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Old 01-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #1
ryoa
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Ubuntu 12.04 won't boot - "initctl: Event failed"


Hi,

I installed ubuntu on my laptop (primary computer) over the summer and just started trying to use it in the past few days, but managed to break it already.

My laptop is an Asus U46SV-DH51.

During my last session, I ran
Code:
apt-get autoremove
because it suggested doing so when I was installing htop. I think this was pretty much the only thing I did that was out of the ordinary. htop seemed to work fine.

I can successfully get past the bootloader and Ubuntu hangs on the splash screen. I booted into recovery and it stops with a screenfull of text, which I think is logged in /var/log/boot.log. So here're some of the lines of code around the initctl line (How do I add attachments? Is this file helpful?):
Code:
 * Starting deferred execution scheduler[ OK ]
 * Starting CPU interrupts balancing daemon[ OK ]
 * Stopping GNOME Display Manager[ OK ]
 * Starting LightDM Display Manager[ OK ]
 * Stopping LightDM Display Manager[ OK ]
 * Stopping save kernel messages[ OK ]
 * Checking battery state...        
[ OK ]
 * Starting TiMidity++ ALSA midi emulation...        
[ OK ]
 * Stopping System V runlevel compatibility[ OK ]
 * Stopping enable remaining boot-time encrypted block devices[ OK ]
initctl: Event failed
 * Stopping Mount filesystems on boot[ OK ]
 * Starting CUPS printing spooler/server[ OK ]
 * Starting Mount network filesystems[ OK ]
 * Stopping Mount network filesystems[ OK ]
acpid: exiting
What else can I do? I'd rather not reinstall linux (I don't think that's in the spirit of why you'd use it..).
 
Old 01-11-2013, 02:00 AM   #2
DaneM
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Welcome, ryoa, and thanks for trying Linux. We always appreciate new additions to the community.

It can be a great learning experience to troubleshoot problems, so we'll try that before resorting to a reinstall (which is sometimes necessary but usually avoidable).

Which version ("Distribution/Distro") of Linux are you using? Fedora? Ubuntu? Linux Mint? Also, I'll need to know which version of THAT you're using (eg. Fedora 17, Ubuntu 12.10, etc.).

The code excerpt you included is good to know, but doesn't yet reveal the problem. FYI, using code tags like that is exactly correct.

I'd like you to boot with a live CD. Once that comes up, open your hard drive in the file manager. If your distro made multiple data partitions, you'll need to try until you find the right one, then un-mount ("eject") the wrong ones. Then, go to the command line (Terminal, Konsole, or similar, depending on graphical interface) and type this:

Code:
mount
Most likely, the very bottom entry will be your hard drive--and will probably start with "/dev/sdaX on /directory/path" with X being a partition number and the directory path being something like, "/media/blahblahblah", "/mnt/blahblahblah", or perhaps something else. Note the path and copy it with your mouse cursor and right-click menu. Then do this:

Code:
cd /directory/path/var/log
If you're using a debian-based distribution, it will be easier for me to help you, since I'm using one right now--but I can muddle through it if not. If you are, you'll have a directory called "apt" that you can cd into. If you can't do so, then I'll figure it out when you tell me the distro you're using. For Debian-based (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.), do this (pressing ENTER at line breaks):

Code:
cd apt
cat history.log | grep Remove
Note that the "R" in "Remove" is capitalized! Linux is case-sensitive. (grep has some tricks to get around it, but the lines we need to see all use the capitalized "R".) Post the results of this in a "code" box. Most likely, you removed something important by accident, so we'll deal with that.

For good measure, also post the output of:

Code:
cat history.log

cat /directory/path/var/log/messages
This should be a good start.

--Dane
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-11-2013, 02:37 AM   #3
ryoa
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Hi Dane,

Thanks very much for your help. I really appreciate it. As I mentioned in the post title, I'm using Ubuntu 12.04.

