fsck and friends


user@linux:~> man fsck
fsck
(1) check and repair a Linux filesystem
(2) something you would say when it runs, specially when it starts asking you questions

Please note this is not an actual man fsck entry.

Failing to boot, I was dropped into a root initramfs shell. While it looks bad for some, not knowing what to do or what the hell a shell is, what the system did is A Good Thing. Dropping to a shell when it fails to boot gives you an opportunity to examine what the damage is and in some cases, even let you do recovery procedures with the failed system itself.
This isn’t always the case. For example, if the initrd or initramfs image is corrupt, you can’t do anything short of loading a live environment and work from there. Another is a broken root filesystem and /boot is within that same filesystem. Since it can’t mount and read, it won’t even be able to load the kernel. Back to square one.

Lessons learned:
1. Having /boot in a separate partition is A Very Good Thing (as is my case).
2. Kernels panic. You shouldn’t.
3. Logs are very helpful.

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