My Ubuntu 18.04 updated last night and now when I boot the system up it shows this message:

aufs aufs_fill_super:912:mount[1089]: no arg
overlayfs: missing 'lowerdir'

Any clues?

  • aufs indicates that it is a persistent live system of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Or a severe bug. The corresponding device for the root file system is cow in a persistent live system of 18.04 LTS. (And there should be none of those and no overlayfs in an installed system.) – sudodus Aug 24 '18 at 17:21
  • @sudodus thanks for answering. I'm using a fresh 3 month Ubuntu 18.04 so I don't know what is happening.. – Gabriel Panza Aug 24 '18 at 17:40
  • Is it a persistent live system or an installed system? (If you don't know, what a persistent live system is, it is an installed system.) – sudodus Aug 24 '18 at 17:41
  • If you have more than one kernel in your system, please try to boot into an older one and tell us the result. – sudodus Aug 24 '18 at 17:59
  • I have this issue after upgrading to 18.04. The GUI doesn't load, but I get a login prompt. I am on kernel 4.15.33 and while trying 4.15.32 I noticed it said giving up waiting for suspend/resume devices before going to the login screen. – Eric Fossum Sep 2 '18 at 1:29

I had the same issue. I booted in recovery mode and open the shell prompt. Then discovered that no free space left in my device (with df command). So I cleaned up space (menu in recovery mode has this item). And after that, the issue was resolved

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  • sorry, can't find the df command. could you please elaborate? – MycrofD Jul 20 at 13:38
  • @MycrofD Where did you try to find it? In your terminal? – Ildar Nogmanov Jul 22 at 13:31
  • yes, tried my terminal, from recovery mode. Nevertheless, deleted some files which when created led to this issue, and could enter the gui mode. Then created a bootable USB and resized the root partition – MycrofD Jul 22 at 19:12


I guess it was after an update when I have had the same issue. In my case it was related to the Xorg / Nvidia graphics card driver, I guess. How this is connected to the corresponding error message, still is a mystery to me.

Past the passphrase-prompt for the decryption of the drive, I got the same error message.

aufs aufs_fill_super:912:mount[1089]: no arg
overlayfs: missing 'lowerdir'

Booting in verbose mode, I noticed an error somewhat like this where it hang:

Failed to connect to lvmetad.
Falling back to device scanning.
/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg--root: clean, 500699/15081472 files, 9150222/60315648 blocks

I tried the following without success:

  • Freeing diskspace
  • rebuilding / updating initramfs and grub
  • /etc/lvm/lvm.conf: change use_lvmetad=1 to use_lvmetad=0


Booting / login via recovery-mode was still possible so I could make the following changes. If the usual logging-in had not been possible I would have had to make the changes via chroot:

  1. I had to change the driver: X.Org-X-Server to the proprietary NVIDIA driver
  2. Not sure if that was necessary: sudo apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-4.15.0-54-generic (adjust to current version)

res: Failed to connect to lvmetad - Stuck on boot

Info / side-effects:

The driver swap also solved and other odd issue (gnome-shell high cpu) that I was experiencing: My gnome-shell-process constantly was using about 30-50% CPU(!) now it is on 1-2%.

Lastly, the constantly noisy fan:

There may be a way to manually change the fan-speed (http://www.upubuntu.com/2015/05/how-to-controladjust-gpu-fan-speed-for.html) or you can simply use the integrated GPU.

  • NVIDIA X Server Settings -> PRIME Profiles -> select Intel. (You have to logout and login again for this to take effect).
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