Upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 problem: Waiting for network configuration then black screen solution

Have you just upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and now getting the “Waiting for network configuration” message followed by “Waiting up to 60 seconds more for network”? This then might be accompanied by a black blank screen.

[update] I’ve updated this post to reflect the copy step mentioned in the bug post below is surplus as /run is mounted tmpfs – the refined steps are below. The fix is removing the old /var/run and /var/lock then pointing those old locations to /run and /run/lock respectively. I’m suspecting this bug only comes about after an upgrade from your existing session (e.g. apt-get dist-upgrade) where it must have trouble removing these directories because existing services have files needed in there.

[update 8th March 2012] Ubuntu 12.04 is just around the corner. I strongly advise you resist upgrading to 11.10 at this stage when 12.04 is to be released next month.

The bug is here (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/sysvinit/+bug/858122) and the fix is based on this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dbus/+bug/811441/comments/24 :

  1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 at the blank screen to get you to a non-X terminal (tty1)
  2. Login in with your username and password
  3. Change to root with: sudo -i and enter your password
  4. mkdir -p /run /run/lock
  5. rm -rf /var/run /var/lock
  6. ln -s /run /var
  7. ln -s /run/lock /var
  8. reboot

You should have 11.10 back again.

149 comments on “Upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 problem: Waiting for network configuration then black screen solution

    • it seems that i have to re-enter the text above everytime i start up my pc.
      is there a permenant way to solve this problem?

      • yes ofcourse there is a permanent way to solve this…
        1.plug your lan cord
        2.open terminal
        3.tupe> sudo bash>give password> sudo pppoeconf
        4.follow all the requirements(username and password)
        5.click on “NO” when asking for “start at boot time”.

      • Hi, I had the same problem as you do, and i found a permanent solution to create a script that runs on boot.

        So i created a file called network_error.sh and put it in /etc/init.d/ folder
        There are three lines in the file:

        mkdir /run/network/
        /etc/init.d/networking restart

        Save the file and make it executable by running the command:
        chmod +x /etc/init.d/network_error.sh

        After creating the file add it to the startup process with the following command:
        update-rc.d network_error.sh defaults

        Thant’s all. Hope it helps.

        If you ever want to remove the script from startup run the command:
        update-rc.d network_error.sh remove

        and then remove the file from /etc/init.d

  1. Well, as a ubuntu noob it was a stupid idea for me to update so early in the game. I follow the solution until “sudo -i”. After that do i literally just copy and paste “create directories /run and /run/lock” and the other lines into the prompt ? Or is there more to it than that? Again, I’m a total noob at linux and ubuntu, i just have to recover some data before i do a clean install of 11.10.

  2. This didn’t work for me. I already had those directories and links. I tried moving the files anyway, and recreating the links, but it’s a no-go. However, I wasn’t getting the “waiting for network” message either, so my problem is apparently something else.

  3. Given the /run directory is a tmpfs filesystem (i.e. a ramdisk – when you turn your computer off the contents disappear as its just in RAM) I’m suspecting the copying of the directories is surplus. In fact when I did the copy of /var/run I cancelled it as it was copying something it didn’t need to making it take a long time to complete which shouldn’t be the case.

    Try the following (I’ll install a 11.04 and upgrade to 11.10 when I get chance to verify) but:

    sudo -i
    mv /var/run /var/run.bak
    ln -s /run /var
    mv /var/lock /var/lock.bak
    ln -s /run/lock /var

    I deleted the /var/run directory and recreated it with a symlink as described in the 3rd step on my machine and it fixed my issue.

    The fix would then seem to just tell Ubuntu that the runtime information is in the same place which implies the init scripts and any related scripts expect this under /run under 11.10 but 11.04 expected this under /var/run – hence the symlinking to bring it all together.

    Let me know how you get on if you don’t do the copy – just the removal of the real directory /var/run and replacing it with a symlink to /run instead.

  4. When I run the rm command to remove /var/run and /var/lock, I get two error lines:

    rm: cannot remove ‘/var/run/vmblock-fuse/dev’: Function not implemented
    rm: cannot remove ‘/var/run/vmblock-fuse/blockdir’: Function not implemented

    I have VMWare Player and one virtual machine installed and assume these files are related to the VM. Any Ideas on how to move and/or remove these files?

    • Try booting into rescue mode and dropping to root shell and trying again. Alternatively – in extreme cases – boot from a live cd and make the changes to your filesystem from that (just be aware of where the /run directory is in relation to your mounted filesystem from the live cd).

