I suddenly got my desktop machine to fail booting with no obvious reason. I haven't made any significant changes/updates since the last shutdown. Here is what happens:

Normal boot sequence throws me off to tty1. After successful login:

/usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/release-upgrader-motd: 31: /usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/release-upgrader-motd: cannot create /usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/release-upgrader-available: Read-only file system
/usr/lib/update-notifier/update-motd-fsck-at-reboot: 33: cannot create /usr/lib/update-notifier/update-motd-fsck-at-reboot: Read-only file system

Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS! (<kernel_version>)

0 packages can be updated

0 updates are security updates

*** /dev/sda2 should be checked for errors ***

user@user:^$ _

Note: Switching to tty7 doesn't work. The screen blanks a little and then that's it

Going through recovery mode and running fsck gives:


Issuing the command shown (systemctl ...) through a root shell gives:


Any help is appreciated

2 Answers 2


For me, this problem appeared after I installed a backup with wrong/old fstab UUIDs. I had to view the right UUIDs with sudo blkid and update my /etc/fstab file accordingly.

  • I have the correct UUIDs in fstab, Still my system gives this error (It boots fine though) Jul 21, 2020 at 6:23
  • @snickers2k worked fine for me, thank you a lot
    – Cerber
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:50
  • Thanks! This fixed my glitchy Raspberry Pi that was displaying the same error message on boot
    – Parker
    Mar 8 at 17:25
  • Thank you so much!!
    – Davide
    May 30 at 12:25

Lets first check your file system for errors.

For Ubuntu 17.10 or older...

  • boot to the GRUB menu
  • choose Advanced Options
  • choose Recovery mode
  • choose Root access
  • at the # prompt, type sudo fsck -f /
  • repeat the fsck command if there were errors
  • type reboot

For Ubuntu 18.04 or newer... (or if the above steps don't work for you)...

  • boot to a Ubuntu Live DVD/USB in “Try Ubuntu” mode
  • open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T
  • type sudo fdisk -l
  • identify the /dev/sdXX device name for your "Linux Filesystem"
  • type sudo fsck -f /dev/sda2, replacing sdXX with the number you found earlier
  • repeat the fsck command if there were errors
  • type reboot
  • You can't force a check while any partition is mounted. I unmounted / then forced a check. Turns out there were a couple of orphaned nodes need to be fixed and then boot resumed flawlessly. Thank you. On a side note: do you think that preventing fsck to do periodic checks might have caused the issue ?
    – egy
    Sep 9, 2016 at 22:14
  • 2
    You don't want to disable fsck checks. Cheers, Al
    – heynnema
    Sep 9, 2016 at 23:36
  • @egy It's possible. It's happened to me before. May 24, 2017 at 13:02

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