kernel updates get hardy boot stuck in busy box

Bug #236307 reported by John Fino on 2008-05-31
26
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Wubi
Undecided
Agostino Russo
linux (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

I am running Hardy installed through Wubi in Windows XP, installed on an external USB hdd.
Hardy had been working fine for several weeks. After installing a slew of automatic updates and restarting, I got stuck in Busybox. Busy box happened to me once before - turns out I had a USB flash drive plugged in, and it screwed up the boot order. However, this time, this is not the case. It seems to be one of the updates.
I uninstalled Ubuntu from inside XP, downloaded a whole new ISO, checked it with winMd5sum, everything was kosher, it installed inside windows fine. It booted smoothly into Ubuntu. Once in Ubuntu, all I did was install the updates (all 102 of them), restart, and wham! I'm back stuck in Busybox.
All the Busybox issues I can find online are related to install. Installing is not my issue, I can install fine.

Following gatmaitan20's hunch, I installed all the updates except any that said "kernel". Ubuntu restarted just fine.

Here's what I didn't install (some didn't say "kernel", but are tied to others):
linux-generic (2.6.24.17.19)
linux-headers-2.6.24-17.31
linux-headers-2.6.24-17-generic
linux-headers-generic (2.6.24.17.19)
linux-image-2.6.24-17-generic
linux-image-generic
linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24-17-generic
linux-restricted-modules-generic
linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24.17-generic

So, starting with the smallest group, I installed the "headers," restarted, and it restarted fine.

So, then I installed only "linux-image-2.6.24-17-generic", which required a restart.
That did it. Stuck right in busybox. None of the other updates can be installed separately from that one.
So I'm not installing any besides "headers" until I know what to do.

Hardware:
Dell 4600c
Pentium 4 2.66GHz, 865PE Intel chipset
XFX GeForce 6200 low-profile graphics card, 256 DDR2
1 GB ram (2x 512)
Internal Hard drive is a serial ATA (where XP is)
External Western Digital 320 GB USB drive (where Ubuntu is installed)

Quotient (abinteract) wrote :

I also had this problem.
I salvaged my installation, but I'm still not aware of what actually solved the problem. I'm also not sure how stable my system is now.

Here is what I did, but I can't say I figured out the cause-effect relationship. It did lead me to the right path of a working computer.

My intention was to backup my home folder to a networked computer, thinking I would have to do a fresh install, but I ended up fixing the problem (however inelegantly).

My first clue, in retrospect, was that after the upgrade, but before the restart that started the busybox-syndrome, I did look at my menu.lst file, and it looked like a hybrid: it had duplicate sections, with one referencing 2.6.24-17 and the other referencing 2.6.24-16. I trusted that this was normal, or at least acceptable to the OS. Well, maybe it's not.

1) I loaded the LiveCD and started a live session (I'm not sure how you would do this in Wubi but I think you will have a parallel).
While I was initially able to see my home folder, I couldn't copy it, because I didn't have permisison to do more that look at. So, I asked for help.
References:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/34816

2) I followed Knut's first suggestion to run " 'sudo nautilus' in a terminal. This will open a new window witch have root rights."
Note: I'm not sure if this step was actually necessary, but I did in fact do it. I got a terminal window as expected, but I also got an error message. Regardless, I kept open the terminal window that appeared and used it for the following steps.

3) Because I have some experience editing my menu.lst file to get Ubuntu stable, I went into the folder that houses the file.

4) There I deleted the "hybrid" menu.lst file and restored my menu.backup file from the pre-2.6.24-17 upgrade.

5) I also saw "duplicate" files in the folder: one set for linux 2.6.24-17 and one set for 2.6.24-16. I deleted all the files with 2.6.24-17 in the file name.
I did this because of your successful troubleshooting.

6) Rebooted...all was well.

Now, *what* actually worked? I'm not sure. I'm not in a position to experiment, since I have to keep the computer up and running for my father.

So, the logical question is: "Which kernel am I actually running? -16? or -17?" At this point, I'm not aware how to determine that.

I think we're narrowing down the problem though.

Andrew Hart (andrew-crawwler) wrote :

I also had this problem tonight...

Here's a temporary way for those on a Wubi install to get back to a working system (if only until the next reboot). Pressing `Escape` right after choosing Ubuntu from the list of available operating systems but *before* the Ubuntu splash screen appears will present a list of kernels, among which should be the -16 kernel. I was able to get back into a working session (with all settings intact) by selecting the -16 kernel. While this does nothing to solve the underlying issue, it does restore a sane environment for exploration/testing..

Quotient (abinteract) wrote :

I guess Andrew's suggestion was a detail I left out.

When I was experiencing the busybox-syndrome, I tried a different Grub option , but it didn't work for me. No matter which Grub option I selected (e.g., recovery mode), I still went straight into busybox.

It wasn't that straightforward for me to recover.