  5. Ok. Tried dropping to root shell from recovery mode. The rm command fails with error line for each object it tries to remove. For example, the last error line is:

    rm: cannot remove ‘/var/lock’: Read-only file system

    I have yet to try it from live cd. I will report back when I do. Thank you all for the assistance.

    lcriadof, fyi, my the Ubuntu system is not running in a virtual machine. It is running on the main machine. Its a laptop. My virtual machine runs under VMWare Player, and the virtual machine’s operating system is Windows 2003 Server with NTFS file system.

  6. Relating to the net config problem, I do not get a black screen. But I tried to enter ctrl alt f1 and nothing happened at any time.

  7. All i got was my wallpaper when I first logged in to my newly updated Ubuntu. No desktop menu, icons, anything. So I tried the above fixes. Now the menu bar showed up but nothing else. So I logged in using 2D and everything works, but looks like shit. The effects don’t work, all of the themes look like crap, and, I assume cuz it’s 2D mode, it doesn’t support my FX card. I can’t even get wobbly windows to work, goddammit. The only good thing to come from updating my Ubuntu is that VLC is now working without any of the problems I had in 11.04 (sound would cut out for no reason seconds in to movies).

  8. There are 4 “(EE)” lines in my /var/log/Xorg.0.log:

    line 103: (EE) Failed to load module “fglrx” (module does not exist, 0)
    line 365: (EE) open /dev/fb0: No such file or directory
    line 384: (EE) RADEON(0): Chipset: “SUMO” (ChipID = 0x9648) requires KMS
    line 389: (EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

    I tried to install the flgrx package (% sudo apt-get install flgrx), but failed because ubuntu has not started network service despite I requested “Drop to root shell prompt with networking.”

    I also tried pressing “e” and changed GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT from “quiet splash” to “radeon.modeset=0” from the grub screen (as suggested by http://www.tuxgarage.com/2011/01/ubuntumaverick-blank-screen-problem.html). This did not work either.

    So it seems that I have a network connection issue in addition to the display issue.

    What should I do?



  9. Every machine I had upgrade from 11.04 to 11.10 using the GUI Update Manager worked just fine (both 32 and 64 bits versions)… Every machine I had to use do-release-upgrade (and those were servers where I also had a GUI, but no local access to it when I did the upgrade) crashed with this bug…

  10. Thanks a lot, i faced the exact same issue (network configuration stalled, and then a black screen) and solved it thanks to your instructions.
    For me I used the gui update-manager and it failed at some point trying to update flash player. Then i re-ran it again doing a “partial update” and rebooted, that’s where i faced the problem. Note that after install my kernel had not been updated from 2.6.38 to 3.0.X. I had to manually install the kernel-binary package. I don’t know why i had all other kernel 3.0.X packages but not this one. => The update was not really smooth

  11. Thanks, saved me a lot of hassle. I like Linux a lot, but it’s too bad that after all these years, Linux is still just for geeks. I can’t imagine a user who isn’t an IT pro being able to sort this out–or being willing to put up with it at all.

  12. Thanks for this, it helped me. The one problem I have is that the account I logged into to fix the problem, now is unable to login via the GUI, works fine in terminal (CTRL+ALT+F1). I can login using an alternate account, but that appears to have lost some privileges like mounting drives. Any suggestions would be welcome and helpful.


  13. Thanks for this write up, saved my day! Incredible that the Ubuntu team could let something like this slip through to 11.10 final…

    FYI, for the fix to work for me I had to boot into Ubuntu on a live CD and edit the file system from there.

  14. It works! I am a linux newbie who got fed up with windows crashing all the time. Just upgraded from 11.04 to 11.10 this morning. It booted up but could not detect the wireless settings. I almost gutted the install before seeing your instructions.

    Just to make sure, I think I will experiment with other more stable distros.

    Thank you very much!

  15. Pingback: Everything is Broken » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 11.10, Unity, Gnome 3 and the whole mess

    • What didn’t work? It could be there are other issues. This bug specifically relates to the system message bus errors caused by /var/run not symlinked to /run. I’ve seen bugs related to NetworkManager too.

  16. Thanks so much, it was so scarrying in the beginning…
    Should I remove the newly created directories eventually??

    Regards Wolfgang

  17. Tks a lot man i just follow the steps you describe and works again my dear ubuntu, now is time to configure… again thanks

  18. Thank you Kevin… I’m a new user to Ubuntu, and I almost gave it up and switched back to Windows with this bug. Next time I won’t be so hasty to upgrade. 🙂

  19. If you manage your internet connections with the dedicated application of your desktop environment you could just uncomment both “eth0” containing lines in “/etc/network/interfaces”! (… But never uncomment the loopback device lines!)

