Every time we reboot the Ubuntu PC, it's showing this screen, and not going anywhere, even when we typed exit.

How to get rid of this nightmare permanently, so that it never ever happens?

BusyBox v1.17.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.17.1-10ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands


3 Answers 3


I've the same issue and I found the solution that worked for me at Initramfs Prompt When Ubuntu Boots.

So, first type:

BusyBox v1.17.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.17.1-10ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands

(initramfs) exit

You'll get something like this:

/dev/sda1: Unexpected …
fsck exited ….
The root filesystem on /dev/sda1 requires manual fsck. 

And after, use the following command:

(initramfs) fsck /dev/sda1

If you are dropped into initramfs, it means that the boot flow stop at the stage of mounting your root filesystem, which is usually in somewhere of your hard disk.

To understand the above statement, you need to know the knowledge about the booting flow, which in general is:

  1. BIOS
  2. Boot loader (e.g. grub for Ubuntu)
  3. Kernel and initial ram file system (initramfs, yeah where you are)
  4. root file system (your target system)

The root causes to make you stop at initramfs could vary. I get used to solve this kind of issue by the following steps:

  1. Prepare a Ubuntu live USB stick
  2. Use this live USB to boot up your PC
  3. If 2nd step works (means you could boot into live desktop and begin to use the Ubuntu system), it means your PC is supported by Ubuntu (for basic usage at least)
  4. (optional) dump the system and hardware information. use the information to ask for help (for example, paste them on askubuntu.com) Generally please paste the output of these command in a terminal at least:

    lspci -nnvv 
    dpkg -l
  5. If 2nd step works, install that workable Ubuntu distribution.

  • The problem is, i am in remote country, Ubuntu 15.10 is in Holland and its not booting at all to remotely connect on it. People on-site sent me the picture. What you are saying is that i have to drive now for 5 hours to reach on-site and then use live CD / reinstall linux/ drive 5 hours back at home. which is a disaster/ nightmare for me. I need to let the system boot first with some short-cut telephone advise to the person who is on-site right now.
    – user25165
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:57
  • 1
    that is too bad. busybox[1] has limited tools so you have no choice but need someone could touch the hardware.
    – tai271828
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:54
  • [1] busybox is a great tool set to provide many commands in a resource-limited environment like the very early stage of boot flow. but I don't think it could help you fix or debug remotely.
    – tai271828
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:59

Modify your kernel boot parameter by setting the root=/dev/sdaX option. sdaX would be your / or root partition. Upon booting the next time, you will see that your initramfs tries to mount the partition before trying to access /etc/fstab and mounting the file systems.

See question "Does initramfs use /etc/fstab?" for more details.

Source: unix.stackexchange.com/a/120862/1226639

  • 1
    I cant even BOOOOOT, how can i touch the file even at this point?
    – user25165
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:29
  • 2
    check cat /proc/cmdline and try mount -o remount,rw / and check the link from the quote.
    – wittich
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:36