :

> Perhaps we can contribute to fixing by stating what hardware/config we have.
I have nothing special: A Vostro 1500 with a new harddrive (no RAID or something).

Anticipating the problems with the graphical installer, I installed Ubuntu 11.04 final with the alternate installer (on ext4 this time). Setting up grub now worked without a hiccup.
(The installation aborted with errors installing the base system the first time I tried, though. The second try (with seemingly no relevant differences in the configuration) worked flawlessly.)

Charis Kouzinopoulos (charis) wrote :

I get the exact same error as #8. Ubuntu 11.04 final on a workstation that run previous ubuntu versions for years. I don't understand how a critical bug like that that was reported January exists in the released 11.04 disc.

Please fix this bug and release an updated 11.04 image.

Charis Kouzinopoulos (charis) wrote :

Kub123 can you detail the workaround? I downgraded grub-common and grub-pc to 1.99~20110104-2ubuntu1, chrooted to /dev/sda1 and executed grub-install but i still get the grub command line at boot.

slass100 (slass100) wrote :

I was able to install 11.04 over an WinXP install last night. Then I ran to wipe the disk and ran into the bug discussed here when I tried to reinstall. I tried various scenarios of direct install vs. live install and different partition schemes. I finally created the disk with a DOS partition table before I started and that seems to allow the install to complete. So for me at least, 11.04 installs if I use an old DOS type partition table.

Charis Kouzinopoulos (charis) wrote :

For anyone having problem booting in to Ubuntu from the grub console, these are the commands i used:

set root(hd0,1)
linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 ro
initrd /initrd.img

And once booted into the system type:

sudo update-grub

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Most of the people affected by this bug are probably trying to do a recovery install of GRUB from a live CD. The simple workaround (and, in my view, the correct way to perform a recovery install!) is to chroot into the system you're trying to recover before reinstalling GRUB:

That's not to say that we couldn't handle this better, but I think almost everyone affected by this should have a workaround.

hanobar (hanobar) wrote :

After upgrading from 10.10 to 11.04 my pc reboots before prompting the grub-menu. I even can't see the grub console.

After editing the grub.cfg i started update-grub. It failed with the error message "... cannot stat 'aufs'.
So i tried to chroot but i got the same error starting update-grub or install-grub.

Looking to #22 i have the question: Will this bug be fixed?

Jerry (scubajgp) wrote :

Crap, I cannot believe I am going through this stuff just to upgrade. I am really upset, I'd like to save the photos and other things on my disk. I do not want to do a new install from a disc. My computer is useless. I have tried the re-install of grub from the disc, no success. "cannot stat aufs". Good grief!

Bill Risch (brisch) wrote :

Relating to this bug, the error message appears cannot remove 915resolution.mod when trying to install grub.
I tried to manually remove it from the grub folder but was not allowed.

John McCourt (butterman) wrote :

I am having the same issue. If Ubuntu is supposed to be for Humans then this stuff needs to be greatly simplified. At the moment it's far too technical for most users to understand.

cesarespcab (cesarespcab) wrote :

the same. I can't repair my grub. I follow the steps indicated by Colin Watson and the same. I'm using the old and reliable ubuntu 9.10. i'm forced to upgrade because the support has finished. But this problems dissapoint me.

Maxim S. (luvme-nn) wrote :

I'm trying to install Ubuntu 11.04 but grub can't install.

sudo grub-install /dev/sda
Cannot stat 'aufs'.

Serhiy Zahoriya (xintx-ua) wrote :

It behaves the same way while trying to install on Asus Eee PC 901 with two SSDs combined in the LVM2 volume.

ice.polar (ice-polar) wrote :

I install Natty Narwhal on a DELL INSPIRON 6000 Notebook and the notebook didn't boot from Harddisk.
It has a IDE-Disk (320GB), CD/DVD Device and 2 GB RAM and running as Live-System from CD, all devices were recognized (WiFi, Sound, Monitor (Unity runs fine), Touchpad, Disk-Capacity of 320 GB thought BIOS reports only 137GB). Re-Installing Grub changed nothing: no boot from HD.
Nothing special like LVM, iSCSI or crypted /home or fancy partitioning, setup was out-of-the box plain vanilla 08:15 like.

