The busybox shell on battery failure.

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The busybox shell on battery failure.

Post by CaseyMarie » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:34 am


I'm a non technical user who is a convert from Windows. I've been using Linux mint on my laptop now for probably 6 months. Luckily I'm someone who really has tried to embrace the idea of learning this from scratch. I have bought books and tried to learn bits and pieces of the command line.

This has only happened 3 times but if I forget about my laptop and the battery runs completely down when I've charged it a little bit and rebooted I get the busybox shell: <initramfs>.

Now for us I guess this isn't too bad really. I know what a shell is and I'm comfortable about typing the odd command in, but I think if I was my grandma this would absolutely terrify me. In fact if you type exit which was my first idea it tells you that you need to do a manual fsck on dev/sda. It gives you the command you need to type. Tap that in press y a bunch of times and I've been up and running.

I don't think there is anything bad about this I just feel that the method is a little bit scary for someone who is new.

If something similar happens in windows (or if you go back to windows 98, every time you booted the darn thing!) it would have to do a chkdsk but it ran it automatically and it automatically said yes to the fixes for you.

I do get that the busybox shell can probably do a lot more things and as a non technical person I'm probably not the best to talk about what it should and shouldn't do. I've been around a little while and I really am getting the idea that this system is completely mine in a way that no other computer I've ever owned is and with great power comes great responsibility and it's really expecting someone far more competent as it's captain. However: I'm also aware that Linux mint is welcoming to the new user and it has a reputation as being a stepping stone.

I would think that a completely drained laptop battery is a more common occurrence with the less technical people but its them who are hurt the most by having to type "magic words" into a text only shell.

So I was wondering. Would it be advantageous to our goal if we made busybox automatically run the fsck on a laptop battery failure? If fsck didn't allow it to boot could it then drop us into the busybox shell afterwards? I could be wrong in thinking this but I can't really ever imagine why someone would want to leave fsck errors unfixed and would prefer to not boot so could we also make it automatically say yes to everything?

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