Recovering from a Botched CrunchBang Upgrade

I recently botched an upgrade of the kernel in my CrunchBang VM and it broke the X window system leaving me staring at a black screen after boot. Thankfully it wasn’t terribly difficult to fix. See below for the steps to take to re-apply the upgrades and make the system bootable once again.

When initially booting, CrunchBang shows a Grub menu with the kernel to boot and another option with the same kernel in recovery mode. Choose this second kernel option to log in as root and then run these commands in single-user mode.

First we need to get the network interface up:

# ip link set eth0 up

Next we need to get an IP address using DHCP:

# dhclient eth0

Let’s see how the interface looks now:

# ifconfig eth0

And now we can run the update process again:

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade

Reboot and it should all just work now:

# shutdown -r now

This is not a cure-all for all booting problems, but for a botched kernel upgrade this did the trick for me!

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