Updates lead to unbootable system

I have two systems lately that after updating with Discover have lead to an unbootable system (Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init! exit code=0x00000200). After much searching, I have not able to repair this.

One of these system just had KDE Neon 5.27 installed about two weeks about and an attempt to update it a week ago. I have not done anything with this system since (at the time I just booted an older Neon 20.04 that was installed on another partition).

The other system (my primary computer), same thing happened today after doing an update. The latest Neon was installed on this computer last weekend. I finally got it stable two days ago (after replacing the nouveau with the nvidia drivers because it kept freezing with nouveau). The reason for reinstalling Neon on this system was due to another failed update. Previously Neon 20.04 was installed and I attempted to apply all outstanding 20.04 updates (it had been a while). It was doing a lot of work updating and was hitting the CPU pretty hard (it was updating during the boot procedure). This [old] computer has a problem where it’s CPU (a 10-year old AMD FX-6300) just shuts off when it gets too hot for too long. Well this occurred during the update, and would not boot after being powered back on. I was not able to repair and concluded it was not repairable, hence installing Neon 22.04.

Are there any solutions for the kernel panic before I just install from scratch, again?

My wife’s computer also failed during the update from 20.04 to 22.04 though the result was a completely different error. I just installed Neon 22.04 after 15 minutes of trying to repair it.

On yet another computer (used for work) failed when updating 18.04 to 20.04 (was on 18.04 because the older GCC-6 was needed). I thought there would have no issues updating since I had just updated another Neon 18.04 to 20.04 used for work that was in a VM (on Windows) and there were no issues.

Can you post a picture of the kernel panic? It could be anything from a failure to mount the root filesystem to a broken initramfs to something wrong with the kernel itself. “not syncing: Attempted to kill init!” is fairly generic. There should be more specific info printed.

I’ve moved past this. Decided to just reinstall, which went fine (sort-of). But here is the link to the kernel panic picture: https://imgur.com/gallery/zeuPGaK in case there is a solution for this (I have another computer with this same problem).

After installing, immediately installed updates with Discover. Installed updates upon restarting, … and then it will no longer boot (grr). Not a kernel panic this time, just endless restart: reboot, grub menu, select Neon, does stuff, reboots, … and so on. Curiously selecting Advanced…, Memtest… just freezes.

Tried running boot-repair, and amazingly it fixed whatever problem the update caused. I’m beginning to think that I shouldn’t use Discover to update any more in favor of just “pkcon refresh && pkcon update” from the command line and then restart (Discover updates have not gone well for me).

JFYI Discover does essentially the exact same thing as this (both use the same backend library to do the heavy lifting), so I wouldn’t expect it to go any better or worse.

FWIW, I am currently withholding updating my Dev Edition Neon system, since I had Grub freezes on my last attempt, and had to reinstall.

I’ve had a Grub freeze with almost any upgrade. I tracked it down to grub-theme-breeze package being incompletely installed, or something. After removing that package, I get an un-themed Grub, but at least it does not freeze.

But having the Boot-repair CD handy is a must with KDE Neon. Unfortunately.

The other funny thing is why does the KDE Neon want to even show Grub after an upgrade?

(Also, after some upgrades I cannot boot to my VM for some other reason, in these cases I either get a shutdown error, or a boot-up error, when it stops for CD-drive, and Grub is not even displayed. Some cases a simple “reset” command for the VM does not even work, but going through VirtualBox “power-off” → startup works. (Which, to me, should effectively be the same as a “reset”. I would anyways call these a KDE Neon -only issues - but having said that, I have not tried plain Ubuntu Jammy on my personal VM. I’ve seen Jammy run on a colleagues VM, though.)

Some related discussion I have tried to summon here in KDE Bugzilla, but it does not seem to get too much attention. I would say addressing bootability issues should be a priority.

I’d really want to like KDE Neon as my daily professional working distro, as it has fresh KDE on a Ubuntu-base. But it seems they are making it a bit too difficult.

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