Friday, October 13, 2017

Opensuse 42.2 to 42.3 upgrade booting into emergency mode

A few days ago I ran the normal "zypper up" on my 42.2 system and received a lovely update from nvidia for their G03 driver on the 4.4.27-2 kernel.  After this, I noticed vlc stopped working due to some plugin.  I rebooted my machine and no longer had X windows starting up.  The error was something about the nvidia driver not being able to load.  Many hours of trying to get that fixed, and try alternatives like Nouveau only got me to a graphic interface that couldn't seem to do more than a 800x600 resolution.  So I noticed there was a new distro update with different nvidia driver and kernel, so I gave that a try. 

Upgrade went ok and as usual (for the past 10 distro updates this machine has gone through), I expected some problems.  Usually its my bootloader pointing to the wrong drive and not being able to start up, but not this time.  For the first time, I had my machine booting into emergency mode with no real obvious errors from the output on the screen.  All file systems (root, /tmp, swap, windows partitions) were mounted as RW.  I had no networking, but otherwise could do pretty much anything form the command line except for starting a graphic interface.  Checking the output of the "journalctl -xb" command showed 2 errors for systemd targets, one for and one that I can't remember at the moment, but I think it was usb related or something else that looked like file systems. After googling around, I couldn't find anything specific to this problem, though a few mentioned looking at fstab for partition issues. I found one line in there which seemed suspicious given the errors in systemd

usbfs               /proc/bus/usb       usbfs       auto,devmode=0666     0 0

I commented this out, rebooted and all was good for boot.  Later installing the nvidia driver and downgrading the kernel to the version that the nvidia driver was created for resolved my original problem.  Spent some more time recreating my desktop environment for the new KDE version.  All together it was about a 12 hour recovery process.  So thanks Nvidia, you guys are awesome.

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