  20. This also worked for me. It was strange that a couple of days ago I upgraded my 64 bit partition using the Update Manager link to the upgrade. Worked fine. I did the exact same thing with my primary 32 bit partition and it worked once (rebooted after upgrade) and was told to reboot to complete upgrade. The second time I tried to reboot I got the problem.

    You are a perfect example why fixes can be found quickly due the great network of Ubuntu users. If this type of problem happened under Windows, it would have probably led to a total reinstall.

    The only problem I had with the fix, was that my eyes thought it saw In (capital i) in steps 6/7, instead of ln (lower case L). Thanks again for posting the fix.

  21. Thanks for the post. It worked great. It was odd because two days ago I upgraded my 64 bit partition (dual booting) using the exact same procedure (the upgrade button found on Update Manager). No problems. But today when I did the same thing for my primary 32 bit partition, I got the network problem. After getting in (I had a slight problem as I read steps 6/7 to be “capital i” instead of “lower L”), the fix worked it’s magic.
    This is a perfect example of how great the support is for Ubuntu with the large network of users. Had this been a Windows problem, I probably would be looking at a total re-install. Instead, I’m up and running again.

  22. I’m worse off than before. I started w/ the Waiting…network / Waiting 60 sec more
    / Attempting to log in w/out full network cfg msgs. At that point it would just sit there w/ the last msg & the Ubuntu logo. I tried the recommendations at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dbus/+bug/811441/comments/24 then here. Now get a flash of the Ubuntu logo then a black screen. I may have screwed up when following the post in the above link.

    ctrl+alt+f1 gives msgs about non-existent /var subdirs. Only contents of /var are: cache, lock, log, & run (w/ lock & run being symlinks). Am i hosed?

    ps: for grins i tried “ping”. It gives: “connect: Network is unreachable”

    • Oh, and PS: i was upgrading from (i think) 10.10, definitely not 11.x. I had been fearful of doing the upgrade initially. Apparently suffered from false bravado today.

    • First check that /run is mounted as a tmpfs (ramdisk) filesystem – this means it gets re-created every time you reboot your machine because it only exists in RAM. When doing a ‘df’ this should show up as tmpfs. If that’s the case then a script runs to populate that area.
      You should have a file called /etc/init/mounted-run.conf that runs to populate the tmpfs /run filesystem.
      This essentially does the following:

      cp -a /dev/.initramfs/varrun/* /run/

      The net result is a filesystem running in memory with the correct structure.

      If you need network access you can type: dhclient eth0
      (then try your ping again).

  23. after doing the whole setup, I have come back to the blue screen with 4 lines: Starting anachronistic cron, Stopping Ana.. Checking battery state, and 4. Stopping System V run level–and the machine just stays here…blinking on R corner. Chuck

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  25. This is great. I love blog posts like this. Worked great however I had to do ctrl+alt+F2 because I think my Xwindow session was running on F1.

  26. Pingback: Ubuntu 11.10情報(16/10/2011) « 學生族偵探事務所

  27. It seems that it’s not working here.
    VBox, 11.10 32bit.
    Booted in recovery mode, mounted fs as rw and wrote the commands (I didn’t get any errors).
    Then I rebooted and I still got that “Waiting for network configuration…” ugly message.
    Any hints?

      • It is possible that there are still underlying problems with your networking after an upgrade.
        I have seen a few replies where this hasn’t work in which case I can only think that the driver could be a problem – did you have a proprietary network driver? Do you have a log in prompt at least though? This message disappears after 2 mins (or should do) and the rest of the process should continue. This blog post was specific about the waiting for network message AND the black screen following an upgrade. If these aren’t your symptoms, you must have a different problem – specifically around networking, not about the filesystem layout being wrong.

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    • It’s not a typo – the target to a symlink is taken from the destination if you don’t specify it: e.g. ln -s /var/lock /var puts /var/lock as the symlink. This is a nice way to ensure you don’t already have a directory in there called ‘lock’ say else if that happened you’d end up with /var/lock/lock. I admit its lazy – but the less typing the better – if you prefer verbose – then in this case both will work.

  31. I did it but now gnome 3 only shows the mouse pointer and the wallpaper. there is something wrong with dbus now. I don’t know how to undo these steps, any tips?

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  33. Thanks this fixed the issue for me. I was trying to use a LiveCD to mount the drive to make the changes, but it wouldn’t let me. The other problem I had was that since this is running in VMWare vSphere, I couldn’t CTRL+ALT+F1 because it would escape out of the console. Worked around with this:


    “Press CTRL + ALT + Space , press the F1 key (or desired Function key) while still holding down CTRL + ALT .”

