Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ubuntu server 14.04 fun

Recently lost a system drive in the AMD E350 based computer I use for various file server, database, test web server and other roles in my home network. The new drive came in the mail today so I decided to try to install the new Ubuntu server to it. I used the built-in LVM support that exists in the CLI installer now. Last time I had to do that by hand so it was a nice improvement.

Long story short, on boot up I was encountering an apparent hang or freeze once it was trying to initialize the swap space.
[    3.490158] firewire_core 0000:06:02.0: created device fw0: GUID 001e8c000042dc3f, S400
[    3.616414] random: lvm urandom read with 30 bits of entropy available
[    3.671945] bio: create slab <bio-1> at 1
[    3.843667] EXT4-fs (dm-0): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[    4.026158] Switched to clocksource tsc
[    4.460003] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (183) terminated with status 1
[    4.462054] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.470931] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (194) terminated with status 1
[    4.472846] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.482749] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (196) terminated with status 1
[    4.484555] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.493858] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (198) terminated with status 1
[    4.495605] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.503723] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (200) terminated with status 1
[    4.505317] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.516120] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (201) terminated with status 1
[    4.517821] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    4.552321] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (203) terminated with status 1
[    4.553990] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process ended, respawning
[    5.143395] random: nonblocking pool is initialized
[    5.480640] Adding 7970812k swap on /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-swap_1.  Priority:-1 extents:1 across:7970812k FS

The most frustrating part of this is that the only reference I found to someone having the same problem online wasn't any help at all.

Then I discovered that in the recovery console I was able to see an IP and it was on my network just fine. So on the next reboot I tried connecting to it over SSH after it "froze" on me. I was able to connect and login and even use it as if nothing was wrong! The dmesg log shows the boot process continuing on from the above point as well.

Some research later and I found that if you add nomodeset to the kernel settings before it boots then it will continue on to the login prompt normally. I'm sure, now, that when it appears to freeze that's when it is actually switching to a video mode that is not working correctly on my hardware. This is probably not a very common problem which is why I don't see many other people talking about it online.

tl;dr? If you're having problems with Ubuntu appearing to freeze during the boot process.. try booting with nomodeset in your kernel options!

There's a nice description of what nomodeset does here: link

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much. I have reinstalled Ubuntu server 4+ times now because I had thought it was a problem with swap. One question though, how do you add the line to the boot options in grub2 (by that I mean how do you get the indentation and then make it permanent)?

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  2. I made a new post here: update grub2 options. That should help you make it permanent. Glad I was able to help.

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  3. Thank you, this helped me out :)

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