Troubleshooting boot problems

Brian Vaughan bgvaughan at
Fri Apr 16 14:53:30 UTC 2010

I'd like to see a good overview of Ubuntu's startup process. I just took
a class on Unix/Linux system administration, and we spent quite some
time on system startup and shutdown -- but mostly in terms of Sys V init
scripts and runlevels. I'm clueless about upstart and plymouth.

Brian Vaughan <bgvaughan at>

On Fri, 2010-04-16 at 08:36 +0100, Joao Pinto wrote:
> Hello,
> a frequently reported problem on #Ubuntu+1 which is most of the times
> answered is the "I am unable to boot problem".
> Is there a generic boot troubleshotting documentation ? I couldn't
> find one. If not is there with the know-how to create it ?
> It should describe how to check at which stage of the boot is the
> hanging/crash ocurring and how to deal with it.
> I am probably missing something but it should at least contain some
> documentation for the following stages:
> * GRUB
> * kernel loading
> * upstart
> * plymouth
> * X 
> * gdm
> For all of the above stages it should describe the options that can be
> used to workaround typical problems (e.g. kernel parameters), debug
> options and how to collect such data.
> Thanks
> -- 
> João Luís Marques Pinto
> GetDeb Team Leader

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