Zwulf (zwulf) wrote :

What the hell is that?! "Undecided"??? This is a MASSIVE bug... it's not possible to update anything on my system now... AND ITS UNDECIDED? For more than half a year?! Wtf?!! Ubuntu gets worse and worse... I'm really sick of Ubuntu becoming buggy and unstable, because of Unity almost unusable, and now this really large bug - such a bug mustn't happen in an official release. Really disappointing what a crap Ubuntu has become. Used it for years and loved it, but it has become really crappy. Before I'm going to reinstall Ubuntu (which I had to do) I will switch to Arch... Get lost, Ubuntu!

For the specific case of upgrading the kernel packages on a live system, I have found a trick that seems to work for me. I can't be sure it won't break something, though.

The problem in this case cannot be solved by manually running the grub utilities, as the package manager will always attempt to run grub-update by itself. This runs grub-probe on /, which is the aufs and cannot apparently be probed. If grub-probe is instead run on the /cdrom path, which contains the actual USB disk, then it runs through without errors.

My workaround involved modifying the three grub-probe lines in the /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig script to use /cdrom instead of /. The script then ran successfully and generated what looks like the correct grub.cfg.

Basically, this changeset:

@@ -136,16 +129,16 @@ fi
 mkdir -p ${GRUB_PREFIX}

 # Device containing our userland. Typically used for root= parameter.
-GRUB_DEVICE="`${grub_probe} --target=device /`"
+GRUB_DEVICE="`${grub_probe} --target=device /cdrom`"
 GRUB_DEVICE_UUID="`${grub_probe} --device ${GRUB_DEVICE} --target=fs_uuid 2> /dev/null`" || true

 # Device containing our /boot partition. Usually the same as GRUB_DEVICE.
-GRUB_DEVICE_BOOT="`${grub_probe} --target=device /boot`"
+GRUB_DEVICE_BOOT="`${grub_probe} --target=device /cdrom/boot`"
 GRUB_DEVICE_BOOT_UUID="`${grub_probe} --device ${GRUB_DEVICE_BOOT} --target=fs_uuid 2> /dev/null`" || true

 # Filesystem for the device containing our userland. Used for stuff like
 # choosing Hurd filesystem module.
-GRUB_FS="`${grub_probe} --target=fs / 2> /dev/null || echo unknown`"
+GRUB_FS="`${grub_probe} --device ${GRUB_DEVICE} --target=fs 2> /dev/null || echo unknown`"

 if test -f ${sysconfdir}/default/grub ; then
   . ${sysconfdir}/default/grub

I'm having almost the same error, maybe it's related:

root@sonne:/# update-grub
/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: cannot stat `/dev/disk/by-uuid/4edd994f-2fb3-44c5-b694-c7e40ae6df62'.

I've tried enabling


but that didn't do anything.

It seems to happen in the grub-mkconfig script as mentioned in #32, at the line:

GRUB_DEVICE="`${grub_probe} --target=device /`"

Any ideas? Are someone working on this?

Best regards.

trel (trel-nadal) wrote :

Same problem here. initially attempted an upgrade install, which failed spectacularly.

then attempted a clean install, same failure.

am now DD'ing over the drive in hopes that a clean boot sector will fix the problem.

i'm irked this bug hasn't been fixed, considering the time lapsed since it's initial report.

