Does a "root file system device" error after permissions issues and then a backup restore make sense?

I've recently tried to upgrade some stuff on my Linode's Debian. Unfortunately, I screwed up using "chmod -R" as root and locked down access to pretty much everything, including elevating to superuser. Now, after attempting to completely wipe the Linode and restore to an automatic backup, the server produces this error in Weblish:

Gave up waiting for root file system device. Common problems:

  • Boot args (cat /proc/cmdline)
  • Check rootdelay= (did the system wait long enough?)
  • Missing modules (cat /proc/modules; ls /dev)
    ALERT! UUID=2432997d-d2d2-4ed1-8de0-22af68e4445a does not exist. Dropping to !

BusyBox v1.22.1 (Debian 1:1.22.0-19+deb9u2) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

So, this seems to suggest to my powerful intellect that either something about the reboot process spoiled the setup - evidently the full restore is such that "This will delete all disks and configs on this Linode", but I wouldn't have thought it would go so deep - or somehow I've managed to mis-sudo so badly it corrupted the fabric of spacetime. Any explanations or insights on this?

3 Replies

If you have a backup that you can restore to prior to upgrading I would do that first.

Unfortunately, the backup being used (that's exhibiting these symptoms) is the most recent known good state. The good part is that it's from before the horrible permissions screwup, though it was made at a stable point partway through the upgrade process.

Happily enough, an update! There was in fact an earlier automatic backup that made it slightly before the update process began at all, and it was relatively simple to pull up instead of the aforementioned backup. Unfortunately, the same problem attains when loading this backup - file system is screwy, I should cat my boot, and so on.


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