[lug] weird grub / x11 problem

Bear Giles bgiles at coyotesong.com
Mon Jan 31 21:14:06 MST 2011

Background: I'm running ubuntu 10.10. It periodically installs new 
kernels and I just got a message saying that the /boot partition was 
full.  So I nuked some old entries (via dpkg --purge, not simply 
deleting the files in the /boot partition) and rebooted.

No X.

... go through a few iterations....

I am now consistently seeing three disturbing things.

1) The grub screen shows the 2.6.31-17 kernel and mem test but is 
totally nonresponsive to the keyboard.  There is no 2.6.31-17 kernel 
image still in the /boot partition.  (It had been there but was nuked.  
See above.)

2) The /var/log/messages files shows that the grub loader is seeing the 
actual kernel images.

3) The system is running a 2.6.31-17 kernel even though there's none 

This is happening despite doing a full apt-get install --reinstall on a 
later kernel and running grub-update (or is it update-grub) as root.  

I can work backwards and realize that it partly works since nothing has 
been changed on the /boot partition after deleting old kernel images.  
There's no dname entries but the data is still on the disk.  This would 
explain how an old grub loader could load a deleted kernel image.

But I have no idea why there's a disconnect between what grub is showing 
and what /var/log/messages is showing in terms of recognized kernel 
images, or why grub is ignoring my keyboard entirely.




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