System Update froze - UbuntuMATE 16-04

Bret Busby bret.busby at
Thu Jun 21 09:05:57 UTC 2018

On 21/06/2018, Colin Law <clanlaw at> wrote:
> On 21 June 2018 at 09:32, Bret Busby <bret.busby at> wrote:
>> On 21/06/2018, Colin Law <clanlaw at> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> sync
>> After about fifteen minutes, no displayed response - cursor goes onto
>> next line after the line in which the command is entered, an the
>> cursor sits there flashing at me, in an otherwise blank line.
>> So, the command "sync" also appears to have been hanged (and, yes, I
>> do know the difference between hanged and hung :) ).
> So it is that bug that you are hitting.  The update runs sync to flush
> data to disc and that cannot complete for some reason.
>> It surprises me that this bug original report is apparently 16 months
>> old, and, apparently a critical bug, and, since then, two "point
>> releases" and a new version (18.04) have been released, with this
>> critical bug not being fixed, with the bug appearing to take 16.04
>> from being a "stasle" release, to a status equivalent to Debian sid,
>> with all that that name involves.
>> I am now concerned that the bug may also apply to 18.04, as the bug
>> has apparently not been fixed.
> Yes I believe it does.  I guess the reason it has not been fixed is
> that it is extraordinarily rare, as can be seen from the small number
> of reports compared to, I guess, many many millions of times kernel
> updates have been run.  The issue now is to find the problem on your
> machine.  It could be hardware I imagine, being an issue with the disc
> interface or disc itself in which case you are probably stuck.
> Otherwise some process is hanging onto it and the only option is
> probably to kill that process.  Someone may know how to identify which
> process it is, but I don't.
> Colin

 Release of Ubuntu 16.04.2 was delayed a number of times, but it was
eventually released on 17 February 2017]

 Bug #1667512 reported by tbenst on 2017-02-23

I'm wondering whether the bug is a "new feature" of 16.04.2 ....

"the difference between a bug and a feature, is that a feature is an
unresolved bug left to add character to a new release of software" ...
(as I said to my missus (senior-ish systems developer), yesterday)

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992


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