System Update froze - UbuntuMATE 16-04

Bret Busby bret.busby at gmail.com
Thu Jun 21 09:40:48 UTC 2018


On 21/06/2018, Colin Watson <cjwatson at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 09:43:16AM +0100, Colin Law wrote:
>> On 21 June 2018 at 09:32, Bret Busby <bret.busby at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On 21/06/2018, Colin Law <clanlaw at gmail.com> 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.
>
> Well.  Yes, Bret is hitting the initramfs-tools bug you linked to above.
> However, that only happens when the system is already in a bad way (in
> that sync never completes), and *that* is not caused by initramfs-tools.
>
> Investigating what's causing the sync hang would involve poking through
> system logs.  /var/log/syslog is the first place I'd look if I saw this
> on one of my systems, as there are multiple possible causes: as well as
> things like stuck remote filesystem mounts or whatever, it could also be
> due to incipient disk failures that would cause the kernel to produce
> alarming log messages.
>

Okay.

In running less on that file in that path, I fing lots of errors
relating to sdb1, which, from memory, is the HP USB external HDD. I
note that I can not even check to what, sdb1 points.

Now, given the state (unstable, I think, and, apparently, unlikely to
be able to be rebooted, and, with no file management available) of the
system, apart from waiting a few days, to find whether the file
management will recover, during the current boot session, and, as no
fix for the bug, appears to be available, what can I do, to fix this,
before a bug fix becomes available, if a bug fix does become
available?

I can post a copy of an excerpt (possibly, tail) of the file syslog,
if that helps.

-- 
Bret Busby
Armadale
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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