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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-05-2012 09:40 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
went to reboot.
It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
were listed, but they all went to the same root.
I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
grub rescue>
and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
8o)

I have bootable CDs of all of the related versions. I'm generally
competent at admin tasks, but only if I have a working Linux under
me. For this, I need help.

Thanks for any help.

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Avi Greenbury 10-05-2012 10:28 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
> I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
> I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
> went to reboot.
> It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
> were listed, but they all went to the same root.

What do you mean by this? Each listing should generally be the same
root (both by grub's definition of 'root' and the kernel's).

> I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
> seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
> grub rescue>
> and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
> system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
> 8o)

Have you tried a grub1 CD, if you've one to hand?

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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-05-2012 10:53 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
> I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
> I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
> went to reboot.
> It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
> were listed, but they all went to the same root.
> I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
> seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
> grub rescue>
> and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
> system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
> 8o)
>
> I have bootable CDs of all of the related versions. I'm generally
> competent at admin tasks, but only if I have a working Linux under
> me. For this, I need help.
>
> Thanks for any help.

Update: I researched GRUB a little. I can now get the grub rescue to
restore its 'normal' module, and boot a rescue kernel, which I can get
into a root console session of the just-upgraded Ubuntu.
NOTE: here's where I'm really glad I give root a password. The kernel
requires a root password for this to work.

The filesystems are okay. grub-install and update-grub complete and
appear okay, but the result is the same.

I haven't figured out how to make it boot into Xubuntu, which I think
is a bit more stable. If all fails, I'll reinstall Xubuntu, which
will presumably repair GRUB, but I'd much rather just get GRUB to boot
into it as it is.



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Kevin O'Gorman

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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-05-2012 11:01 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Avi Greenbury <lists@avi.co> wrote:
> Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>> I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
>> I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
>> went to reboot.
>> It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
>> were listed, but they all went to the same root.
>
> What do you mean by this? Each listing should generally be the same
> root (both by grub's definition of 'root' and the kernel's).

When I had just installed Xubuntu, the grub menu would show its
3.0.0-26 kernel at the first two lines, followed by memtest, then the
Ubuntu 2.6.x kernels with an explicit root for Ubuntu. The 3.0.0
lines would boot to Xubuntu, and the 2.6 lines to Ubuntu. I'd like to
get back to that state.


>> I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
>> seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
>> grub rescue>
>> and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
>> system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
>> 8o)
>
> Have you tried a grub1 CD, if you've one to hand?

I do not have one. I have a working Ubuntu laptop -- could it burn
one? How would that be useful?
As I updated, I did have a little success with GRUB rescue, but
there's more to do.

>
> --
> Avi


Thanks,

++ kevin


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Tom H 10-05-2012 11:08 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Update: I researched GRUB a little. I can now get the grub rescue to
> restore its 'normal' module, and boot a rescue kernel, which I can get
> into a root console session of the just-upgraded Ubuntu.
> NOTE: here's where I'm really glad I give root a password. The kernel
> requires a root password for this to work.

Please don't pollute the list with nonsense regarding single user mode
and enabling root in Ubuntu (for the second time).

You're being prompted for root's password because you've enabled root.
If root's password's locked, you get a root prompt directly.

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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-05-2012 11:20 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Tom H <tomh0665@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Update: I researched GRUB a little. I can now get the grub rescue to
>> restore its 'normal' module, and boot a rescue kernel, which I can get
>> into a root console session of the just-upgraded Ubuntu.
>> NOTE: here's where I'm really glad I give root a password. The kernel
>> requires a root password for this to work.
>
> Please don't pollute the list with nonsense regarding single user mode
> and enabling root in Ubuntu (for the second time).
>
> You're being prompted for root's password because you've enabled root.
> If root's password's locked, you get a root prompt directly.

If that's true, it's new and news to me. I clearly remember being in
the hell of having this capability unavailable because root had no
password. It was quite a while ago, but established this mind-set
pretty firmly. Once I get this running again -- and I'm sure a normal
boot will work -- I'll experiment with it and maybe change my ways.

I also have to say I don't understand your use of the phrase "root's
password's locked" -- I'm not aware of locking or unlocking it, just
of setting a password where there did not appear to be one before.

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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-05-2012 11:28 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:20 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Tom H <tomh0665@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Update: I researched GRUB a little. I can now get the grub rescue to
>>> restore its 'normal' module, and boot a rescue kernel, which I can get
>>> into a root console session of the just-upgraded Ubuntu.
>>> NOTE: here's where I'm really glad I give root a password. The kernel
>>> requires a root password for this to work.
>>
>> Please don't pollute the list with nonsense regarding single user mode
>> and enabling root in Ubuntu (for the second time).
>>
>> You're being prompted for root's password because you've enabled root.
>> If root's password's locked, you get a root prompt directly.
>
> If that's true, it's new and news to me. I clearly remember being in
> the hell of having this capability unavailable because root had no
> password. It was quite a while ago, but established this mind-set
> pretty firmly. Once I get this running again -- and I'm sure a normal
> boot will work -- I'll experiment with it and maybe change my ways.
>
> I also have to say I don't understand your use of the phrase "root's
> password's locked" -- I'm not aware of locking or unlocking it, just
> of setting a password where there did not appear to be one before.

