All general purpose OSes (Windows, MacOS, Linux) can be changed so that the system will no longer boot completely or will behave strangely. A corrupt or full system disk, broken software packages, misconfiguration, and many other situations can cause this. Read on to find how you can use
FocusRx and other tools to recover a system.
Before you proceed, first determine if this is actually a system issue. If your system boots fine, this is likely an application issue. We recommend you first visit the Focus Support page and search for a topic using the list or the search box. These are almost always more current and correct for your hardware than HOWTOs or forum posts you might find on the web. You should continue here only if your system does not completely boot or if you are getting warnings about missing dependencies or libraries.
Recovering an installation may be preferable because applications, settings, and other data will not need to be restored. However, like with all OSes, a badly broken system can take hours to recover and still be problematic. While a Clean Install requires recovery of data, it usually takes well under 30 minutes and can solve issues you do not have time to research or understand. For these reasons, we recommend you always keep a clean installation as an alternative and limit the time you dedicate to recovery efforts.
Any system work always has inherent risks. Mistakes happen, and in this context, that can mean data loss. It is important, therefore, to keep your data safe using a backup solution on an external disk. See the Backup Guided Solution to save your data before proceeding if possible.
Sometimes the system will boot but drop to a BusyBox Shell as shown below.
This frequently results from a corrupt filesystem, as detailed by this Ask Ubuntu ticket. The solution is to enter the command
exit into the shell to report the corrupt filesystem. You may then repair it using
fsck <device-file> as shown below.
After the filesystem repair is complete, type in
exit to reboot the system. If the repair was good (which it usually is), the system should now boot normally.
Focus systems have a recovery tool called
FocusRx which can identify and resolve many issues:
/boot partition is too full and fix it
You can run FocusRx as shown below.
Advanced Options to select a different kernel if available.
Startup Menu > Kubuntu Focus > FocusRx.
[Ctrl][Alt][F2] to get a virtual terminal. Sign in as your user and then enter
Please Download the ISO Disk Image and create a bootable, live USB. Then return here to proceed.
Boot using the USB stick as shown below.
F2 repeatedly on your keyboard to enter the BIOS.
Boot Manager from the options on the screen, using either the touchpad or your cursor keys.
Start Kubuntu from the boot menu.
Try Kubuntu from the graphical prompt.
1. Use the live USB procedure (above) to boot into the Try Kubuntu mode. Then open a Konsole terminal and enter the lines as shown below.
2a. ENCRYPTED DRIVE ONLY: Decrypt the drive and mount the root filesystem.
2b. UNENCRYPTED DRIVE ONLY: Mount the root filesystem.
3. Back up your data.
If you haven’t yet backed up your data, please do so NOW! See the Take a Snapshot with USB Drive to save your important files to a separate drive. You can find your user data under
/mnt/home/. While each subsequent step below is usually safe, each brings additional risk because of an unknown system state or human error. Better safe than sorry.
4a. ENCRYPTED DRIVE ONLY: Mount the
4b. UNENCRYPTED DRIVE ONLY: Mount the
5. Prepare and use
6. Once the system has successfully switched to
chroot mode, you may run
FocusRx (above) to fix packages and other common issues.
7. Here are a few more steps you might try if FocusRx does not solve the problem:
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade (this is also done by FocusRx).
aptitude to inspect, install, or uninstall packages that may have caused the problem; GUI tools like Discover or Muon are not available. The
aptitude interface will run in a terminal and can be navigated using the keyboard.
See this article for additional details on using
8. When you are finished fixing the chroot environment, enter
exit into terminal. Close the terminal and restart. If the repairs worked, the system should start as normal.
Content will be added as needed.
This is a partial revision history. See the
git repository for all entries.
2023-11-18 e770b1c6 Add search and help bar
2023-01-25 5a05a952 Content fixes
2022-10-20 9fa483fa Clarify chroot section
2022-07-06 7c6e13f5 Update for 22.04 images
2022-01-22 97da7ffe Reference USB snapshot in backup article
2021-10-10 5728326e Reformat to 2-column
2021-09-22 dc862884 Update link and headline colors
2021-08-23 681261b4 Review and update codeblocks
2021-08-22 c1974de6 Add CHROOT Recovery Steps
2021-08-22 c1974de6 Add USB Drive Snapshot
2021-08-19 20a66a1c Add Busybox Shell Recovery
2021-08-05 c25e459e Fix Grammar Mistakes
2021-07-23 9e6157ce Add FocusRx Direction
2021-05-17 c75588e9 First publication
We try hard to provide a useful solution validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always backup your data and test the solution to determine the correct procedure for you.
THIS SOLUTION IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOLUTION, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.