    • Thanks to the original poster and your info about VMware, I was able to recover the black screen mess. Really helpful. Thanks also to Google for their search engine.

  34. These instructions solved this problem initially, but now I have the issue that logging out causes Ubuntu to freeze without a new login prompt to appear. Also all services appear to freeze because I can’t ssh in. Any idea if these issues are related?

  35. I have been running Ubuntu in a VMWare machine since V8 (or before) This is the first time an upgrade or patch has broken it – a good record compared to other distros I tried, but still annoying when it happens. Your clear instructions have got me fixed in a few minutes.

  36. This do not work ab my compuer, if fhe network is configured as DHCP.
    in /eth/network/interfaces and the cable is unpluged
    iface eth0 inet dhcp

    The test time is 60 s, because the boot process continues. I’ve tried to change the time to 5s. The configuration change to 5s was overwritten, when the Computer rebooted.

  37. Didn’t work for me too…:/ Thanks by the way
    still have “Error with /var/lock” and then “mountall:Plymouth command failed”…

  38. Awesome, worked. Still have a problem with superslow network and GUI stalling many secs on network operations but it’s another matter. Ubuntu folks make a big boo boo with that upgrade

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  40. it didnt work for me 😦
    i always wait 5 min before my computer run!
    i made all the steps,dont know why it doesn’t work!

  41. Solution:
    Commented out ‘auto eth0’ in /etc/network/interfaces – system comes up now in normal speed and while I punch in my login wifi is coming up nicely.

  42. Thanks! Did a reboot on my home server running 11.10 (upgraded from 11.04 of course) tonight in honour of new year and then spent about 2h trying to figure out why it doesn’t pick up a dhcp configuration on startup. Removing old run and lock dirs helped, so I’m in your debt, sir!

  43. Thanks for the help! I can’t believe this bug is still present…figured I’d be safe waiting so long to update….the fixed above has worked for me so far…

  44. I am not able to get into my Ubuntu having the same issue. even though I use the method ,it could not work for me..So I am not sure what I should do.
    My Ubuntu is installed on Vmware machine ,so how I can get to the files and maybe change them via other means.

    • I suggest you boot into single user mode. (Try these steps – from memory, but give it a go) At the boot prompt press ‘e’ then press ‘a’ then add on ‘S’ to the end of the boot line, then save and boot.

    • Under VMWare you need to press [control-alt-spacebar] and then without letting go of [control-alt] you press F1 to access the first virtual tty. I am pretty sure that any guest-OS key combination would normally be [control]+[alt]-shortcut becomes [CTRL]+[ALT]-SPACEBAR-shortcut when running under VMWare.

      So if you’re running Ubuntu 11.10 under VMWare just replace the first step with the following.

      1. Press and hold the [CTRL] and [ALT] keys, press the space bar and then *WHILE STILL HOLDING* the [CTRL] and [ALT] keys, just hit F1 to access the virtual terminal at tty1.

  45. Thanks, saved my Ubuntu 11.10 update from yesterday. It’s as shame that this bug is still present after 11.10 being available for 3 month!

  46. Pingback: 猥琐在飞 » Blog Archive » ubuntu 11.04升级到11.10启动黑屏解决

  47. there is a permanent way to solve this…
    1.plug your lan cord
    2.open terminal
    3.tupe> sudo bash>give password> sudo pppoeconf
    4.follow all the requirements(username and password)
    5.click on “NO” when asking for “start at boot time”.

  48. Many thanks! Worked like a charm. I had the vmware player problem too. I realized that GRUB2 didn’t like my KVM switch and I needed plug the keyboard directly into the machine in order to drop to a root shell in debug mode, it took 30 seconds to make the fix.

  49. Thanks, you saved my day as well

    I was thinking to myself that creating a dist-update script is really a tedious task but the team at Canonical would definitely test it well before release since most of Ubuntu users use this method to upgrade their distro.
    Seems I was wrong.

  50. Its Official Ubuntu 11.04 is better by far than this 11.10. Full of bugs, network, apt cases, themes installation, resolution

  51. Pingback: Problemi post Upgrade Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10 « Emanuele Filardo

  52. Thanks a lot!! I thought standard upgrade should worked fine but I was wrong. To install a new system will all the previously software installed with customization would be very painful. Again Thanks You. You save me today!!

  53. Also happened to me after an 11.04 to 11.10 upgrade. I already had the /var/run and /var/lock symlinks in place. Removing and recreating them had no effect.

    In the end I had to modify my /etc/network/interfaces file, which finally stopped Ubuntu waiting for network during boot:

    auto lo eth0
    iface lo inet loopback
    iface eth0 inet static

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  59. The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, it’s just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well.

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