1

Can someone please explain how on clean install AMD64 VMs fail to update when initramfs gets called after a kernel update.

After a clean install I done a

sudo apt get dist-upgrade

initramfs hangs, shows no error message and the kernel shows a process timeout message.

This is on both Xenial Xerus LTS and Artful Aardvark releases.

I have an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU with 32GB or RAM and a Virtual Hard Disk of 256GB.

How am I supposed to update my VMs if initramfs doesn't come to the party?

It corrupts dpkg and apt.

I have had enough.

Is this a bug with Ubuntu, initramfs, or Virtualbox?

This is really annoying and because initramfs does not show any error messages.

Does anyone know how to fix it?

I am running VirtualBox on a Windows 10 Pro AMD64 host.

  • Instead of sudo apt get dist-upgrade Try sudo apt update followed by sudo apt upgrade. If update-initramfs still fails you might to pin the kernel to the specific version that comes with the Live USB. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jan 28 '18 at 6:37
0

Process of elimination

We'll work through your possibilities one by one.

Does update-initramfs work ok?

After your failed distribution upgrade you can still reboot and Grub will have the original kernel available on the Advance Options sub-menu. Select it to boot.

After start up open the terminal and type:

sudo update-initramfs -u

This will generate the initramfs for the current kernel. If it works ok then that removes it as a problem.

Was Ubuntu trying to install a broken kernel?

Find out the current kernel version using uname -r:

$ uname -r
4.14.15-041415-generic

Your kernel version will likely be 4.4.0..., 4.8.0..., 4.10.0... or 4.13.0....

List installed kernels using:

$ dpkg -l | grep linux-image
ii  linux-image-3.16.53-031653-generic         3.16.53-031653.201801090931                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 3.16.53 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.10.0-28-generic              4.10.0-28.32~16.04.2                         amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.10.0-37-generic              4.10.0-37.41~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.10.0-38-generic              4.10.0-38.42~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.10.0-40-generic              4.10.0-40.44~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.10.0-42-generic              4.10.0-42.46~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.13.9-041309-generic          4.13.9-041309.201710211231                   amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.13.9 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.10-041410-generic         4.14.10-041410.201712291810                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.10 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.11-041411-generic         4.14.11-041411.201801022143                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.11 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.12-041412-generic         4.14.12-041412.201801051649                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.12 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.13-041413-generic         4.14.13-041413.201801101001                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.13 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.14-041414-generic         4.14.14-041414.201801201219                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.14 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.15-041415-generic         4.14.15-041415.201801231530                  amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.15 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.2-041402-generic          4.14.2-041402.201711240330                   amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.2 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.14.4-041404-generic          4.14.4-041404.201712050630                   amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.14.4 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.4.0-101-generic              4.4.0-101.124                                amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.4.0-103-generic              4.4.0-103.126                                amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.4.0-104-generic              4.4.0-104.127                                amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.4.0-98-generic               4.4.0-98.121                                 amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.9.76-040976-generic          4.9.76-040976.201801100432                   amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.9.76 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-4.9.77-040977-generic          4.9.77-040977.201801170430                   amd64        Linux kernel image for version 4.9.77 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.10.0-28-generic        4.10.0-28.32~16.04.2                         amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.10.0-37-generic        4.10.0-37.41~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.10.0-38-generic        4.10.0-38.42~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.10.0-40-generic        4.10.0-40.44~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.10.0-42-generic        4.10.0-42.46~16.04.1                         amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.10.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-101-generic        4.4.0-101.124                                amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-103-generic        4.4.0-103.126                                amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-104-generic        4.4.0-104.127                                amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-98-generic         4.4.0-98.121                                 amd64        Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii  linux-image-generic                        4.4.0.104.109                                amd64        Generic Linux kernel image
ii  linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04              4.10.0.42.44                                 amd64        Generic Linux kernel image

On a fresh install you'll only have one kernel version. Whatever the version we will mark it held so the next update doesn't download a newer kernel and try to generate a new initramfs on it. Do this using:

sudo apt-mark hold linux-image-4.14.15-041415-generic

Remember to change 4.14.15-041415-generic with the uname -r results earlier

Notice how we took the results of uname -r to look up the full kernel name in apt.

Now run:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Did anything break this time?

Does your Virtual Box install ok?

This part I'll leave to you. If it works ok you will know it was upgrading the kernel that broke on your other attempts. If it doesn't work ok then you know it's a problem with Virtual Box and that is where to focus. For example some VMs need newer versions to work with the 4.13 kernel.

To get back onto regular kernel updates you have to unpin the package you held using:

sudo apt-mark unhold linux-image-4.14.15-041415-generic

Remember to change 4.14.15-041415-generic with the uname -r results earlier

Virtual Box broken for Kernel 4.13.0-26

Much too late I found this Q&A: virtualbox crash on kernel 4.13.0-26

You need to Download it from VirtualBox page or add the source to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian xenial contrib

If you use a different version of Ubuntu than 16.04, use the appropriate name instead of xenial.

Add Oracle public key:

wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Update repositories and install virtualbox-5.2:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-5.2

On one of my laptops, VM didn't want to start before I removed virutalbox-dkms:

sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-dkms

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.