The message gets too long if I include the entire history file, so I attached it using. Here are the other two lines though.

cat directory/path/var/log/history.log | grep Remove:
Code:
ubuntu@ubuntu:/media/57ac8b53-f8b8-40db-a0d2-b84c97484e50/var/log/apt$ cat history.log | grep Remove
Remove: glines:i386 (3.4.1-0ubuntu2.1)
Remove: icedtea-plugin:i386 (1.2-2ubuntu1.3), icedtea-6-plugin:i386 (1.2-2ubuntu1.3), openjdk-6-jre:i386 (6b24-1.11.5-0ubuntu1~12.04.1)
Remove: browser-plugin-gnash:i386 (0.8.10-5ubuntu1), menu-xdg:i386 (0.5), ekiga:i386 (3.3.2-0ubuntu3), python-gnome2:i386 (2.28.1+dfsg-1), gnome-video-effects:i386 (0.4.0-1), gdebi:i386 (0.8.5build1), liferea-data:i386 (1.8.3-0.1ubuntu2), libboost-program-options1.46.1:i386 (1.46.1-7ubuntu3), python-pyorbit:i386 (2.24.0-6ubuntu2), gdebi-core:i386 (0.8.5build1), libcapi20-3:i386 (3.12.20071127-0ubuntu11), python-lxml:i386 (2.3.2-1), odbcinst:i386 (2.2.14p2-5ubuntu3), gedit-plugins:i386 (3.3.4-0ubuntu1), libboost-thread1.46.1:i386 (1.46.1-7ubuntu3), unixodbc:i386 (2.2.14p2-5ubuntu3), libpt2.10.2:i386 (2.10.2~dfsg-0ubuntu1), python-numpy:i386 (1.6.1-6ubuntu1), gdm:i386 (3.0.4-0ubuntu15), odbcinst1debian2:i386 (2.2.14p2-5ubuntu3), gnome-backgrounds:i386 (3.4.1-1), gnome-search-tool:i386 (3.4.0-1), libboost-signals1.46.1:i386 (1.46.1-7ubuntu3), libcluttergesture-0.0.2-0:i386 (0.0.2.1-2ubuntu3), libunique-1.0-0:i386 (1.1.6-4), libgtkmm-2.4-1c2a:i386 (2.24.2-1ubuntu1), gnome-icon-theme-extras:i386 (3.4.0-1), gir1.2-gucharmap-2.90:i386 (3.4.1.1-0ubuntu1), libmx-1.0-2:i386 (1.4.3-0ubuntu1), python-uniconvertor:i386 (1.1.4-1ubuntu1), libopal3.10.2:i386 (3.10.2~dfsg-0ubuntu1), fonts-cantarell:i386 (0.0.8-1), liferea:i386 (1.8.3-0.1ubuntu2), gnash:i386 (0.8.10-5ubuntu1), gnome-core:i386 (3.0+6ubuntu3), python-wnck:i386 (2.32.0+dfsg-1), hamster-applet:i386 (2.91.3+git20110714.9aefd7-2ubuntu3), libodbc1:i386 (2.2.14p2-5ubuntu3), gnash-common:i386 (0.8.10-5ubuntu1), libclutter-imcontext-0.1-0:i386 (0.1.4-2build1), inkscape:i386 (0.48.3.1-1ubuntu1), sound-juicer:i386 (3.4.0-1ubuntu1)
Just looking at that, here's what I remember:
glines - there's a patch or something I need to run on 64x based computers - I just uninstalled it and didn't bother with trying to figure out how to get the source, patch, and compile.
icetea - I installed java, but naturally installed java 6 before I realized java 7 existed. whoops.
that long one - I think that's from my apt-get autoremove. As it has the most things in it, I want to say that's the problem. I'm probably wrong, because (to my understanding) it's an entirely linux-controlled operation that is designed to not break things.
cat /directory/path/var/log/messages:
Code:
ubuntu@ubuntu:/media/57ac8b53-f8b8-40db-a0d2-b84c97484e50/var/log$ cat messages
cat: messages: No such file or directory
So what looks wrong? Just for my knowledge, this history.log file contains the log of the last session? Last session successfully booted?

Thanks,
ryoa
Attached Files
File Type: log history.log (27.9 KB, 12 views)
 
Old 01-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
halmeida.dc
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Hello guys , iam newbie using ubunto , i have allready try it on windows a few months ago but now at 36 years old !!!! i am trying to complet my engeneering degree that i start when i was 18 and quit at 20 . In mean time i have worked in real estate has contractor but now i dicided to go back to electronics , due to health problems , and ubunto is the election tool here . Presentesions made i want to now if you can helpe me instaling ubunto in an old cumputer that is an acer travelmate 2303 with an Celeron M 340 1.5 Ghz with 40 G HDD , 512 M DDR and an ipn 2220 wirelesss lan , wich i can not find the driver for ubunto . The question is: what is the best distribution to this "piece of museum " and if there is any way to conect the wireless board in ubunto. I hope you can help me and i apolagise for my english.
 
