This morning I have issued a command I use fairly often:

apt-get dist-upgrade

Usually it finds little to do, some times it will replace the kernel and headers.

With my great surprise today it responded this way:

root@xxxxx:~# apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  apparmor console-setup grub kbd linux-image-3.2.0-23-generic
  linux-image-3.2.0-31-generic linux-image-3.2.0-49-generic
  linux-image-3.2.0-51-generic linux-image-server linux-server ntfs-3g
  plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text ubuntu-minimal
The following NEW packages will be installed:
The following packages have been kept back:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 13 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 48.1 kB of archives.
After this operation, 605 MB disk space will be freed.

I was fairly hit by the amount freed and also by the distinct lack of a displayed replacement list of new packages. Also, it says it's removing grub?

Since I had a very fresh backup I tried going ahead and guess what, it indeed destroyed my server and it could not boot any more.

What's the deal with this?

Also, why does udev say that it wants sysv-rc version 2.88dsf-24 when all I have installed is 2.88dsf-13.10ubuntu11.1? It looks like some repository is doing something nuts. All I have installed of "odd" are repos for PHP FPM 5.4+, mysql, nginx and varnish. They were added more than 1 month ago as well and never gave an issue with dist-upgrade.


The problem with udev/sysv-rc came from the fact that udev is now built from systemd sources and my PPA (ppa:ondrej/systemd) was not updated with newer sysvinit (that provides sysv-rc).

That has been fixed as of today, but I still would advice to test the upgrade in non-production environment first before deploying it on the server you care about.

  • Hello and thank you so much for your many efforts! Could you please check if your reply is related to my question here? It really smells about "systvinit" and similar "dark side" stuff to me: askubuntu.com/questions/420753/… – Dario Fumagalli Feb 14 '14 at 9:09
  • Further inspection reveals that there's something going wrong in the "has been fixed as of today". HTop screenshot shows how the basic services seem to have been loaded but not the init.d services. I have just checked, the scripts are still there (upstart and not), the symlinks in rcX.d too. They just don't get called at all. I enabled bootlogd and unlike before the upgrade, now it won't show any service being started (it won't even show a failure, just nothing at all). Could I do anything to fix this? Or to help you find what's broken? – Dario Fumagalli Feb 17 '14 at 10:41

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