I broke an Arch Linux installation. Let's say I made a typo in the PARTUUID string. The result is that the boot process can't mount the root file system and stops at the mkinitcpio preboot stage with the error message:

Your are now being dropped into an emergency shell.

Regression #1: mount + exec

blog.entwicklerseite.de has an example how to manually boot from rootfs, like:

# mount /dev/sda2 /new_root/
# exec /usr/bin/switch_root /new_root /sbin/init

That brings these messages to the console output:

Trying to run as user instance, but the system has not been booted with systemd. 
Trying to continue (this will most likely fail) ... 
ERROR: Failed to mount the real root device. 
Bailing out, you are now on your own. Good luck.

And a kernel panic.

Regression #2: set root + mount + exec

# root=/dev/sda2
# mount /dev/sda2 /new_root/
# exec /usr/bin/switch_root /new_root /sbin/init

No change in the output with that version.

With which commands can I continue booting (manually) from the Arch Linux emergency shell?


Later I found a posting on the Arch Linux forum, in thread "Arch fails to mount my root partition".

The solution to boot Arch Linux from the emergency shell is even less typing:

# mount /dev/sda2 new_root
# exit
  • 1
    You've have saved my life. – HugoTai Apr 7 '18 at 15:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.