System freeze after backup, annoying to recover from

So it now happened the third time to me:

  1. I use the gui pamac to do all the updates it wants me to do
  2. it freezes my system, (i gave it like half an hour before I reset it with the power-button, also the keys that normally open the TTY didn’t do it so it wasn’t just a gnome or X crash)
  3. when I restart I can NOT continue the update process instead half of my applications don’t work anymore, the last two time also all of my boot ramdisk images were broken, so I couldn’t even start manjaro anymore.

Yeah I could do some db.lock deleting and install all packages again trickery (a guide from reddit).
But that takes long with my internet connection and is not at all noob friendly.

So here my real question: How can we improve this situation?

I highly suspect my computer is at fault for crashing, but this is the real world - hardware fails and crashes. (though thinking about it I didn’t do such large upgrades with pacman yet, so the system crash could also be pamacs fault maybe? IDK)

Could we somehow improve the update process so it is easier recoverable? (also for noobs)

I’m not deep into pacman and pamac, but could we somehow patch it so it stores what it’s about to do and its progress to a file so there could be a command to continue after a crash?
Or somehow write changes to an overlay fs so changes are auto reverted if it crashes?
Also could updates keep one recovery kernel boot image so one does not necessarily need an manjaro installation stick to recover from this?

Did this happen to you in the past? what are your thoughts on the matter?

PS: I wanted to post this in the dev section, but since I just recreated the forum account my trust-level is to low for this. Because this will likely be a discussion and not a classical support ticket.

It happend to me. I wanted to install a package, clicked yes once too often and it wanted to download the full Gnome desktop together with an outstanding update. I canceled the installation with Ctrl+C.
Of course, a reboot doesn’t work because the kernel is updated but the initram wasn’t built yet.

Only thing to do: use a LiveUSB image, use manjaro-chroot and to the update manually. Most of the time, pacman still works, but even then, I fixed it with a statically compiled version.

That’s one of the reasons, I always want a log visible on screen when doing an update, so that I can see what takes forever. (Maybe it’s installing nerd-fonts-complete which is over 2GB to download and a lot more to build, package, and finally install.)

On the other hand, I understand that using the pamac GUI is more convenient and “normal” users don’t want (or need) to see the specific update log.

The journal usually has the log, there should be something why it happened on your system.


Also, never to that. Instead to this: [HowTo] reboot / turn off your frozen computer: REISUB/REISUO


So I need to enable the SysRq key and learn the key sequence before the next crash happens?
Also thanks, I knew there were such key combos, but I didn’t knew how to access them.

Is there a way to recover/continue the update process after a crash OR does REISUB already avoid the broken state?

Also why is kernel.sysrq = 16 the default if I need all functions enabled to do the REISUB procedure?

No, it just makes sure that your system is in a “stable” state. It terminates all running processes and syncs the disks, and shuts down (…O) or reboots (…B) your system in a controlled way.

That is for the kernel and the distribution maintainers to decide. It’s likely a security compromise so that not everybody with access to your keyboard can run these disruptive commands.
Although, the setting of 16 is so restrictive that disabling it altogether would resolve on basically the same outcome.

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