I was interested enough to try it on this laptop, and find you're
right. Rescue mode can access root without a password, and my little
tweak actually makes it harder rather than easier. I'll never give
root a password again, because that remembered debacle was my only
reason for doing it.

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Avi Greenbury 10-05-2012 11:48 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
> I also have to say I don't understand your use of the phrase "root's
> password's locked" -- I'm not aware of locking or unlocking it, just
> of setting a password where there did not appear to be one before.

Generally, 'no password' refers to an empty hash, such that submitting
an empty string as a password will authenticate, whereas a 'locked
password' refers to setting the hash in /etc/passwd to something that
no password will ever hash to (normally '!', which is not a character
used in the encoding of the hash), so there is no possible password
that will successfully authenticate.

For what it's worth, if you do ever need to set root's password for
some reason, and you can get as far as a kernel mounting a root
filesystem, you can call it with 'init=/bin/bash' as a command line
argument to get a privileged bash shell without needing to
authenticate, in which you can use 'passwd' (or perhaps an editor
[maybe sed]) to set a password for root. This is _very_ unlikely to be
necessary, though - root-with-a-disabled-password has been around for
quite a long time now, and most eventualities are catered for.

Anyway, we've gone wonderfully far off topic in only about three
emails... :)


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Avi Greenbury 10-05-2012 11:59 PM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Avi Greenbury <lists@avi.co> wrote:
> > Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
> >> I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
> >> I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
> >> went to reboot.
> >> It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
> >> were listed, but they all went to the same root.
> >
> > What do you mean by this? Each listing should generally be the same
> > root (both by grub's definition of 'root' and the kernel's).
>
> When I had just installed Xubuntu, the grub menu would show its
> 3.0.0-26 kernel at the first two lines, followed by memtest, then the
> Ubuntu 2.6.x kernels with an explicit root for Ubuntu. The 3.0.0
> lines would boot to Xubuntu, and the 2.6 lines to Ubuntu. I'd like to
> get back to that state.

I'm still not sure I understand. Just to be clear, your system and its
kernels are all on the same volume? That being the case, when it
worked you cannot possibly have had more than one of any of the things
I can think of that I'd call 'roots'. That being the case, I don't
think it matters what we call them :)

> >> I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
> >> seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
> >> grub rescue>
> >> and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
> >> system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
> >> 8o)


Right now, on boot, your system goes straight to a grub rescue prompt?
(as in the prompt is 'grub rescue>')? That implies a broken grub and
the easiest way round that is normally to boot from a grub CD or DVD
and reinstall (or inspect) it from there.

The Super Grub Disk is popular and here:
http://www.supergrubdisk.org/

But I've found that there's a few sets of hardware on which that wont
boot but Grub 1 will. I've an ISO for that here:
http://avi.co/s/grub1.iso

If you do get it to boot, could you let us know what you did? And, on
trying another grub-install how you invoked it and what it said.

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"Kevin O'Gorman" 10-06-2012 01:47 AM

GRUB badly broken during upgrade
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM, Avi Greenbury <lists@avi.co> wrote:
> Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Avi Greenbury <lists@avi.co> wrote:
>> > Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>> >> I had a system with a working Ubuntu 11.04 and Xubuntu 12.04.
>> >> I went to upgrade the Ubuntu to 11.10, and all seemed well until I
>> >> went to reboot.
>> >> It got confusing after that. It looked like all of the right kernels
>> >> were listed, but they all went to the same root.
>> >
>> > What do you mean by this? Each listing should generally be the same
>> > root (both by grub's definition of 'root' and the kernel's).
>>
>> When I had just installed Xubuntu, the grub menu would show its
>> 3.0.0-26 kernel at the first two lines, followed by memtest, then the
>> Ubuntu 2.6.x kernels with an explicit root for Ubuntu. The 3.0.0
>> lines would boot to Xubuntu, and the 2.6 lines to Ubuntu. I'd like to
>> get back to that state.
>
> I'm still not sure I understand. Just to be clear, your system and its
> kernels are all on the same volume? That being the case, when it
> worked you cannot possibly have had more than one of any of the things
> I can think of that I'd call 'roots'. That being the case, I don't
> think it matters what we call them :)

Let me try to clarify. I did indeed have two roots on the same
volume, abeit not simultaneously. The GRUB menu had entries for both
of them that would put me in the system I chose. In other words, it
was just multibooting two alternative Linux setups. This was
accomplished by the Xubuntu 12.04 GRUB, which I can no longer access.


>
>> >> I got in a rescue mode, and tried another update-grub. Again it
>> >> seemed to work, but now grub goes directly to
>> >> grub rescue>
>> >> and I have no idea what to do there. So I'm writing this on another
>> >> system, on which I'm not likely to upgrade the Ubuntu any time soon
>> >> 8o)
>
>
> Right now, on boot, your system goes straight to a grub rescue prompt?
> (as in the prompt is 'grub rescue>')? That implies a broken grub and
> the easiest way round that is normally to boot from a grub CD or DVD
> and reinstall (or inspect) it from there.
>
> The Super Grub Disk is popular and here:
> http://www.supergrubdisk.org/
>
> But I've found that there's a few sets of hardware on which that wont
> boot but Grub 1 will. I've an ISO for that here:
> http://avi.co/s/grub1.iso
>
> If you do get it to boot, could you let us know what you did? And, on
> trying another grub-install how you invoked it and what it said.

I'll try the supergrub. I don't want to get too far from what was working.

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