cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (can he type?)
Cimorene ([personal profile] cimorene) wrote2011-11-09 12:12 pm
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OOPS but on the plus side I now have my working Gnome shell and also GRUB back. I think.

Haha so, Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot1 has a quiet boot.



Normally Ubuntu (and most Linux systems I think) talks to you when booting up by default, and gives you the opportunity to (a) choose among all the operating systems installed on your computer and their safe modes, and (b) keep track of their progress as they boot up, and order them around with the command line if you press a key at the right time.

But 11.10 just shows a black screen until it gives you the login prompt: it doesn't even show a progress bar made up of blinking dots, like the last couple of releases did. So pressing F1 has no effect (pressing it when viewing the progress bar resulted in verbose output) and so there's no way to tell if it's frozen, or is just taking a really long time to boot.

So after a few weeks running 11.10 the desktop froze up and I reset it, and then it didn't boot up in spite of my pressing the button several times, just showed me a blank black screen no matter what. I booted a LiveCD so I could google the problem, but all I found was other people talking about how they wanted to get rid of quiet boot but from inside a working install - usually because they wanted access to GRUB. I decided that since my install was mildly fucked up anyway I would just format the hd and do a fresh install.

But then a few weeks later, last night, the same thing happened - the desktop froze, ctrl+alt+del didn't work, alt+f2 didn't work, so I manually reset the computer and it gave me an unchanging black screen a few times in a row (including after shut down and unplugging blahblah).

All incensed, I installed an older OS, Ubuntu Maverick-based Linux Mint 10. I spent a few hours rescuing all my settings from the Oneiric install, but I incidentally also got GRUB back, because Mint 10 overwrote Oneiric's boot loader settings! So this morning when I turned the computer on I booted Oneiric in recovery mode, wanting to see if it would work. I picked one of the menu items almost at random - the mount/unmount all the drives. And this time it TOLD ME WHAT IT WAS DOING! It mounted all the harddrives, and when it got to the biggest one... it said the disk had been mounted 24 times without being checked and a check was being forced.

I forgot about the forced periodic checks!

24 mounts probably just about accounts for the amount of time that 11.10 worked before the blank screen both times when I thought the install was broken. Before 11.10, it always used to SAY "Check forced; press C to cancel" and then I'd often press C and continue booting. But 11.10 doesn't say ANYTHING during boot, so of course it wouldn't ask me if I wanted to cancel the checks either. And so I sat here crocheting and the check of that harddrive, which stores most of our video files and all my music and pictures, took 20+ minutes. o_O (It used to be shorter, but the more stuff on it, the longer it takes.)



1. Great name, right? But I'm even more excited for Precise Pangolin to enter the world in April... even though at this rate I'm going to go to Linux Mint as soon as they release a Gnome3-based version laster this month, and never return to vanilla "the user doesn't now what's good for them and I'm sure they don't need to be able to customize any of these settings so we just won't install any configuration tools and also we won't tell them how to get GRUB back anywhere they can find with 15 minutes of googling, I'm sure it's not like anybody uses dual boot for anything" Ubuntu again.

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