Updates fail and system becomes read-only

Hello everyone,

I want to run a full system update. During the dependency checks, the following error occurs:

Checking python-polyglot dependencies...
Error: failed to prepare transaction: Failed to check python-polyglot dependencies
ln: failed to create symbolic link '/var/tmp/pamac/dbs/local': Read-only file system
ln: failed to create symbolic link '/var/tmp/pamac/dbs/local': Read-only file system

After that, I can not create new files anymore because the file system is read-only. I can’t even shutdown the system normally but have to use the power button and force a shutdown.

I do not run regular updates on this machine because I only use it from time to time, so the last time I’ve updated the system might be a couple of months ago.

Here is some information about my system:

Global information (inxi -v7azy):

  Kernel: 5.15.120-1-MANJARO arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 13.1.1
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.15-x86_64
    root=UUID=5ca9ae86-d201-4085-9fbb-6e4001f086f2 rw quiet
    resume=/dev/mapper/luks-4086b629-18a7-4f8a-b88e-691b0f119832 apparmor=1
    security=apparmor udev.log_priority=3
  Desktop: Xfce v: 4.18.1 tk: Gtk v: 3.24.36 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm
    v: 4.18.0 vt: 7 dm: LightDM v: 1.32.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
  Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 23497E5 v: ThinkPad T430
    serial: <superuser required> Chassis: type: 10 serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: LENOVO model: 23497E5 serial: <superuser required>
    UEFI-[Legacy]: LENOVO v: G1ET91WW (2.51 ) date: 01/09/2013
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 73.6 Wh (100.0%) condition: 73.6/86.6 Wh (85.0%)
    power: 2.0 W volts: 12.6 min: 11.1 model: LGC 45N1011 type: Li-ion
    serial: <filter> status: charging
  System RAM: total: 8 GiB note: est. available: 7.47 GiB
    used: 2.44 GiB (32.6%)
  RAM Report: permissions: Unable to run dmidecode. Root privileges required.
  Info: model: Intel Core i5-3320M bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Ivy Bridge
    gen: core 3 level: v2 built: 2012-15 process: Intel 22nm family: 6
    model-id: 0x3A (58) stepping: 9 microcode: 0x21
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 2 tpc: 2 threads: 4 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 128 KiB desc: d-2x32 KiB; i-2x32 KiB L2: 512 KiB desc: 2x256 KiB
    L3: 3 MiB desc: 1x3 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 2459 high: 2835 min/max: 1200/3300 scaling:
    driver: intel_cpufreq governor: schedutil cores: 1: 1960 2: 2471 3: 2835
    4: 2573 bogomips: 20761
  Flags: acpi aes aperfmperf apic arat arch_perfmon avx bts clflush cmov
    constant_tsc cpuid cpuid_fault cx16 cx8 de ds_cpl dtes64 dtherm dts epb
    ept erms est f16c flexpriority flush_l1d fpu fsgsbase fxsr ht ibpb ibrs
    ida lahf_lm lm mca mce md_clear mmx monitor msr mtrr nonstop_tsc nopl nx
    pae pat pbe pcid pclmulqdq pdcm pebs pge pln pni popcnt pse pse36 pti pts
    rdrand rdtscp rep_good sep smep smx ss ssbd sse sse2 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3
    stibp syscall tm tm2 tpr_shadow tsc tsc_deadline_timer vme vmx vnmi vpid
    x2apic xsave xsaveopt xtopology xtpr
  Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT
  Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT vulnerable
  Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
  Type: mmio_stale_data status: Unknown: No mitigations
  Type: retbleed status: Not affected
  Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via
    prctl and seccomp
  Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Retpolines, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW,
    STIBP: conditional, RSB filling, PBRSB-eIBRS: Not affected
  Type: srbds status: Vulnerable: No microcode
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
  Device-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics vendor: Lenovo driver: i915
    v: kernel arch: Gen-7 process: Intel 22nm built: 2012-13 ports:
    active: LVDS-1,VGA-1 empty: DP-1, DP-2, DP-3, HDMI-A-1, HDMI-A-2, HDMI-A-3
    bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:0166 class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: Chicony Thinkpad T430 camera driver: uvcvideo type: USB rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 bus-ID: 1-1.6:5 chip-ID: 04f2:b2db
    class-ID: 0e02
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 21.1.8 compositor: xfwm v: 4.18.0 driver: X:
    loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa dri: crocus gpu: i915
    display-ID: :0.0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 2624x900 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 694x238mm (27.32x9.37")
    s-diag: 734mm (28.88")
  Monitor-1: LVDS-1 pos: primary,left model: AU Optronics 0x213e built: 2010
    res: 1600x900 hz: 60 dpi: 132 gamma: 1.2 size: 309x174mm (12.17x6.85")
    diag: 355mm (14") ratio: 16:9 modes: 1600x900
  Monitor-2: VGA-1 pos: right model: Idek Iiyama BX3814UT serial: <filter>
