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Old 11-01-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
saber0091
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Ubuntu server 6.06 LTS won't start after install


Installed the OS from an install cd I burned. It seemed to install fine, though it was unable to automatically configure the network. I reboot the machine, it passes POST, it passes GRUB (will go into the GRUB bootloader if I choose), screen wipes and goes into the next phase of text output. This goes pretty fast, but only about a third of the screen is filled before the entire machine reboots. Rinse, lather, repeat.I'm a n00b, so I've no idea what to do with the rescue options of opening a shell in the install environment or elsewhere.Ran a bunch of hardware diagnostics on my machine, circa 1997 pentium box, and all passed. Memtest86+, Eurosoft PC-check.What steps do I take from here to try and figure out what's going on, so it can be fixed?
 
Old 11-01-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
David1357
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1. Can you boot from the install CD and run Ubuntu?
2. Can you boot from the install CD if you disable use of the APIC?
3. Can you boot from the Alternate version of 6.06 LTS?

Answers to these questions will help us to help you.
 
Old 11-01-2007, 11:52 PM   #3
saber0091
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Thank you for your reply! I would really love to be able to learn how to troubleshoot this stuff and better improve my linux knowledge.

1. How do I do this? It did not seem to be an option to boot from the install cd, merely to run a shell from the install environment.
2. I'm not sure how to disable APIC to do this. I grabbed a copy of a 5.04 Ubuntu livecd, which would not boot with apic and lapic disabled or enabled. The install cd seems to run and install on its own.
3. I am currently downloading this to try it.

Last edited by saber0091; 11-01-2007 at 11:54 PM.
 
Old 11-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
David1357
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Re: Ubuntu server 6.06 LTS won't start after install

If you select "Start or install Ubuntu" from the menu after booting from the 6.06 LTS CD, you are actually running Ubuntu from the CD. This way of running a Linux distribution is often referred to as a "LiveCD". If you can successfully boot and run Ubuntu from the "Start or install Ubuntu" option, you can install Ubuntu on your machine.

If you are having trouble during the bootup process, it is usually due to a problem with the APIC. If you disable the APIC during the boot process by adding the kernel option "noapic", you can test this theory. I run Ubuntu and several other distributions on older machines at work that all require the kernel to boot with the "noapic" option.

To try this, do the following:
1. Access the boot menu by pressing [Esc] when you see the GRUB message during bootup.
2. Using the arrow keys, select the first line of the GRUB menu, and press 'e' to edit it (DO NOT hit enter).
3. Using the arrow keys, select the line that starts with "kernel", and press 'e' to edit it (DO NOT hit enter).
4. Add a space and then "noapic" to the line, and then hit [Enter].
5. Press 'b' to boot the kernel with the "noapic" option.
If everything works, you will have to permanently modify your
/boot/grub/menu.lst
file to append this option to your kernel parameters.
 
Old 11-10-2007, 10:00 PM   #5
saber0091
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Was recommended to install using the 7.10 i386 server disc instead, as a lot of hardware things were fixed. So, I tried it. Here are the results:

Ubuntu server i386 v7.10 "install to harddrive".
Says can't enable APIC (acpi?) automatically, would have to manually enable it.
Tried to install, system sometimes seems to lose the CD drive. That's what the installer actually /says/ eight times out of ten: Can't find it. If I just hit retry enough times it finds the CD drive again and continues.
Still can't setup DHCP on its own, but I am not able to diag the ethernet NICs by themselves yet. I continue the install with the option to just set it up later.
The OS keeps on trying to install, and gets to the point where it errors:
!! Install the base system
Unable to install the selected kernel.
Kernel package: 'linux-generic'.
check /var/log/syslog or see virtual console 4 for the details.

I've swapped the CD drive, with the same result.
Any ideas what to do now? Or how to check the specified areas for more specific information?
 
