Turns out my root was on a separate disk with only a few gigs available. I accidentally made the swap fill nearly all of it by following this: https://bogdancornianu.com/change-swap-size-in-ubuntu/

Then it crashed. Now my Linux system is broken. Couldn't even log in at first, but then I set the swap back to default and now it automatically logs in. However, everything is still soundly broken:

  • All letters are boxes.
  • Can't open Settings.
  • Can't open a normal terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F1 still works).
  • Internet doesn't work because libnettle.so.6 has invalid ELF header (whatever that means).
  • Can't open folders.
  • Can't open most programs.

I've made a huge mistake. Is it possible to revive my install or do I need to reinstall?

  • If it crashed and your turned the box off, did you fsck or file system check your partitions... I would boot a live system and do that before using your system after any crash, as if it detects & fixes any flaws, you'll likely find a normal boot after it.
    – guiverc
    Apr 17, 2021 at 8:24
  • No joy on the fsck. Found and fixed many errors, but problem persists. Apr 17, 2021 at 9:22
  • 2
    The shortest pain here will be a reinstall. If there is disk corruption, repair becomes technical and even if you know what you do, you never can be sure your repaired every bit
    – vanadium
    Apr 17, 2021 at 11:14
  • That's what I'll do then. Thanks. Apr 17, 2021 at 11:24


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .