linux, ubuntu

How to restore Ubuntu 16.04 “Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)”

Today one of the guys on my development team ran into an old problem on Linux, the good and old Kernel panic …  This time it was after updating Ubuntu 16.04 internals.

After doing the reboot, there it was, the old good linux scaring n00bies away:

Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)


This is an old problem and usually, depending on the tooling you have around it, it can be quite time-consuming to figure a way out if you are not experienced on Linux.

The problem originated because he installed updates on Ubuntu, one after another during many months of usage, until a day … nothing special, he updated once again and boom!!! The updates caused the /boot partition to be left with no space, and this caused the grub to be blocked when trying to mount the root fs. The solution is simple: just to remove the old kernel images and run a quick cleanup.

I believe if a piece of software or program is not clear enough for an average person to understand and solve, than its broken and it should be properly fixed or at least documented until it can be fixed permanently.


[SOLVED] kernel panic-not syncing:

Start your Ubuntu with shift pressed until you see the recover screen, choose recovery mode:

boot-to-ubuntu-recovery-mode.png.pagespeed.ce.CUNCHGQyPh (1)

Cleaning up Boot partition on Ubuntu 16.04

When on Rescue Mode, select the option clean followed by dpkg, grub and fsck.


This will make sure that the space on your boot partition is free, will repair any broken packages, check all file systems and that they are correct and update your grub bootloader.

After this, you are very likely to get a stable Ubuntu 16.04 back.

Now just restart the Ubuntu and it should be as good as before! 🙂



Happy Open Source coding to everyone.


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