Old 01-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
DaneM
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Halmeida.dc, I'm glad you want to try Linux, but it's not good to post unrelated questions on another person's thread. Please go to this link and search for a thread that answers your question. If you don't find one, then go back to that link and click "New Thread." This will give you a thread of your own. :-)

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/

Ryoa, thanks for the info. I don't know how I missed which distro you're using! Just to be clear, are you SURE you're using 64-bit Ubuntu? It looks like everything that's been installed/removed is i386, so depending on what the rest of your system this could be a big problem.

Immediately, I can see that some essential gnome-related dependencies (which are also used in Unity) have been removed--at least for i386 versions. In theory this shouldn't be a problem, but in practice, they tend to overwrite or conflict with stuff from AMD64, such that if you install the i386 version (even if just to meet dependencies), it will ask you to remove the AMD64 version. Then, if you remove the thing that asked you to install the i386 version, and do an autoremove, you'll end up removing something you need! Unfortunately, it's still somewhat risky to install cross-architecture stuff for this reason. (Usually it's OK, but you have to know when to avoid it.)

Here's one quick fix that might just resolve it all:

(Print this out if you don't have an additional computer handy.)

1. Boot onto your hard drive.

2. When it stops loading, press CTRL-ALT-F1 (or F2) to bring up a terminal window. Log in.

3. On the command line, type:
Code:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
Accept anything it wants to do.

4. When it's done, reboot. Please make a note of any errors first, though.

Hopefully this will install everything that Ubuntu needs to run a functional desktop environment. If it doesn't work, we'll go from there.

--Dane
 
Old 01-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
ryoa
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Hi Dane,

You're likely right, that I'm runing a 32bit version. I can't remember what I installed in the summer. Trying to install ubuntu-desktop was easy, but all it concluded was that:
Code:
ubuntu-desktop is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
I did note however that after logging in to the terminal, I was welcomed with:
Code:
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-35-generic-pae i686)
I found the i686 part interesting - different than your mentioned AMD64 and i386. (What do those mean? i'm assuming 64bit and 32bit, and this is why 32 bit systems are called x86? You don't have to go into this.. I'm just curious.)

Anyways, I figured I hadn't done anything, but still tried to reboot anyways. I attached a picture of the screen that was left after booting for a while then hitting F2. I think the "Stopping Gnome Display Manager" line might be somewhat problematic.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	stallscreen.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	68.1 KB
ID:	11587  
 
Old 01-12-2013, 04:05 AM   #7
DaneM
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It looks like you're having a problem with the display manager. I'm going to have to look into which one Ubuntu uses as a default these days--but you definitely need ONE of them (if not Gnome Display Manager/gdm, then LightDM or another). I'm tempted to ask you to execute a command to install/reinstall one, but I need to make sure it's the RIGHT one, first.

More later.

FYI, the x86 thing is thus:

Old computers (some of them, which gave rise to most modern ones) ran "Intel 386" architecture. This was back before the day when a 33MHz (yes, MEGAhertz) processor was considered pretty slick. Then the 486 came out, and it could go up to about 66MHz. Then the Pentium (586) came out which could reach like 166MHz. Somehow the nomenclature "capped out" at 686, which represents up to about Pentium 4 CPUs, such as could neither run nor emulate 64-bit programs; their "wiring" was only capable of dealing with numbers of length 32 or less binary characters long. (10110110, for example, is 8 bits.) It could to this repeatedly, so this isn't a problem unless you want to address a lot of RAM at once or do other things requiring a really large numbers to be dealt with in "one go." A computer running a 32-bit CPU can only allocate about 4GB of RAM to a single program because of numerical capacity. 64-bit CPUs can deal with exponentially (literally exponentially) larger numbers, such that the limit is more-or-less beyond what we can expect to see in this lifetime, in terms of RAM capacity. Likewise, it can do some other cool stuff.

AMD64 is 64-bit and can also run (via some special circuitry) 32-bit applications. An application is 32-bit if it's compiled for (and written to be compatible with) a 32-bit CPU. Nearly all open-source apps are this way. An application can only use a 64-bit CPU's full potential if it's compiled for a 64-bit CPU (that is, translated into AMD64 assembly, then into binary that "fits" into the CPU properly). Apps compiled for 64-bit CANNOT run on 32-bit, just as software compiled for i386 can't run on old Macintosh processors--which weren't Intel-compatible.

i386 has become a generic term for anything 32-bit. i686-compiled software requires CPU features that i386 CPUs don't have, so if you want to be really, REALLY compatible, you compile for i386. Most modern Linuxes now use i686, but call it i386 in their repositories.

