"Fixing an issue with a non-booting Manjaro and full-drive encryption"

linux command line

Problem

It's rare, but a failed and/or buggy update might prevent successful boot-up of the system.

Usually the best option is to try the previous (fall-back) image, but there are occasions where this also might not work (e.g. if SystemD and the Linux Kernel are incompatible).

There are a few hurdles:

  1. Work out what the cause of the problem is:
    1. Access to the command line is probably essential
  2. Be able to install an upgrade and/or fix:
    1. A connection to the internet may be required
  3. Access the contents of the encrypted drive
  4. Access the drive as an authorised user

Diagnosing the problem

There are a quite a few tools to use to figure out where errors are occurring, but in order to do this, you will need access to the command line. Remember that if the window / tiling manager is non-functional there is also the option to switch to a log-in terminal with ctrl-alt and f1 to f7.

The tool I usually use to check logs is journalctl -r, although there are more, depending on what you're looking for.

Accessing the contents of your hard drive

If you download the latest Manjaro ISO, and dd if=/path/to/my-image.iso of=/dev/sdz status=progress it to an SD card or thumbdrive

Important: ensure sdz is replaced with the computer's USB device - you can use lsblk -f to find this out.

Mount the drive

cryptsetup open --type luks /dev/sda1 crypto_LUKS
mount /dev/mapper/crypto_LUKS /mnt

Connect as a root user

chroot-manjaro -a

Update the system

pacman -Syu

# Or install alternative kernel
pamac install linux510
Published on 2021-06-21