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Thread: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

  1. #1
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    What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    I'm running Lubuntu 18.04.1 on a laptop. I configure it to boot directly to the default linux install (there are no other installs on the laptop) with no grub screen. It's been fine for months, but a recent package update caused the grub screen to start appearing again, every time with a 30s countdown. Grub version is 2.02.

    This is apparently due to the "recordfail" condition being true, which changes the timeout to 30s (via /boot/grub/grub.cfg). Setting GRUB_RECORDFAIL_TIMEOUT=5 for example makes it boot as expected (5 second delay in that case.)

    My understanding is that "recordfail" means the computer didn't shut down cleanly? Is that correct?

    I don't see any obvious errors in the logs -- how can I investigate why "recordfail" is being set?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    This is apparently due to the "recordfail" condition being true, which changes the timeout to 30s (via /boot/grub/grub.cfg). Setting GRUB_RECORDFAIL_TIMEOUT=5 for example makes it boot as expected (5 second delay in that case.)
    A question for you: If you add this setting, doesn't the grub menu still appear for (up to) 5 seconds?

    I saw the same problem this morning, but haven't yet done anything about it.

  3. #3
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    Do you use LVM or LUKS encryption? Maybe btrfs or ZFS? Also you probably have EFI.

    See here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...2/+bug/1800722
    Seems to be a regression in grub-common 2.02-2ubuntu8.10.

  4. #4
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    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmnur View Post
    Do you use LVM or LUKS encryption? Maybe btrfs or ZFS? Also you probably have EFI.

    See here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...2/+bug/1800722
    Seems to be a regression in grub-common 2.02-2ubuntu8.10.
    This is UEFI and LVM. There is only Ubuntu 18.04 installed on this machine, and up to now, no grub menu appeared. My take on this is that a grub menu is now going to appear in all cases with UEFI (but not BIOS) just to be sure users can get a menu when needed.

    Comments:

    There is no setting GRUB_RECORDFAIL_TIMEOUT= in my /etc/default/grub. Do you have that, or did you add it? I get the 30 sec timeout without it.
    Last edited by Dennis N; February 8th, 2019 at 11:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    Looks like it's fixed now: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...2/+bug/1814403
    Upgrade and celebrate.

  6. #6
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    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    Thanks all -- I subscribed to the thread for email updates but never got them for some reason (?). I just came back to say that the problem resolved itself with recent package updates, as dmnur suggested it would. Thanks for the responses!

  7. #7
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    Question Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    I'm running 18.10, with all updates and am also getting this problem. I haven't edited my grub configuration, but I'm getting a 30 second delay on every boot, regardless of how I shut down my machine. Booting using UEFI. Root partition is on LVM.
    I did experience some lock-ups with my AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, but I changed the power settings in the BIOS to work around this and since then the computer has been rock-stable.
    Is there still some failure recorded that I need to clear somehow? How?
    I just added proposed to APT and installed all the updates from there too, no change.
    Last edited by cthart; April 2nd, 2019 at 05:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    I'm afraid I can't help at all, but I would try adding the "GRUB_RECORDFAIL_TIMEOUT=5" to /etc/default/grub, updating the grub config, and rebooting, just for the sake of confirming that it's the recordfail issue causing the problem? (Maybe you already did this.)

    When I updated from the repo I did not to clear any old state, it just worked after that.

    What distro are you using?

  9. #9
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    Re: What is grub's "recordfail" and how to investigate?

    Is there still some failure recorded that I need to clear somehow? How?
    There is no actual failure. It's a deliberately faked failure set by a script to force grub menu to appear. I think this is set only on systems with one OS, UEFI and LVM. All three must be satisfied* to trigger this.

    The reasoning was that otherwise you can't get the grub menu to appear on such a system if you needed it for an advanced option (like recovery mode). Just press enter to cancel the 30 sec time delay. Boot will then continue.

    *based on some experiments done in a VM done a few months ago.

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