Problems with LTS upgrade -- to see if this is common

Kevin O'Gorman kogorman at
Sun Aug 19 02:03:28 UTC 2018

I've got a small hoard of Ubuntu and Xubuntu machines in my garage doing
hobby stuff.  One's a monster Xeon with 32 threads, 256GB RAM, RAID for all
but the boot partition and a fair amount of specialization.  So I want to
be careful about the upgrade.  Good thing I was, because it didn't go well.

So first thing I did was to boot a live DVD and copy the boot partition to
unallocated space on the same drive.  There's plenty of room because the
real data is on the RAID volumes.  I changed UUIDs of the new partition,
matched them in /etc/fstab on both partitions and ran grub-update,

Problem 1: Grub recognized both partitions, still containing 15.04.5, but
the 'linux' directive in the boot menu had the same root= for both entries,
so they both booted to /dev/sdb2.  The second one should boot to
/dev/sdb3.  This seems likely to be a GRUB bug.

Okay, so I can edit a grub menu during boot, and boot into /dev/sdb3.  I
ran do_release_upgrade, and it seemed to finish okay, and I hope there's a
new grub without the bug but...

Problem 2: Grub gets cranky when I start to edit the menu.  It gets slow.
After a short while,
characters are not echoed until the next one is typed.  I grumble, but I
can work with that.  But before I'm finished looking around the first time,
GRUB completely freezes and I have to reset
and reboot.  Next time I edit efficiently, but now the boot process fails
and I'm in that fallback
program I've never figured out how to use.  Looks like the original bug is
still in the new GRUB and a worse one has been added.

Problem 3: The /dev/sdb3 partition no longer boots.  I don't know what to
blame, but it's unusable.

Suggestions?  Feedback?  Pointers?  Links?

Kevin O'Gorman
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