Why the "two step" recovery mode?

sirius at sonnenkinder.org sirius at sonnenkinder.org
Mon Oct 24 18:16:42 UTC 2011

Hello everyone,

I'd like to know the motivation behind the change made to the recovery 
mode in Oneiric. For those who don't know: selecting the '(recovery 
mode)' entry in GRUB now stops in a read-only mode with following menu:

Recovery Menu (limited read-only menu)
  * resume   Resume normal boot
  * fsck     Check all file systems (will exit read-only mode)
  * remount  Remount / read/write and mount all other file systems
  * root     Drop to root shell prompt

After selecting 'remount' (and pressing Enter after a successful 
remount), a second menu shows up:

Recovery Menu
  * resume   Resume normal boot
  * clean    Try to make free space
  * dpkg     Repair broken packages
  * grub     Update grub bootloader
  * netroot  Drop to root shell prompt with networking
  * root     Drop to root shell prompt

So far so good. The problem with this is, that users don't realize that 
something has changed. They follow some guide involving using the 
recovery mode to get to a root shell prompt, they see that option in the 
first menu, and land in a read-only environment instead. The result:

"This doesn't work!"
"How can I remount the file system?"
"I think my file system is damaged."

To ask the obvious question: Why haven't those menus be merged? Three of 
the four entries in the first menu will leave the read-only mode, so why 
not add 'fsck' and 'read-only' to the second one and make lots of 
authors and users happy again? :)


Hernando Torque

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