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I have used Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility to install Kernel 5.0.5.

Some important modules won't work with it, so I wanted to boot with my old Kernel 4.20.17. However, when I select it in the GRUB Menu, I just see a blank black screen. If I select the Kernel 4.20.17-recovery then all I see are these two lines and then it hangs:

Loading Linux 4.20.12-042012 generic ...

Loading initial ramdisk ...

and then it hangs.

I removed my nvidia driver and reinstalled a newer version, and disabled secure boot. Thats all I did in Kernel 5.0.5.

Any advice how I can boot my old Kernel? Here is the log file of my last boot. I do not really understand much of the log file, but I found this section:

Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.20.12-042012-generic root=UUID=2ade97f2-18fd-40fb-a5ac-612aebdec8b7 ro recovery nomodeset
Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: You have booted with nomodeset. This means your GPU drivers are DISABLED
Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: Any video related functionality will be severely degraded, and you may not even be able to suspend the system properly
Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: Unless you actually understand what nomodeset does, you should reboot without enabling it

Is this maybe the issue?

Any help highly appreciated! I slightly panic.

  • Do you have access to an older kernel than 4.20 in the GRUB Advanced Options, Recovery Mode? If so, edit your question and show me ls -al /boot. Report back to @heynnema – heynnema Mar 30 at 13:55
  • You have 4.20.12 in your log file and 4.20.17 in your question. Which is it really??? – WinEunuuchs2Unix Mar 30 at 14:08
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix yes I mixed it up. I have really 4.20.12. I tried vijays solution but my shell didn't know the package. I then installed just 4.20.17 and that is working. – Adam Mar 30 at 14:14
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This worked for me:

sudo apt install --reinstall linux-image-x.xx.xx-xxx-generic

Replace x.xx.xx-xx with whatever is the older kernel you are having the problem with.
Can also do with Synaptic.

  • So in my case I would have to do sudo apt install --reinstall linux-image-4.20.17-xxx-generic ? – Adam Mar 30 at 11:54
  • Or is the idea to install an older kernel? – Adam Mar 30 at 12:00
  • Just reinstall the one you are having problem with. Edited. Please see. – Vijay Mar 30 at 12:11
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Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.20.12-042012-generic root=UUID=2ade97f2-18fd-40fb-a5ac-612aebdec8b7 ro recovery nomodeset

Every time you select a boot entry from your GRUB menu, the GRUB boot loader passes parameters to the kernel of choice. If you pass incorrect parameters, the system will not boot. In your case, the above line simply states the kernel you booted along with the supplied parameters. So you've booted /boot/vmlinuz-4.20.12-042012-generic and the rest of the text are the parameters where the parameter root=UUID=2ade97f2-18fd-40fb-a5ac-612aebdec8b7 tells you the UUID of the root partition. If that UUID is wrong, booting will not proceed. If you look closely it also states nomodeset which brings us to the next message:

Mär 30 12:05:06 adam-MS-7A63 kernel: You have booted with nomodeset. This means your GPU drivers are DISABLED

But what is the nomodeset parameter?

Adding the nomodeset parameter instructs the kernel to not load video drivers and use BIOS modes instead until X is loaded.

You can read more about this here.

To temporarily remove "nomodeset" just to see if it will work, in the GRUB menu, hit the "e" key while the entry you want to boot is selected and you will be presented with a text-editor like window. Find the line starting with the word "linux" and scroll all the way to the point where you can see "nomodeset", delete it and Press F10 to boot. Pay attention to the instructions under the text editor.

If that works, let us know and we'll post further instructions.

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