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I just attempted to update my kernel from 4.2 to 4.6, in Ubuntu 14.04, on a Dell XPS 15 9550. I am interested in the improvements to USB-C support and "Dell laptop support improvements" in the 4.6 kernel.

I did so by downloading linux-headers-4.6.0-040600_4.6.0-040600.201606100558_all.deb, linux-headers-4.6.0-040600-generic_4.6.0-040600.201606100558_amd64.deb, and linux-image-4.6.0-040600-generic_4.6.0-040600.201606100558_amd64.deb from http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6-yakkety/ into /tmp and running dpkg -i /tmp/*.deb. When I attempt to boot with the 4.6 kernel, it drops me into the initramfs BusyBox shell, with the error message ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb does not exist. Dropping to a shell.

I found this similar question but couldn't use the information there to resolve this. Here's some info (blkid, /etc/fstab, fdisk -l, and /boot/grub/grub.cfg) that I believe might be helpful: (if something else would be useful, please let me know!)

17:52:11 ~  λ sudo blkid
/dev/nvme0n1p1: LABEL="ESP" UUID="6441-2C20" TYPE="vfat" 
/dev/nvme0n1p3: LABEL="OS" UUID="8CFA6776FA675C08" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/nvme0n1p4: LABEL="WINRETOOLS" UUID="3072C71172C6DAAC" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/nvme0n1p5: LABEL="Image" UUID="9676C7B376C79283" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/nvme0n1p6: UUID="1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb" TYPE="ext4" 
/dev/nvme0n1p7: UUID="5a41f7e3-23ba-4c8d-95cd-7cbfc6579720" TYPE="swap" 
17:55:03 ~  λ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/nvme0n1p6 during installation
UUID=1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /boot/efi was on /dev/nvme0n1p1 during installation
UUID=6441-2C20  /boot/efi       vfat    defaults        0       1
# swap was on /dev/nvme0n1p7 during installation
UUID=5a41f7e3-23ba-4c8d-95cd-7cbfc6579720 none            swap    sw              0       0
17:55:08 ~  λ sudo fdisk -l

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/nvme0n1'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.


Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 256.1 GB, 256060514304 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 31130 cylinders, total 500118192 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x09e97f16

    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/nvme0n1p1               1   500118191   250059095+  ee  GPT
17:55:18 ~  λ cat /boot/grub/grub.cfg
[... elided ...]
menuentry 'Ubuntu' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-simple-1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb' {
recordfail
load_video
gfxmode $linux_gfx_mode
insmod gzio
insmod part_gpt
insmod ext2
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root  1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb
else
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 1e4790ae-0501-4be4-b965-e2b7c77392eb
fi
linux   /boot/vmlinuz-4.6.0-040600-generic root=/dev/nvme0n1p6 ro  quiet splash nouveau.modeset=0 $vt_handoff
initrd  /boot/initrd.img-4.6.0-040600-generic
}
[...elided ...]
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  • Seems like you got 4.6 from Yakkety... if it didn't update to 4.6 by running sudo apt dist-upgrade, then Trusty doesn't support 4.6. Oct 21 '16 at 0:36
  • Try using a newer version of that kernel. I've only rarely encountered problems with the mainline kernel from that page, but I vaguely remember being unable to boot with a 4.x.0 kernel (which could well have been 4.6.0). Upgrading to 4.x.2 resolved the boot problem (and was easy since I could just switch to a different kernel from the GRUB boot menu).
    – n.st
    Oct 21 '16 at 1:51
  • (As a reference, I'm currently using linux-image-4.8.0-040800rc8-generic on Ubuntu 14.04 without any issues.)
    – n.st
    Oct 21 '16 at 1:52
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Maybe dpkg is missing some step here.

IIRC, it is possible on Ubuntu to add the kernel ppa to your repositories (with add-apt-repository) and then use apt-get to install the new kernel.

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