Fix the “Waiting For Network Configuration” Boot Freeze Problem Under Ubuntu 11.10

I upgraded my Ubuntu 11.04 netbook today to 11.10. I admit, it wasn’t a flawless upgrade due to (wat I assume) was server overload over at Canonical. I ended up with a partial install much to my annoyance – which took about half an hour to research and fix.
It was much faster and generally smoother once I got past that. I assume part of this was the use of Unity2D on my netbook. However, the upgrade necessitates a reboot eventually, and that’s where the whole OS just froze on boot with the message “Waiting for Network Configuration”. Hitting escape showed me this: –

Unable to connect to the system bus: Failed to connect to socket /var/run/dbus/system_bus_socket: Connection refused (oneiric)

…although I think this has something to do with DBus – which is a daemon which handles inter-process communication and initiation. Since Ubuntu has been moving from the tradtional UNIX sysVinit (the mechanism which handles how the initial and child processes of the Linux kernel start) to Upstart, these things sound related.
Anyway, what all this means is that somewhere along the line, things are looking in the wrong place (I think). Instead of process stuff like process id files being stored in “/var/run” (WTF? – Why?), it’s stored in “/run”. This makes sense for the network interfaces defined under “/etc/network/interfaces/run” which is actually a symlink to “/run/network”, hence the error.
When you get the “Waiting for 60 seconds more for network configuration” Ubuntu message in the GUI, you should at some point be able to open a terminal window with CTRL-ALT-F1 and log in as normal via the bash shell. Finally, a damned command prompt :-/

Delete the DBus directory first under “/var/run/dbus” which hold the process id file and some other stuff. This frees the lockup on reboot. Then move everything under “/var/run” to “/run” with: –

mv /var/run/* /run
rmdir /var/run

Verify the contents of “/var/run” is now in “/run”. Now create a symlink from “/run” to “/var/run” with: –

ln -s /run /var/run

To be safe, I also symlinked “/var/lock” to “/run/lock” with: –

ln -s /run/lock /var/lock

Once, I rebooted after this, I actually got to the GNOME login screen, which does look lovely under 11.10….ironically wasted beauty on my right now since I’m sure you’d be glad to see any GUI login prompt at this point in the upgrade circus. The next problem was that although I had already updated the system with: –

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

…Ubuntu kept telling me to reboot because of a new kernel update via the little red icon to the upper right next to the new Me Menu (which I’ve not looked at yet). I eventually got rid of this by cleaning out the repositories with: –

sudo apt-get clean all

and rebooting yet again. The last problem was with power management, which tends to lock up my netbook in 11.10. However, once I turned this off (I don’t use it anyway), all was well. The boot freeze, which is obviously the main problem should never have got past Canonical’s Quality Assurance and testing procedures. Something somewhere along the boot process is still looking for something under sysVinit rather than Upstart on some systems, as apparently this has been a bug in LaunchPad before. That was from July, way before a major release that can freeze systems was sent on it’s way into the world. Yowza.
Anyway, I’m assuming this will be fixed at some point and really, when Ubuntu 11.10 does run, it runs much better than 11.04. It’s a nicer user experience than Fedora 15 on desktop (although that may change in time).

It’s just sad, because at a certain point in time, Ubuntu was pretty stable (although I think the differences from Red Hat are insane ;-)) and although Unity runs faster and (from an hour or two’s usage seems improved in most visible ways) it’s getting more and more unstable. Although, to be fair, I did have a rather rocky road from 11.04 to 11.10 because of the partial installation of the 11.10 repos. I’ll update my experiences with 11.10 again soon if anything interesting happens, but this should help anyone else with the same problem.

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  • diondeville says:

    Thank you very much. It worked great. There’s a slightly different variation of the method at the Ubuntu Forums; I haven’t a clue which is best.

    I used Aptitude to continue with my update. It did a better job than apt-get.

    BTW When I first visited here through a link in Google I reached the mobile version of this page. You might need to adjust your plugin.
    Total Comments by diondeville: 2

  • eridroid says:

    Thanks guy! I met the same problem after upgrade. You really help me a lot! :)
    Total Comment by eridroid: 1

  • jon says:

    You’re welcome folks :-) Don’t you just hate that sinking feeling when you think you might have to spend the next hour re-installing your system partition to another distro? Yeah, me too :-) At least (whatever other things may or may not be wrong with 11.10), you can at least boot the damned thing!

  • MarkS says:

    Cheers dude! My laptop had the same issue. Completed my upgrade and after that it came up advising Nautilus needed restarting at the Arista extensions had been installed so I initially thought it was them that caused the problem!
    Total Comment by MarkS: 1

  • Din says:

    After following the procedure and rebooting my pc, I now get the grub rescue prompt with error: file not found……Please help me…
    Total Comment by Din: 1

    • jon says:

      Please post the exact error and I’ll have a look. Sounds like you’ve goofed it somewhere along the way…

  • klaus says:

    This post somehow fixed the problem. But only for one reboot cycle :-( After that, I had the same problem again.
    Total Comment by klaus: 1

  • Balzag says:

    Super advise ! Thanks!
    Total Comment by Balzag: 1

  • Alroger Jr says:

    Thank you! Saved my day.
    Not only network-manager, the /var/run thingie was creating all sorts of problems with apps’ windows, audio, etc.
    Total Comment by Alroger Jr: 1

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  • nitin mohan says:

    when i run this command to move all the content of the /var/run to /run
    command :mv /var/run/* /run
    command just sits there and do nothing.
    i managed to logged in and tried to move the file manually from “sudo nautilus” it says can not move some files as they are special file , Please advice
    Total Comments by nitin mohan: 2

    • jon says:

      Did you try that with “sudo” prefixed to the command? Because unless you use “sudo” first, you’re attempting to move system files as a regular user, not root.

  • nitin mohan says:

    this is the exact error which i get : Error while copying “cups.sock”.
    so i have many file inside /var/run which i can not move
    please advice
    Total Comments by nitin mohan: 2

    • jon says:

      Sounds like that file is a process lock file for the cups printing service for the listening socket. Try stopping the cups service with:-

      sudo service cups stop

      If that doesn’t work, try: –

      sudo /etc/init.d/cups stop

      I should probably mention that it’s worth having as few services as possible running when attempting to do this fix, as other processes might have similar locks located there.



  • David says:

    Wow. This fixed so many problems I was going to address one by one.

    Thank you so much.

    *deep sigh of relief*
    Total Comment by David: 1

  • Ahmad says:

    Great ! this certainly solved the issue, thanks very much !
    Total Comment by Ahmad: 1

  • Frank says:

    Thanks for this information. I hit this same problem with a new install of 11.10. The problem occurred after installing samba. I was able to reboot normally after removing samba from /etc/network/if-up.d. I uninstalled samba (which required moving samba back into if-up.d) to recover. Thanks for showing a better way to fix this problem.

    Also thanks for the CTRL-ALT-F1 information. I had to reboot, which brought me to a grub prompt. I had to change my antique BIOS to recognize the USB keyboard (now switched) so that I could boot the recovery version, but that’s another story.
    Total Comment by Frank: 1

  • Ed says:

    Another vote of thanks! I still have legacy grub, so I pressed escape at stage 1.5 which enabled me to use the recovery mode and land at a root prompt.
    Total Comment by Ed: 1

  • Thankyou so much for this! My netbook is back up and running, everything is working again, and the new boot screen looks great! The only problem I have now is a minor one: I’m running Xubuntu, and I reinstalled and configured all of the xubuntu artwork and settings packages, but GDM is the login screen and while the dot pattern shows up (I’m assuming that’s part of the theme), the background is black and it says Ubuntu instead of Xubuntu. Oh well, I’m just happen the damn thing boots again LOL :-D
    Total Comment by phoenixandthor: 1

  • ubuntupunk says:

    I no longer get the error, but the system boots without any network services. oops.
    Total Comment by ubuntupunk: 1

    • jon says:

      I assume you’ve tried “sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart”? You can add that with the “start” parameter to your “/etc/rc.local” if it doesn’t start automatically on boot. Or there may be something similar to “chkconfig [service] on” – that certainly works under Red Hat systems.

  • Matthew Manor says:

    Worked great! Thanks!~
    Total Comment by Matthew Manor: 1

  • Worked as it should, thanks a bunch! No more waiting 5 full minutes before my Ubuntu boots!
    Total Comment by Thomas Vanhoutte: 1

  • Scazz says:

    Superstar – had a very stressful 20 minutes until I found this – thanks so much!
    Total Comment by Scazz: 1

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