Old 11-12-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
Was recommended to install using the 7.10 i386 server disc instead, as a lot of hardware things were fixed.
I would recomment the "alternate" as it uses a kernel that is able to handle flakey hardware better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
So, I tried it. Here are the results:

Ubuntu server i386 v7.10 "install to harddrive".
Says can't enable APIC (acpi?) automatically, would have to manually enable it.
Tried to install, system sometimes seems to lose the CD drive. That's what the installer actually /says/ eight times out of ten: Can't find it. If I just hit retry enough times it finds the CD drive again and continues.
If you are having drive problems of any kind, it is usually a problem with DMA. Re-install with the "ide=nodma" option appended to the install kernel line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
Still can't setup DHCP on its own, but I am not able to diag the ethernet NICs by themselves yet. I continue the install with the option to just set it up later.
The OS keeps on trying to install, and gets to the point where it errors:
!! Install the base system
Unable to install the selected kernel.
Kernel package: 'linux-generic'.
check /var/log/syslog or see virtual console 4 for the details.

I've swapped the CD drive, with the same result.
Any ideas what to do now? Or how to check the specified areas for more specific information?
Once again, re-install with the "ide=nodma" option on the kernel line.
 
Old 11-13-2007, 11:42 PM   #7
saber0091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1357 View Post
I would recomment the "alternate" as it uses a kernel that is able to handle flakey hardware better.
But Ubuntu Server 7.10 does not /have/ an alternate version? Only the Desktop version has an alternate: "Check here if you need the alternate desktop CD. This CD does not include the Live CD, instead it uses a text-based installer."


I'll give the "ide=nodma" and noapic at the same time thing a shot, and see if that will take care of it.

The point of all this is to remote into the computer with SSH, and user telnet on the box to go elsewhere. If the Alternate Desktop version works for that, I'd quite happily give it a shot.
 
Old 11-14-2007, 12:05 PM   #8
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
But Ubuntu Server 7.10 does not /have/ an alternate version? Only the Desktop version has an alternate: "Check here if you need the alternate desktop CD. This CD does not include the Live CD, instead it uses a text-based installer."


I'll give the "ide=nodma" and noapic at the same time thing a shot, and see if that will take care of it.
I recommend trying them one at a time first. It does not take much time to do them separately, and it will tell you what the real problem is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
The point of all this is to remote into the computer with SSH, and user telnet on the box to go elsewhere. If the Alternate Desktop version works for that, I'd quite happily give it a shot.
I think the major difference between "server" and "desktop" is whether or not Apache, MySQL, and PHP are installed. You can install OpenSSH for "desktop", "alternate", and "server" without any difficulty. I have done it for all three at one time or another.
 
Old 11-15-2007, 12:28 PM   #9
saber0091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1357 View Post
I recommend trying them one at a time first. It does not take much time to do them separately, and it will tell you what the real problem is.

Ran the Ubuntu 7.10 alternate desktop install cd. Hit f6, end of the "boot options" command line shows " --" and I tacked it onto the end (ide=nodma). It promptly began to install. Then when it was trying to install the base system it kept throwing up this error:

[!!] Install the base system
Debootstrap warning
Warning:
File:///cdrom/location_and_name_of_file
was corrupt

There are tons of different files, same error, one right after the other every time I hit either 'continue' or 'go back'.


Already did md5 on the .iso before I burned it, and it checked out fine. Does this mean either Ram problems, hdd access problems, or cd drive issues maybe?
 
Old 12-04-2007, 08:37 PM   #10
saber0091
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Did some additional work. As it turns out the motherboard has a hardware restriction on what ram in which slot it will or will not support. When I adhered to those directions I was able to fully install the operating system from one end to the other.

The problem now is that after the installation, and the subsequent reboot, the unit POSTs, gets past GRUB, does a lot of text, then the screen goes black and the monitor makes a sound like it's trying to change resolution... but it fails, resulting only in the same black screen and the little process of sound and more black again.

any ideas?
 
Old 12-04-2007, 09:34 PM   #11
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
Did some additional work. As it turns out the motherboard has a hardware restriction on what ram in which slot it will or will not support. When I adhered to those directions I was able to fully install the operating system from one end to the other.

