Debian recollection: remember when your laptop could not reboot?

Remember that “I can’t reboot” problem has hit all of the Dell laptop on which I’ve installed Debian Linux 6.

The symptom is that the screen froze after initiating a reboot. You might wait forever and it would not change. Its a known problem, I think everybody is pointing at everybody else saying “you did not follow the standard correctly.”

Here is the fix.

The kernel line in the boot thingie has to have the magic word “noapic”.

You can do that intereractively every time you start, but it is better to make it automatic.

Here’s the way I did it.

look in /etc/default. That’s a Debian place, similar to RedHat’s /etc/sysconfig.

THere should be a file “grub”. You only need to change one thing, the 4th line.
I put in “noapic”. I remove the “quiet” option because I like to watch the error messages.

After that, you run “update-grub”. That has to be done as root (or if you setup “sudo”, that way).

Here is my grub file:

# If you change this file, run ‘update-grub’ afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
# info -f grub -n ‘Simple configuration’

GRUB_DEFAULT=0
GRUB_TIMEOUT=15
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”noapic”
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=””

# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD …)
#GRUB_BADRAM=”0x01234567,0xfefefefe,0x89abcdef,0xefefefef”

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)
#GRUB_TERMINAL=console

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo’
#GRUB_GFXMODE=640×480

Uncomment if you don’t want GRUB to pass “root=UUID=xxx” parameter to Linux
#GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_UUID=true

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries
#GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY=”true”

# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE=”480 440 1″

################################################################

Here’s what update grub looks like on my system. I have several kernels installed, so it cycles thorough each one.

$ su
Password:
root@pjlap-124:/home/pauljohn# update-grub
Generating grub.cfg …
Found background image: /usr/share/images/desktop-base/desktop-grub.png
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-2-amd64
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-2-amd64
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.0.0-1-amd64
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.0.0-1-amd64
Found Windows 7 (loader) on /dev/sda2
Found Debian GNU/Linux (6.0.1) on /dev/sda9
done

About pauljohn

Paul E. Johnson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas. He is an avid Linux User, an adequate system administrator and C programmer, and humility is one of his greatest strengths.
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