Configuration profile and distro helper


The last couple of times I rebooted my main Linode, I had problems restarting it. Last time in the end, I needed to go to the GRUB 2 configuration profile and kick off a boot from there, rather than using the top level 'power on' or 'reboot' option.

This Linode has two configuration profiles (after upgrading to GRUB 2 in order to enable Ubuntu kernel auto-patching). Is it possible to set one of them as the default?

Secondly, the profile has a couple of options under 'Filesystem/Boot Helpers' un-ticked:

  • Enable distro helper
  • Auto-configure networking

All of my other Linodes have these options ticked.

I have some idea from of what Auto-configure Networking does but what is Enable Distro Helper?

I will need to do a fair bit of rebooting over the next few week for various upgrades and would like to get these things cleared up first.


1 Reply

Your Linode will boot into the most recent configuration profile that was booted, unless you opt to boot a specific configuration profile instead. To set one as default, you would just want to be sure to boot into that profile so that it boots automatically when the Linode is rebooted.

You're exactly right regarding the “auto-configure networking” option, also known as Network Helper. This option ensures that your Linode’s network configuration file is set up correctly so that you don’t need to manually configure networking on your Linode. Unless you’re making use of an IPv6 pool or are making other custom networking changes, you’ll generally want to leave this option enabled.

Distro Helper works similarly - it detects your Linode’s init system (i.e. systemd, upstart, etc.) and ensures the startup configuration is correct. Historically, it also helped with the change from Xen to KVM, as described in this Linode Community Questions post. You’ll almost always want to keep this option enabled for your Linodes.


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