The problem now is that after the installation, and the subsequent reboot, the unit POSTs, gets past GRUB, does a lot of text, then the screen goes black and the monitor makes a sound like it's trying to change resolution... but it fails, resulting only in the same black screen and the little process of sound and more black again.

any ideas?
Press [Ctrl][Alt][F1] to get the first virtual terminal. If you see a login prompt there, your kernel booted successfully, but your X server put your display in a mode it does not support. Let us know if you get a login prompt before proceeding. Debugging X servers is a joyless task that takes a lot of time and patience.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 11:37 PM   #12
saber0091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1357 View Post
Press [Ctrl][Alt][F1] to get the first virtual terminal. If you see a login prompt there, your kernel booted successfully, but your X server put your display in a mode it does not support. Let us know if you get a login prompt before proceeding. Debugging X servers is a joyless task that takes a lot of time and patience.
Pressing that gets me to a screen filled with lines of text that had disappeared when the monitor seemed to be stuck in a cycle of changing resolutions. There is no login prompt. The last four lines say this:
*Starting deferred execution scheduler atd ok
*Starting periodic command scheduler crond ok
*Checking battery state... ok (Actually this is a desktop, and several times earlier in the boot it says there is no battery)
*Running local boot scripts (/etc/rc.local) ok

Then there is a blinking cursor off to the far right of the screen.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 03:15 PM   #13
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
Pressing that gets me to a screen filled with lines of text that had disappeared when the monitor seemed to be stuck in a cycle of changing resolutions.
Those lines of text are the normal bootup messages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
There is no login prompt.
This is not a good sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
The last four lines say this:
*Starting deferred execution scheduler atd ok
*Starting periodic command scheduler crond ok
*Checking battery state... ok (Actually this is a desktop, and several times earlier in the boot it says there is no battery)
*Running local boot scripts (/etc/rc.local) ok

Then there is a blinking cursor off to the far right of the screen.
If you reached rc.local, then you should have gettys (or mingettys) running on each vt. Since you do not see a login prompt, it probably means your kernel locked up. You can double-check by looking at [Ctrl][Alt][FX], where X is 2 through 6. If none of those have a login prompt, then your kernel got hung up somewhere.
 
Old 12-06-2007, 12:30 AM   #14
saber0091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1357 View Post
Those lines of text are the normal bootup messages.



This is not a good sign.



If you reached rc.local, then you should have gettys (or mingettys) running on each vt. Since you do not see a login prompt, it probably means your kernel locked up. You can double-check by looking at [Ctrl][Alt][FX], where X is 2 through 6. If none of those have a login prompt, then your kernel got hung up somewhere.


I haven't the foggiest idea what any of this stuff is, sadly, which is why I am very grateful for all the help. Linux is out of my current depth.


CTRL ALT F2-6 all give a login prompt, F1 still does not.
Login prompt looks like this:

Ubuntu 7.10 compname tty2
compname login:

It even lets me log in using user level credentials (I don't know how to login as root), and gives the prompt:

user@compname:~$
 
Old 12-06-2007, 12:35 PM   #15
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
CTRL ALT F2-6 all give a login prompt, F1 still does not.
That is good news. It means your kernel is running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saber0091 View Post
It even lets me log in using user level credentials (I don't know how to login as root)...
After you login as a user, you can get root access by running "sudo bash". That will give you a bash prompt as root.

Try pressing the [Enter] key on the first virtual terminal (VT), which you get to by pressing [Ctrl][Alt][F1]. That may give you a login prompt. If so, you are golden. It just means your X server put your display in an unsupported mode. You can fix it by editing your X configuration file (either /etc/X11/XF86Config or /etc/X11/xorg.conf) to use a resolution you know your monitor supports (e.g. 640x480 or 1024x768).

You will probably want to paste the contents of your X configuration file and the output of your X server log (somewhere in /var/log) here so we can tell you what to change.
 
  


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