I think it may be caused by the fact that grub-install does not know
where is the root directory (the partition where /boot/grub is located on).

maybe something like :
     sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt # where sdb1 is your root partition (or
boot partition if you have one)
     sudo grub-install /dev/sda --root-directory=/mnt # sda is the disk
where you want to install grub

Or maybe you can do a chroot :
     sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt # root partition (or boot partition)
     sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
     sudo mount -o bind /proc /mnt/proc
     sudo mount -o bind /sys /mnt/sys
     sudo chroot /mnt
     grub-install /dev/sda # where you want to install grub

Hope it can help someone if it works.

tuximero (tuximero) wrote :

I am having the same problem. There seems to be no possibility to successfully run the ubuntu installer. It always ends up with a critical error: 'cannot stat aufs'. I can not even run the grub-install afterwards and let the installer skip this step because there is no option for this.

I don't know how to install the distribution without the installer.

It's very sad that this bug is known for nine month and nothing happens. This one is critical and kept people from trying ubuntu.

Calendros (calendros) wrote :

On 2011-10-10 15:21, tuximero wrote:
> I am having the same problem. There seems to be no possibility to
> successfully run the ubuntu installer. It always ends up with a critical
> error: 'cannot stat aufs'. I can not even run the grub-install
> afterwards and let the installer skip this step because there is no
> option for this.
> I don't know how to install the distribution without the installer.
> It's very sad that this bug is known for nine month and nothing happens.
> This one is critical and kept people from trying ubuntu.
Have you tried to boot ubuntu live (the "try ubuntu option" not the
install one) after a failed installation to force then to install grub
following the procedure I propose ?

Hal Hackney (halhack) wrote :

Because of this bug (9 months old and counting) I'm in another situation where installing 11.04 on a HP laptop results in the infamous "blank screen", i.e. does not actually boot since there is nothing in the boot sector.
1104 seems to work fine on my desktop system. ???

tuximero (tuximero) wrote :

Tried it again as proposed by calendros (thanks for reply). No Luck with both variants always got 'cannot stat aufs'. Given up here. May be it is something special in relation to lvm/cryptsetup used on this machine. On my desktop system the same combination runs as expected.

A test installation w/o lvm and cryptsetup has successfully finished installing.

Now I have Kubuntu 11.10 beta2 installed with lvm and cryptsetup. It's up and running after first failed within the installer :-(
Retry with option to update while installing disabled does the job.

Seb Bonnard (sebma) wrote :

Hi, I also have the same problem, can you please change its importance to "High" because:
- it affects more and more people
- it has been confirmed more than six month ago and it is still not fixed.

guys, the main reason behind this problem is this f..cking Windows FlexNet licensing program which writes into an absolute sector of the first track of ur hard disk, in my case it was sector #48, other people report #32 or #10. Grub detects this FlexNet sector and then refuses to overwrite it with the grub boot loader, with the results u have seen and described above!

so this ain't no ubuntu bug, and also not really a grub bug, this is due to some program overwriting an area of the hard disk which normally is being reserved for boot loaders etc., and not for some f..cking licensing program..

pls see the following link:

all ur problems above are easily solvable by following the chroot part of the comment #35 of this thread, and then erasing the FlexNet sector by the method proposed by the link above, with all the restrictions that are outlined there! So if u have an important program under Windows which uses this FlexNet licensing scheme, that program might not be working anymore, or the grub bootloader will be overwritten again some time in the future! Real monkey business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Serhiy Zahoriya (xintx-ua) wrote :

Wolfgang, I had this on a netbook which never had Windows. I think it's not the only reason. Yes, more popular, but not the only one.

But I've had it just one time in very specific conditions (see #29) and on the previous release. Maybe the other reason was fixed, I don't know.

tekstr1der (tekstr1der) wrote :

@Wolfgang: That may be _one_ reason for this bug, but certainly not the only reason.

As I'm the original reporter for this bug, I want to clarify that I've never had Windows OS installed on the machine.

This release of Ubuntu is no longer receiving maintenance updates. If this is still an issue on a maintained version of Ubuntu please let us know.

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for grub2 (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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