Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian
User Name
Debian This forum is for the discussion of Debian Linux.


  Search this Thread
Old 04-18-2006, 01:48 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian, CentOS
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 15
apt-get upgrade kernel issue

Last night I ran: apt-get upgrade .. and let it run over night. In the process it upgraded the kernel (apparently) to the latest version.
I had been running "etch", until today where it wont boot.
Now I can no longer boot into debian and get the following error:

Begin: Waiting for root file system... ...
ALERT! /dev/hda1 does not exist. Dropping to shell!

BusyBox v1.01 (Debian 1:1.01-4) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
/ #

I can get into knoppix and see the drive fine, so the file system is still very much intact.

Here's a copy of my /boot/menu.lst (accessed via knoppix) as a search via google seems to match the error im getting to a problem in this file, in particular the initrd - but In my /boot/ directory I can't see an updated image for the new kernal

# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
# grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
# grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
# and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not change this entry to 'saved' or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default 0

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 5

# Pretty colours
color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
# password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

# examples
# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1
# title Linux
# root (hd0,1)
# kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro

# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,0)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(recovery mode) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## ## End Default Options ##

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.15-1-486
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1-486 root=/dev/hda1 ro
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-1-486

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.15-1-486 (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1-486 root=/dev/hda1 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-1-486


Thanks very much!!
Old 04-19-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 271Reputation: 271Reputation: 271
Can you see your old kernel image? If so, can you modify the menu.lst to allow booting to your old kernel? I always keep the stock kernel installed and bootable as a separate menu option. That way if something goes wrong, I can just boot to the old kernel and try to remedy the problem.

Also, I feel like maybe my kernel images get installed to / not /boot (not at home to verify this though)...
Old 04-19-2006, 09:03 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian, CentOS
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I've got my menu.lst still pointing to (what I think is) the old kernel, I think the problem is it's looking for a new kernel, can't find it and hence won't boot. I'm really not sure what's happening

Here's a list of files that I have in /boot on the drive that holds debian.
Old 04-19-2006, 09:10 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64
Posts: 296

Rep: Reputation: 30
You might try running
grub-install '(hd0)'
as root, to sync what's actually in the boot sector with what's in menu.lst. It's a good sanity-check, if nothing else.
Old 04-24-2006, 06:16 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: LinuxMint16 & Ubuntu 12.0.4 LTS
Posts: 218

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'm normally a Slackware user but am Debian-curious and had, like Jamesk5, a working copy of Etch on a spare HD until I performed an apt-get upgrade. I just wanted him to know that he's not alone.

I'm back in Slackware at the moment, but will try the grub install command when I next swap drives.

I know Etch is testing but for it to collapse so effectively one week after a standard net-install with NO additional packages being added and no manual tweaking is not spectacularly encouraging.

Last edited by dkpw; 04-24-2006 at 06:33 PM.
Old 04-24-2006, 10:57 PM   #6
LQ Guru
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,232
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 190Reputation: 190
That happened to me the other night.. I got that exact same error message

I'm running SID and it installed a new version of the 2.6.16 kernel, I apparently missed the part where the apt upgrade didn't complete installing all the files due to one of the packages being messed up, and when I rebooted I saw that same error message

The solution for me was to reboot and select the 2.6.15 kernel boot into the system. I then waited a day for them to fix the broken package, cleared my apt cache (apt-get clean) and run apt-get update && apt-get upgrade at which point I saw it install packages that weren't in the upgrade list (because they were left over from my previously incomplete one, ooops !! ) afterwards a reboot to the 2.6.16 klernel worked just fine..

so basically yeah, keep the previous kernel around on the system for just such troubles when running etch or sid..

Last edited by farslayer; 04-24-2006 at 10:58 PM.
Old 04-25-2006, 04:50 AM   #7
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: LinuxMint16 & Ubuntu 12.0.4 LTS
Posts: 218

Rep: Reputation: 30

Thank you for the information and suggestions.

I will use an emergency CD and see what kernel's are on the HD and see if I can then follow your cache clean, update and upgrade routine.

It's all part of the learning process.

Kind regards,



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apt wants to upgrade the same kernel I have foodhater Debian 14 03-18-2006 09:34 AM
apt-get upgrade does not upgrade my kernel halfpower Debian 5 12-11-2005 09:53 AM
Can't apt-get After Kernel Upgrade halfpower Debian 8 10-13-2005 11:38 AM
Kernel Panic 2.6.7, 4TH Release via apt-get upgrade Outabux Debian 1 08-12-2004 12:05 AM
Is it possible to upgrade kernel with apt-get? davidas Debian 16 04-14-2004 11:00 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:04 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration