I'm using Debian testing. I want to configure wifi on my netbook, but failed to do so and when the system boots I get the following message:

INFO: task wpa_supplicant:1634 blocked for more than 120 seconds.
"echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/hung_task_timeout_secs" disables this message.

I have come across info that this is a new feature that informs that a service is failing. The service in my case is /etc/init.d/networking.

The problem is this: Booting process hangs and prints every 120 seconds the message above and that is it. I can't use my netbook any more. Is there any way to boot without this service?

PS. What I'm doing right now is booting from a rescue USB disk to fix the issue but I wonder if there is any boot options I could use in circumstances like this?

  • Does Ctrl-C at that point work? (It should kill that script and move on to the next).
    – Drav Sloan
    Aug 10, 2013 at 12:49
  • unfortunately no Aug 10, 2013 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


I think you have basically following options

  1. disable service from starting up

    $ sudo update-rc.d networking disable
  2. disable configuration on boot (by editing /etc/default/networking)

    # Set to 'no' to skip interfaces configuration on boot
  3. boot to runlevel without it and then after fixing move to desired level

    Debian networking is setup in the S runlevel so this doesn't help that much unless you move the service to a different runlevel. It can be done by using update-rc.d. Then while booting you just have to pass a boot parameter to the kernel saying what runlevel to enter (or updating /etc/inittab modifying default).

    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.30 root=/dev/sda2 ro 3

    You might find following resource useful https://wiki.debian.org/RunLevel. There is also a tool named rcconf for manipulating runlevels and enabling / disabling services.

To me option 2 seems like easiest until you fix your issue.

  • I've found that adding option 'init=/bin/bash' to kernel in grub give me a chance to actually issue these commands even in dire straits like mine. Aug 10, 2013 at 15:10

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