Andrew Hart (andrew-crawwler) wrote :

I might have found something useful:

by removing 'quiet splash' from the end of the 'root=...' line I was able to look at the boot output. I was trying to determine when in the boot process BusyBox was being invoked. The following appears in the output:
...
...
Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount ...
Done.
mount: Mounting /dev/disk/by-uuid/2E0E-0CE2 on /root failed: No such device
mount: Mounting /root on /host failed: Invalid argument
ALERT! /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.1.3 (Debian 1:1.1.3-5ubuntu12) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

At this point BusyBox has taken over. The strange thing is that the file /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk DOES exist:
andrew@crawwler2:/host/ubuntu/disks$ ls -alh
total 7.5G
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 32K 2008-05-01 01:53 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 32K 2008-05-01 01:53 ..
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 32K 2008-05-31 23:40 boot
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 2.8G 2008-04-26 07:58 root.disk
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 32K 2008-05-01 08:53 shared
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 954M 2008-05-01 09:58 swap.disk
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 3.8G 2008-06-01 06:50 usr.disk

I'm not sure whats going on here, or why -16 seems to find and mount the file without problems.

Andrew Hart (andrew-crawwler) wrote :

changing this to New so that it can be re-Confirmed following the guidelines in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/HowToTriage

Andrew Hart (andrew-crawwler) wrote :

I'm marking this confirmed as I can consistently reproduce this issue on a Wubi install of Hardy. I'm still familiarizing myself with Launchpad and, though I can't personally set the 'Importance' value, I would suggest it be set to 'High' as it satisfies the following criteria (taken from https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Importance): "Makes a default Ubuntu installation generally unusable for some users (For example, if the system fails to boot, ...)"

John Fino (tauricity) wrote :

The updates have gone to -18, still the same problem, except now, an update besides one of the old offenders:

linux-generic (2.6.24.17.19)
linux-image-2.6.24-17-generic
linux-image-generic
linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24-17-generic
linux-restricted-modules-generic
linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24.17-generic

creates this bug. Good luck folks.

Christoph Donges (cdonges) wrote :

This guy said I need to assign this bug to a package if I want action to be taken: http://jldugger.livejournal.com/11224.html?view=14296#t14296

So, here is my best guess. Will see if anything happens...

Jon Packard (jonpackard) on 2008-07-16
Changed in wubi:
status: New → Confirmed
Agostino Russo (ago) wrote :

There might be several causes for busybox. A common one is that the Windows file system has the dirty flag set, in which case you need to clear it by booting into Windows, running chkdsk /r and rebooting cleanly.

That said if you can boot with an older kernel (press ESC at boot after selecting "Ubuntu") but not with a newer one, the issue is probably different.

Andrew the message

/dev/disk/by-uuid/2E0E-0CE2 on /root failed: No such device

is a good lead. You can interrupt the boot process using the kernel argument:

break=mount

You will end up in a busybox at the point where the device has to be mounted and investigate why the root device is not available.

It would be also interesting to have confirmation from other users whether in their experience the issue is also due to the root device not being available.

Changed in wubi:
assignee: nobody → ago

The Ubuntu Kernel Team is planning to move to the 2.6.27 kernel for the upcoming Intrepid Ibex 8.10 release. As a result, the kernel team would appreciate it if you could please test this newer 2.6.27 Ubuntu kernel. There are one of two ways you should be able to test:

1) If you are comfortable installing packages on your own, the linux-image-2.6.27-* package is currently available for you to install and test.

--or--

2) The upcoming Alpha5 for Intrepid Ibex 8.10 will contain this newer 2.6.27 Ubuntu kernel. Alpha5 is set to be released Thursday Sept 4. Please watch http://www.ubuntu.com/testing for Alpha5 to be announced. You should then be able to test via a LiveCD.

Please let us know immediately if this newer 2.6.27 kernel resolves the bug reported here or if the issue remains. More importantly, please open a new bug report for each new bug/regression introduced by the 2.6.27 kernel and tag the bug report with 'linux-2.6.27'. Also, please specifically note if the issue does or does not appear in the 2.6.26 kernel. Thanks again, we really appreicate your help and feedback.

unsubscribe

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:00 PM, Leann Ogasawara <email address hidden> wrote:

> The Ubuntu Kernel Team is planning to move to the 2.6.27 kernel for the
> upcoming Intrepid Ibex 8.10 release. As a result, the kernel team would
> appreciate it if you could please test this newer 2.6.27 Ubuntu kernel.
> There are one of two ways you should be able to test:
>
> 1) If you are comfortable installing packages on your own, the linux-
> image-2.6.27-* package is currently available for you to install and
> test.
>
> --or--
>
> 2) The upcoming Alpha5 for Intrepid Ibex 8.10 will contain this newer
> 2.6.27 Ubuntu kernel. Alpha5 is set to be released Thursday Sept 4.
> Please watch http://www.ubuntu.com/testing for Alpha5 to be announced.
> You should then be able to test via a LiveCD.
>
> Please let us know immediately if this newer 2.6.27 kernel resolves the
> bug reported here or if the issue remains. More importantly, please
> open a new bug report for each new bug/regression introduced by the
> 2.6.27 kernel and tag the bug report with 'linux-2.6.27'. Also, please
> specifically note if the issue does or does not appear in the 2.6.26
> kernel. Thanks again, we really appreicate your help and feedback.
>
> ** Tags added: cft-2.6.27
>
> --
> kernel updates get hardy boot stuck in busy box
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/236307
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>

Agostino Russo (ago) on 2009-02-27
Changed in wubi:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

I don't see any indication of a kernel bug here, so I'm closing that task. The bug remains open on wubi, which seems the most likely place to look if there is still a problem.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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