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If I boot ubuntu from the live cd without any special options I get the following message:

[ 0.040001] Kernel panic - not syncing: IO-APIC + timer doesn't work! Boot with apic=debug and send a report. Then try booting with the 'noapic' option.
[ 0.040001]

So I booted with the noapic option (and the acpi=off option because the noapic option alone didn't work). It booted fine and I was able to install. Then after the restart I got the above message again. Is there a way to tell ubuntu to use the noapic option when booting from harddrive?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you're using GRUB2 (clean-installs of Ubuntu 9.04 and later), edit /etc/default/grub and change the following line: (this may look different on your system, I just took it from mine as an example)

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"

Add noacpi, or whichever kernel option you want, anywhere in the line.

If you're using GRUB Legacy (if you upgraded from a version of Ubuntu before 9.10), please see the GRUB page in the Ubuntu Wiki for details on how to edit your /boot/grub/menu.list to accomplish the same as above.

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I couldn't execute grub-update from the live cd so I mounted my ubuntu partition and added acpi=off noapic to the kernel line in /boot/grub/grub.cfg that worked, thanks! – user142 Sep 1 '10 at 16:00
@user142 Make sure you keep those updates in /etc/default/grub - the grub.cfg gets rebuilt every time there is an update to grub (new kernel, etc) – Marco Ceppi Sep 1 '10 at 16:03
just had this issue with an older laptop again and it worked yippee! – andybleaden Aug 18 '11 at 14:41

To do this you must change the boot parameters through Grub. Open /etc/default/grub as root. Add noapic to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" or similar. Then run update-grub as root.

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I guess I started writing this as lfaraone posted his answer – JasonCook599 Sep 1 '10 at 15:30

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