Initramfs unpacking failed: invalid magic as start of compressed

i have a serios problem after this update. I can no longer boot, message is:
Intiramfs unpacking failed: invalid magic as start of compressed
kernel panic

changing the kernel or trying the fallback initramfs does not help. I have installed 4.19 and 5.4

Now what to do?

  1. You need to download Manjaro ISO on other computer and flash it on USB stick.

  2. You need to chroot to your broken system

  3. Reinstall Kernel and GRUB.

If you can’t boot into either the kernels you can only fall back to an install media of Manjaro and then chroot into it. As @Zesko already mentioned you may want to reinstall the kernel and pay attention to the output. Maybe try also to install linux510. Reinstalling grub might not been needed.

thanks, is there a description how to reinstall a kernel from a chroot? Can this also be done from a XUbuntu (which i already had on a stick)?


Unforunately Ubuntu doesn’t support chroot Manjaro.

Well you can use actually any Linux USB Stick to do so. Here is a more in detail written guide on how to chroot: How to: Chroot into a broken system via live CD/ISO or alternate Linux system | TurnKey GNU/Linux

You have to manually mount the common system folders before you can call chroot Also the Arch Wiki has a section for manual chrooting.

1 Like

Reinstalling by itself does not suffice. Here is the problem :
For some reason, mkinitpcio now creates zstd compressed images instead of the previous default gzip.
kernels 5.4 and 4.19 cannot read these images.
A workaround is to uncomment


in /etc/mkinitpcio.conf, and rebuild with

mkinitcpio -P

I am not sure if there is a way to make 5.4 and below able to read zstd.


Indeed, the compression was changed in Arch mkinitcpio to zstd and breaks the backwards compatibility of old kernels.

Only kernel 5.10+ supports zstd.


Dito - i’ve got the same screen after updating. I made my XPS 13 unbootable too with the most recent manjaro update. It’s critical, cause i had not the opportunity to save my last work (ok, a live stick solves this, but i need it for further work today) - of course i have an older image, but this is embarassing. Please don´t tell me i have to reinstall my whole system?!? - if i only knew it, i would have upgraded my kernel first.
Are there any other solutions?

read the thread, there is a solution if you are running the older kernels…

I already read all postings, sorry for my breakout. I have the same 5.4 kernel like hape. Which of the solutions do you mean, chroot oder edit mkinitpcio.conf? Sorry, i´m not really shure about this. Till today my Manjaro works stable, i never had to work on the “open heart”.

There are two solutions:

  1. solution: Switch to Kernel 5.10 or newer LTS in GRUB menu


  1. solution: You need to chroot to your broken system with live USB stick, then edit /etc/mkinitpcio.conf to change the compression to gzip, then run mkinitcpio -P && update-grub, then reboot

Thanks! I just need to delete “#” infront of the line, correct?

Yes, that should be COMPRESSION="gzip" without # in mkinitcpio.conf

1 Like

I have this same issue and same kernel , so I guess this is the solution, right? Please excuse my naivety.
Also is there also a way to install new kernel along this.

I don’t have to do anything else , right?

I have a boot ready in usb

Yes, this is 3. possible solution:

You need to chroot to your broken system then install Kernel 5.15 LTS or 6.1 LTS to fix the issue:
pamac install linux515

Then remove old kernel e.g. 5.4 that does not support the compression zstd.

1 Like

just to confirm:

  • i created a bootable Manjaro ISO and booted from the stick
  • i opened a terminal and did ‘manjaro-chroot’ (which is installed on the iso but not in my normal version???)
  • following the proposal from @Zesko i edited mkinitpcio.conf as described, did a grub-update
  • reboot and here i’m again in my desktop!
  • i installed a newer kernel and will test later.

Remark: the update process should really cover this and change mkinitpcio.conf if older kernels are detected. I think older LTS must stay supported, if you have older HW than newer kernels are not always better.

Thanks to all who helped so fast.



How to do chroot?
Cus after booting from usb I typed manjaro-chroot and it gave an error “Can’t create chroot on non-directory”

Can’t i do it without chroot?
Like going to terminal and nano /etc/mkinitpcio.conf because its there

i think you have to type ‘sudo manjaro-chroot’
then edit /etc/mkinitpcio.conf. If you edit before the change root, you will edit the file on the stick and not on your real installation. After editing, ‘sudo update-grub’ and then type exit and reboot.

Its same error
“Can’t create chroot on non-directory”

But i guess i need to manually go to my hard drive partition where my /etc/mkinitcpio.conf is so that way manjaro-chroot work , right?

Cus I think thats my flas drive partition thats why its giving this error

I know this sound so annoying, cus I’m totally aware of it

but after this error I m so confuse