Modern Intel CPUs don't use true AMD64 architecture, but emulate it in a compatible way. They're effectively (IIRC) 48-bit, but that's OK because we don't need anything bigger right now. You can (and probably should) therefore run AMD64 software on any Intel processor made after about 2004. If you have a modern CPU, you might want to reinstall using an AMD64 Ubuntu disc!

Overkill complete. :-)

Last edited by DaneM; 01-12-2013 at 04:09 AM.
 
Old 01-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
DaneM
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It looks like Ubuntu now uses LightDM. So, in order to make sure that lightdm's set to defaults, let's do this:

1. boot from HD and get to a terminal, as above.

2. type:
Code:
sudo apt-get remove --purge lightdm

sudo apt-get install lightdm
If we're lucky, this will get you going again.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
ryoa
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Hi Dane,

Thanks for the 32bit vs 64bit system break down. Are the differences between Intel64 and AMD64 instruction sets so negligible as to let instructions that exist in both sets sufficiently describe (most) systems well enough to not necessitate using Intel64 on Intel machines?

The lightdm reinstall didn't work. Not sure if it's useful, but my stall screen picture from earlier shows the "Stopping GNOME Display Manager" line before it starts lightdm - which is immediately stopped. Might this have something to do with it?

What other diagnostic tools should I get to know?

Thanks,
ryoa
 
Old 01-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
wigry
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Intel 64 = x86-64 = AMD64. In Linux world the 64bit x86 stuff is usually referred to as AMD64
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64

Then again, if you have 64-bit linux then you cannot run any kind of 32-bit software UNLESS you have 32-bit compatibility libs also installed (system is called multilib ready).

Last edited by wigry; 01-14-2013 at 03:21 PM.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 09:02 PM   #11
DaneM
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Yes, for practical purposes, what wigry says is correct. The limits of Intel's EMT64 are well beyond the kind of hardware we'll likely see in the next 20 years, so it's effectively identical to AMD64.

Yeah, your screenshot shows things starting and stopping rather oddly. I'm still not sure why it's trying to start/stop both GDM and LightDM, as these packages conflict. Perhaps the answer is to make sure one of them is fully-removed.

Do this:
Code:
sudo apt-get remove --purge gdm
sudo apt-get remove --purge lightdm
sudo apt-get install lightdm
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
NOTE: If the last command tries to install GDM, you need to cancel it, then "apt-get remove --purge lightdm" and then re-do "sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop". We need to make sure that you don't have two display managers at once.

I'm kind-of running out of ideas, here, so if wigry or someone else has any, please post them (assuming the above doesn't fix it).

--Dane
 
Old 01-16-2013, 04:56 PM   #12
ryoa
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Hi Dane,

Yes, that didn't work. I think I'm just going to reinstall Ubuntu. Thanks for your help anyways.
 
Old 01-16-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
TroN-0074
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Whent you login what happens if you type startx

You can also try the command
Code:
sudo apt-get -f install
If you cant get in unity you could try a different desktop interface like KDE or Xfce

try that and let us know.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by TroN-0074; 01-16-2013 at 06:53 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:07 AM   #14
DaneM
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Ryoa, reinstallation would certainly be easier if you choose to do so. I'm certain this problem can be fixed, but I don't think I know how to do it without being able to "poke around" in person. :-p

Tron-0074 offers a couple good suggestions. The latter will require a reboot. Also, try typing "sudo start gdm", "sudo gdm", "sudo start lightdm", or "sudo lightdm". This might start the display manager manually, which would get you running and help us fix it properly. Check out this page for details on other things you can try: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LightDM

Good luck! Please post back if you make any progress or think of something else.
 
Old 11-26-2013, 01:37 AM   #15
rmrf_
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Similar Problem -- [Solved]

On Ubuntu 13.10, I encountered very similar symptoms that ryoa described of failing to login after entering the correct password. I followed many of the steps in this forum posting and in attempting to reinstall lightdm, I received an error message notifying me of some badly defined functions. I immediately `mv ~/.profile ~/.profile.bkp` , and it worked. After some trial and error, I narrowed it down to some particular functions that were defined in my .profile, commented them out, and carried on with 2 hours less in my life. I still don't know what it was of those functions that caused the error, but maybe they were reserved names: findf(), finde(), du-s(), psgrep()

Just another step to check for those encountering this problem.
 
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