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For some reason I can only successfully boot into recovery mode. I want to install drivers software updates, etc. My question is. If I install these software in recovery mode will they be applies like they normally would in the normal (non-recovery)?

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Why is your system not booting in the normal mode? Do you see any errors or indications why it failed?

You can install software in the recovery mode, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Only / is mounted, so if you have a separate /var, /usr, /home, you need to mount then yourself
  • Filesystems are mounted read-only, so you need to remount them using sudo mount -o remount,rw /
  • Drivers for your network card or wireless interface may not be loaded

Packages installed in the recovery mode do persist in the normal mode.

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well this certainly messes things up for me. –  user194862 Oct 19 '13 at 18:23
    
We can try to fix the problem that's preventing your system from booting. Do you see any error messages? If you can boot into recovery mode, can you grab /var/log/syslog and /var/log/Xorg.0.log and paste them somewhere? –  Rohan Dhruva Oct 19 '13 at 18:43
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Proper way to upgrade/install/update Software in Recovery Mode:

  • When your system starts chose Recovery Mode (2nd option in grub menu).
  • From the Menu just go to Grub option, it will give a message like Updating grub will mount your system in read/write mode. Just chose yes to mount your system in read/write mode. It will update your grub and will exit from Grub menu.
  • chose network option it may enable your network.Note: It would be best if you connected via Wired Network
  • Then chose dpkg menu from the list, chose yes for all. It will fix any broken packages.
  • Finally chose root option and login. Execute following commands one after another:

    # apt-get autoremove
    # apt-get autoclean
    # apt-get update
    # apt-get -f install
    # apt-get dist-upgrade
    # apt-get upgrade
    

    Then reboot your system and check whether your are able to use Ubuntu or not. Run this command to reboot:

    # reboot
    

Hope either of this method works for you.. Reply if something goes wrong.

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