I have made Ubuntu my primary OS since 10.04, and I have converted many of my friends and neighbors into Ubuntu users since then. I am the fix-it guy they approach when they encounter problems. The most frantic calls I get are when they encounter an "update-induced kernel panic." (Many human beings are allergic to command-line interfaces and search engines.)

What are the step-by-step procedures to resolve an "update-induced kernel panic"?


My ideas:

  • Make sure you always keep at least one older and stable kernel version installed.
    That way, if a new kernel update causes the panic, you will still be able to restart your system with the old one.

  • Write down as much information as you can regarding the error.
    Take a photo of the screen output with your mobile phone perhaps.
    Post these messages here or in other related forums so that someone else can help you out.

  • Keep an Ubuntu Live-CD always close.
    A package update might screw things up, but you'll still be able to boot and through a chroot make the necessary uninstallation/reinstallation of the package.

  • Thanks - +1 Can you add some links to how to apply chroot in this case, either to improve bug reports or to fix the installation?
    – nealmcb
    Jan 30 '12 at 18:07

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