My Linode is in "emergency mode"

Linode Staff

I noticed that my Linode's services weren't working today. When I logged into my Linode with Lish, I saw this strange error message:

You are in emergency mode. After logging in, type "journalctl -xb" to view
system logs, "systemctl reboot" to reboot, "systemctl default" or "exit"
to boot into default mode.
Give root password for maintenance
(or press Control-D to continue):

This keeps happening after I reboot my Linode, even after I press Control-D. I tried a file system check from Rescue Mode, and it still did not fix this problem.

How do I fix this problem? It requires manual intervention every time my Linode reboots.

1 Reply

This is definitely a frustrating problem to encounter. In my experience, this "emergency mode" could signify any number of issues with your Linode.

I will cover a few of the major possibilities below and offer some general guidance on how to troubleshoot this problem.

File system check

I see that you have already done a file system check, but I'll briefly cover how to perform this check in case it helps out anyone else.

First, you will want to boot your Linode into Rescue Mode:

Then, you may run a file system check with these instructions:

Check logs for errors

As the error message indicates, it is a good idea to check your Linode's logs for errors. The first log to check would be the output of the journalctl -xb command.

You may need to use the "emergency mode" environment or Control-D to view these logs. If you are still unable to access these logs, you may need to create a chroot from Rescue Mode to view them:

It is also a good idea to check your Linode's other log files:

These logs may indicate an issue with one of the software applications on your Linode. You may then use the documentation and other resources for that application to troubleshoot the issue you are facing.

Create a new Linode

It may not be worth the time to troubleshoot your Linode -- it may be easier to simply create a new Linode on your account.

Once you do so, you may rebuild your application stacks on that Linode, then transfer over the old data from your Linode.

You may even retain your Linode's existing IPv4 address by swapping it onto your new Linode:

We don't support swapping IPv6 addresses, but you may find this workaround helpful:

Once you have completed these actions, you may then remove the old Linode from your account:

Removing your Linode from your account will delete its data, so please be sure that you have copied any data you wish to preserve off of this Linode before removing it from your account.

Upgrade your Linode's packages:

You may need to upgrade your Linode's packages, which you can do in CentOS using the sudo yum upgrade command.

Our Documentation contains more information about CentOS's package management commands here:

If you cannot boot your Linode, you may need to enter Rescue Mode and run a chroot to perform this upgrade:

Further troubleshooting tips

As mentioned earlier, "emergency mode" can indicate any number of problems on your Linode. The following resources describe a few potential issues you may be facing:

Conclusion

This error is a symptom of any number of issues with your Linode. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you may have.

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