I recently installed boost on my Ubuntu, did apt-get update and everything was fine. After a while, no apps were working. I tried to restart my PC but unfortunately, Ubuntu is not booting anymore.

The grub starts fine and my Windows 10 is still there, but when I choose Ubuntu, a blank page with some messages appear(not error messages) and then it stops here:

started update utmp about system boot/shutdown

I restarted a few times more. Sometimes the same page comes and sometimes just a simple blank page. Has my Ubuntu been damaged?? What should I do? I don't even know how to type any commands when I have no access to the terminal in this case.


3 Answers 3


You should read the logs to find out what is going on. Then you will know what to fix.

You need to find a way to access the journal with journalctl.

  • You can try switching to another kernel virtual terminal with (⎈ Control+)⎇ Alt+Fk. Usually people configure systemd to have at least one TTY login session running on a kernel virtual terminal, by default the sixth one.
  • You can try logging in via an SSH connection.
  • Fall back from those to bootstrapping the machine into rescue mode with -s on the kernel command line from the boot loader.
  • Fall back from that to bootstrapping the machine into emergency mode with -b on the kernel command line.

Read about the -b, -e, and -n options to journalctl in its manual to know how to select logs from prior bootstrap sessions.

Further reading

  • Unfortunately i got this solution late... i saw a different solution somewhere which tries to wget a library from security.ubuntu.com. i got 404 error with this wget and for solving that problem i editted my sources.list to old-repositories which was a wrong idea. I tried to revert back and update my ubuntu again but i got keyserver problems which required to add the key manually and i didn't have a browser to do it. I just have tty and root terminal in recovery mode. So i think i am unable to do anything more Jun 25, 2018 at 6:19
  • This is my sources.list problem: askubuntu.com/questions/1049299/… Jun 25, 2018 at 6:25

I had the same problem on my Ubuntu 18.04 and was able to run journalctl by logging in on a separate kernel virtual terminal, as described above by JdeBP. Once I got to the bottom of the log, I discovered lots of out-of-space errors from the most recent boot attempts. A quick df showed my root filesystem had literally zero free space. I cleaned up some files and the system booted fine. Just an object lesson in space management.

The other lesson - don't assume this is an NVidia problem and do lots of irreversible things. You may just be out of space.


I had a problem with Ubuntu always hanging at that stage whenever I had my NVidia GPU inserted. Eventually the issue got resolved as I've unpluged the video card and installed the latest kernel. Seems like it was a kernel issue. I also removed and reinstalled the video driver, but the problem was probably only in the buggy kernel version.

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