[ubuntu-za] 14.04 crash during update

Xandor Schiefer me at xandor.co.za
Tue Jul 12 06:40:45 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA256

Hi Raoul,

> You end up with antiquated software and no real updates, save for a
> few kernel or other security updates

That's pretty much the same scenario as Debian Stable. It's not uncommon
to have 2+ year old software in Debian Stable (barring security updates).

Don't mean to be a buzzkill but it doesn't make sense to "put forward"
Debian Stable as a way to avoid old versions of software, compared to
Ubuntu LTS.

This can be ameliorated by using debian-backports, but that can also
introduce instability.

The same reason you want Debian Stable is why people wants LTS releases
for their Desktops. Also if they've got older hardware it makes sense to
stick with Ubuntu LTS.

Ubuntu is forked off Debian Testing every 6 months, feature frozen, bugs
worked out (more or less), and then released.

For Deon:

That wiki link Raoul sent you should help you out. Read the Update
Failure part. Basically you'll be booting into a liveCD system, mounting
your old partitions (the wiki assumes you had a single partition—adjust
as necessary), mounting the dev, proc, and sys live file systems in a
second place, and then chrooting into your old system.

Chroot is a way to have your current kernel (in this case the running
liveCD kernel) think and act like it's using a different file system
(your unbootable system's).

Now you're essentially booted into your system again (more or less).
- From here you can diagnose problems. Like the wiki suggests, I would
start with update & upgrade. If that works well and you still cannot
boot, you'll have to investigate your specific issue in more detail.

E.g. perhaps you'd need to run update-grub again (after chrooting
again). Perhaps something else (depends on the specific issue).

I've used this technique (liveCD + chrooting) to recover from epic TIFUs
like: sudo chown -R user:user /
or: sudo chmod -R 777 /

Reinstalling is the nuclear option. It will give you what you want, and
will probably do so more quickly in some cases than trying to recover a
severely mangled system. But, it won't really teach you anything about
how Linux works, what options are available, learn new skills that are
useful in other situations also, etc. Teach a man to fish and all that jazz.

In any case Matthew's comments about partitioning are good sense. If you
do end up reinstalling dig into the install process a little and use
several partitions if you don't already.

Kind regards,

Xandor Schiefer
079 706 5620

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