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Thread: Confused about Linux Headers

  1. #11
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    The most interesting thing I see in your menu.lst file is that it doesn't mention ANY version newer than 11.10. I suspect that your upgrade to 12.04.1 didn't do all that it was supposed to do, and left you with a system that's betwixt and between 11.10 and 12.04.

    Your previous list of the report from update-grub clearly shows that it was processing 12.04.1, but then says it applied its findings to update the menu.lst file -- and your listing of that file doesn't show any of the eight 3.2 kernel entries resulting from subsequent updates. What this implies to me is that the updating of menu.lst simply didn't happen despite the report that it did.

    Were it my system, I'd be inclined to purge the current grub packages and re-install grub from the Live CD, taking care to install the latest (grub2) version rather than "legacy grub." This would bring that part of the system up to date and make it easier for the rest of us to advise you, since only a few of us old-timers remember enough about "legacy grub" to spot problems. I resisted the change to grub longer than most, but eventually gave up and made the switch when I replaced 8.04 with 10.04 as a clean install. Now it has changed again so a clean install of 12.04 is still different. I have 12.04 on another box and continually run into these differences.

    However, Doug has been helping you the most, and I certainly don't want to butt into his advice. I jumped in only because I do remember parts of the legacy grub system and felt I could probably help.

    The lines that follow the default options, grouped together with the first word of each group being "title" are the legacy version of the "menuentry" areas of grub.cfg. Each group is called a "stanza" in grub-speak. Each stanza provides a single line of the displayed menu, together with the data and commands that implement that choice.

    If your menu.lst file had stanzas for the eight 3.2 kernels shown in the update-grub report, all you would need to do is change the "default=0" line near the top of the file to refer to the one you wanted to boot automatically. The "0"th stanza is the first one, and as you can see from the update-grub report, they are sorted with the newest one first, so "0" is usually what you want. Since it does not, though, the entire update process seems suspect.

    You could manually edit an appropriate stanza into the file, but Murphy's Law would probably strike and leave you with an unbootable system. That's why I would nuke and rebuild.

    What's your opinion, Doug?
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
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  2. #12
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    @Jim: I very much appreciate your chiming in to help. I have been busy and away from my computer for many hours, and now it is late in my time zone. I agree things seem somewhat messed up. I had written Paul a respone earlier suggesting to try a default /etc/default/grub file and to rename /boot/grub/menu.lst to something else, but then I deleted it, as I (also) was worried the suggestion might lead to an unbootable system. Anyway, I'll have to come back to this tomorrow.

  3. #13
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    I will suggest something that maybe destroy your system and leave it in unbootable state.

    Drastic measures

    If I were you .

    Boot from the Ubuntu 12.04 (can you boot ? )

    To ensure this , open a terminal and run these commands
    Code:
    lsb_release -rcd 
    uname -r
    The results must be
    Code:
    Description:    Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS
    Release:    12.04
    Codename:    precise
    3.2.0-32-generic
    Proceed with the complete remove - purge of grub and re-installation.

    Code:
    apt-get remove --purge grub*
    rm /boot/grub/menu.lst
    Above commands need sudo prefix.

    Install grub 1.99
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install grub-common grub-pc
    Install grub to /dev/sda (disk you boot from)
    Code:
    sudo grub-install /dev/sda
    Generate a grub.cfg
    Code:
    sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    If something goes wrong and you cannot boot , then is good to have a LiveCD-USB of Ubuntu and boot from there you can use boot-repair 2nd option.

    Thanks (good luck)
    Last edited by NikTh; October 29th, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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  4. #14
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    That's a well-detailed version of what I called "nuke and rebuild" and while it might make the system temporarily unbootable if something went wrong midway through the process, a Live CD should be able to recover from such an event.

    For a good description of the differences between GRUB versions, see this link: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2

    Paul, the diagnostics you ran earlier do show definitely that you are booting into 12.04.1, but that it's still using the older 3.0.0 kernel from 10.04. You should be perfectly safe going through the steps NikTh lists; we're just all terribly aware of Murphy's Law and the remote possibility that something could go wrong.

    NikTh, thanks for jumping in with the step-by-step details.

    EDIT: Something just occurred to me. Sometimes when I'm installing updates, I'll get a dialog that asks whether to keep an existing configuration or overwrite it with the maintainer's version. That's a difficult decision to make, especially if I don't know any more details. You might have gotten such a question when upgrading to 12.04, and your response might have resulted in keeping the legacy grub version instead of replacing it. Just a guess, but a possible explanation of what happened. In any event, your current grub-update utility is obviously NOT doing what it's supposed to do...
    Last edited by JKyleOKC; October 29th, 2012 at 03:49 PM. Reason: new thought
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  5. #15
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    @Jim, very well said.
    @NikTh, yes thanks for the detail.
    @Paul, I think you see a consensus as to how to proceed, but with worry about the potential downside risk. Please let use know how you make out.

  6. #16
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    Farther down that grub2 wiki entry, I see a recommendation to use "Boot Repair" to replace a legacy grub installation with the latest version. That would be the simplest way of all to fix things!

    I've used the Boot Repair program to correct a situation in which my 12.04 installation was totally unbootable due to other problems, and it worked perfectly. Its author, YannBuntu, is active here on the forums and responds immediately to requests for help.

    So I'm changing my recommendation to "Download the Boot Repair package from the repositories and use it to update your grub installation." Things are much less likely to go sour unexpectedly, since the critical commands are all in the boot repair script.
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  7. #17
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    Thanks to everyone!

    What an awesome community! I have learned quite a bit going through this.

    I'm not too worried about things going wrong. I will back up my data and try the boot repair that Jim suggested. We'll see how it goes.

    Worst case is, hopefully, I will have to install from scratch with the CD.

    I'll post how things go.

    FYI, I am pretty busy this week so I probably won't get to this until Thursday at the earliest.

    Cheers,
    /Paul

  8. #18
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    Well, I tried following my own advice to use boot-repair, on a system that was originally 8.04, upgraded on-line to 10.04, and then ungraded again to 12.04 -- and the necessary tab in the boot-repair options dialog was grayed out! I contacted Yann but since boot still works with legacy grub he said he was unable to help. You may have to do it the more detailed way that NikTh laid out...
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  9. #19
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    Thanks for the heads-up Jim.
    Cheers,
    /Paul

  10. #20
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    Re: Confused about Linux Headers

    Still another update. I opened Synaptic from the applications menu's System category, typed "grub2" without the quotes into the search box, and selected it for installation. The program told me several other packages were required; I told it to mark them too. This was WITHOUT going through all the purging that NikTh suggested -- but Synaptic automatically set it up. I then clicked the "Apply" icon at top center of the Synaptic window, and the system chugged away. It asked me where I wanted the boot data placed and I selected /dev/sda from the list it offered, clicked forward, and it continued. When I rebooted after it finished, I had a Grub2 menu in place of the old legacy grub one, and the /etc/default/grub file in place with default settings.

    This is almost as simple as I expected boot-repair to be!

    Good luck Thursday...
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

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