14 June 2014 Karim Elatov

So I was doing my regular updates on my Arch Linux machine (pacman -Syu). The update incuded a new version of systemd and that wasn’t anything new. After I rebooted I recieved the following error:

systemd[1]: Failed to mount cgroup at /sys/fs/cgroup/systemd: No such file or directory

Upon doing a google search I ran into [Chromebook XE303C12] Systemd doesn’t boot after upgrade (I was running Arch Linux on the Samsung Chromebook), and it matched my issue.

The fix for now was to downgrade systemd. In order to do that, you had to boot from an external source, chroot into the original install, and downgrade the package. I actually left my ChromeOS install alone and I always boot from an SD card (check out this post on that setup). So I booted back into ChromeOS (on the development screen instead typing CTRL+U, I typed CTRL+D) and started crosh to gain root access:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + T keys. This will open up the crosh shell
  2. Type shell to get into a bash shell.
  3. Type sudo su to become root.

By default any external media is automatically mounted in ChromeOS:

localhost ~ # mount | grep 'SD Card'
/dev/mmcblk1p12 on /media/removable/SD Card type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime,dirsync,uid=1000,gid=1000,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,utf8,flush,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/mmcblk1p2 on /media/removable/SD Card 1 type ext2 (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime,dirsync)
/dev/mmcblk1p3 on /media/removable/SD Card 2 type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime,dirsync,data=ordered)

So our SD card is /dev/mmcblk1 and our root partition is /dev/mmcblk1p3. In order for us to chroot we need to allow executables on that mount point, so let’s remount that partition and enable that:

localhost ~ # mount /dev/mmcblk1p3 -o remount,exec

Then we need to bind the /proc directory into the root partition, so while in the chroot the OS can find partitions. This is done with the following command:

localhost ~ # mount --bind /proc /media/removable/SD\ Card\ 2/proc/

Now we can chroot into our Arch Linux install:

localhost ~ # chroot /media/removable/SD\ Card\ 2/
[[email protected] /]#

Now let’s downgrade our systemd version:

[[email protected] /]# pacman -U /var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-212-3-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
loading packages...
warning: downgrading package systemd (213-5 => 212-3)
resolving dependencies...
looking for inter-conflicts...

Packages (1): systemd-212-3

Total Installed Size:   15.64 MiB
Net Upgrade Size:       -3.79 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n] y
(1/1) checking keys in keyring      [################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking package integrity    [################################################] 100%
(1/1) loading package files         [################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking for file conflicts   [################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking available disk space [################################################] 100%
(1/1) downgrading systemd           [################################################] 100%
synchronizing filesystem...

After that, exit the chroot, reboot the system, and boot back into Arch Linux (in my case on the SD card). The OS will boot up fine. While I was waiting for the fix, I would update the Arch Linux packages skipping the systemd package:

[email protected]:~$sudo pacman -Syu --ignore systemd
:: Synchronizing package databases...
 core is up to date
 extra is up to date
 community is up to date
 alarm is up to date
 aur is up to date
:: Starting full system upgrade...
warning: systemd: ignoring package upgrade (212-3 => 213-5)
resolving dependencies...
looking for inter-conflicts...

Packages (4): gnupg-2.0.23-1  libx264-1:142.20140311-4  openssl-1.0.1.h-1
			  x264-1:142.20140311-4

Total Download Size:    4.15 MiB
Total Installed Size:   14.56 MiB
Net Upgrade Size:       0.75 MiB

The issue was present in the following versions of systemd:

  • systemd-213-5
  • systemd-213-6
  • systemd-213-9

And then updating to this version fixed the issue:

  • systemd-213-9.1

Here are the available systemd packages on my Arch Linux install:

[email protected]:~$ls -rt /var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-21*
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-210-2-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-210-3-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-211-1-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-212-1-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-212-2-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-212-3-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-213-5-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-213-6-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-213-9-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz
/var/cache/pacman/pkg/systemd-213-9.1-armv7h.pkg.tar.xz

And here is the version of systemd that I am currently on:

[email protected]:~$pacman -Qi systemd
Name           : systemd
Version        : 213-9.1
Description    : system and service manager
Architecture   : armv7h
URL            : http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd
Licenses       : GPL2  LGPL2.1  MIT
Groups         : None

blog comments powered by Disqus