    built: 2002 res: 1024x768 hz: 75 dpi: 86 gamma: 0.35
    size: 304x228mm (11.97x8.98") diag: 386mm (15.2") ratio: 4:3 modes:
    max: 1024x768 min: 720x400
  API: OpenGL Message: Unable to show GL data. Required tool glxinfo missing.
  Device-1: Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo 7
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 chip-ID: 8086:1e20
    class-ID: 0403
  API: ALSA v: k5.15.120-1-MANJARO status: kernel-api with: aoss
    type: oss-emulator tools: alsactl,alsamixer,amixer
  Server-1: JACK v: 1.9.22 status: off tools: N/A
  Server-2: PipeWire v: 0.3.73 status: off tools: pw-cli
  Server-3: PulseAudio v: 16.1 status: active with: 1: pulseaudio-alsa
    type: plugin 2: pulseaudio-jack type: module tools: pacat,pactl,pavucontrol
  Device-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network vendor: Lenovo driver: e1000e
    v: kernel port: 5080 bus-ID: 00:19.0 chip-ID: 8086:1502 class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp0s25 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] driver: iwlwifi
    v: kernel pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1 bus-ID: 03:00.0
    chip-ID: 8086:0085 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  IP v4: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
    broadcast: <filter>
  IP v6: <filter> type: noprefixroute scope: link
  WAN IP: <filter>
  Device-1: Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 [ThinkPad] driver: btusb v: 0.8
    type: USB rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s lanes: 1 mode: 1.1 bus-ID: 1-1.4:4
    chip-ID: 0a5c:21e6 class-ID: fe01 serial: <filter>
  Report: rfkill ID: hci0 rfk-id: 2 state: up address: see --recommends
  Message: No logical block device data found.
  Device-1: luks-4086b629-18a7-4f8a-b88e-691b0f119832 maj-min: 254:0
    type: LUKS dm: dm-0 size: 167.68 GiB
  p-1: sda1 maj-min: 8:1 size: 167.68 GiB
  Message: No RAID data found.
  Local Storage: total: 167.68 GiB used: 89.92 GiB (53.6%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: Intel model: SSDSC2BW180A3L
    size: 167.68 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s
    tech: SSD serial: <filter> fw-rev: LF1i scheme: MBR
  Optical-1: /dev/sr0 vendor: HL-DT-ST model: DVDRAM GT50N rev: LT20
    dev-links: N/A
  Features: speed: 24 multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes
    rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r,dvd-ram state: running
  ID-1: / raw-size: 167.68 GiB size: 163.98 GiB (97.80%)
    used: 89.92 GiB (54.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-0 maj-min: 254:0
    mapped: luks-4086b629-18a7-4f8a-b88e-691b0f119832 label: N/A
    uuid: 5ca9ae86-d201-4085-9fbb-6e4001f086f2
  Alert: No swap data was found.
  Message: No unmounted partitions found.
  Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: full speed or root hub ports: 3 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 chip-ID: 1d6b:0002
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-2: 1-1:2 info: Intel Integrated Rate Matching Hub ports: 6 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 chip-ID: 8087:0024
    class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 1-1.3:3 info: Upek TouchChip Fingerprint Coprocessor (WBF
    advanced mode) type: <vendor specific> driver: N/A interfaces: 1 rev: 1.1
    speed: 12 Mb/s (1.4 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 1.1 power: 100mA
    chip-ID: 147e:2020 class-ID: 0000
  Device-2: 1-1.4:4 info: Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 [ThinkPad]
    type: Bluetooth driver: btusb interfaces: 4 rev: 2.0
    speed: 12 Mb/s (1.4 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 1.1 chip-ID: 0a5c:21e6
    class-ID: fe01 serial: <filter>
  Device-3: 1-1.6:5 info: Chicony Thinkpad T430 camera type: video
    driver: uvcvideo interfaces: 2 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1
    mode: 2.0 power: 200mA chip-ID: 04f2:b2db class-ID: 0e02
  Hub-3: 2-0:1 info: full speed or root hub ports: 3 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 chip-ID: 1d6b:0002
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-4: 2-1:2 info: Intel Integrated Rate Matching Hub ports: 8 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 chip-ID: 8087:0024
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-5: 3-0:1 info: hi-speed hub with single TT ports: 4 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s (57.2 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 chip-ID: 1d6b:0002
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-6: 4-0:1 info: super-speed hub ports: 4 rev: 3.0
    speed: 5 Gb/s (596.0 MiB/s) lanes: 1 mode: 3.2 gen-1x1 chip-ID: 1d6b:0003
    class-ID: 0900
  System Temperatures: cpu: 45.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): fan-1: 3778
  Processes: 222 Uptime: 45m wakeups: 2 Init: systemd v: 253 default: graphical
  tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 13.1.1 clang: 15.0.7 Packages: pm: pacman
  pkgs: 1951 libs: 490 tools: pamac pm: flatpak pkgs: 0 Shell: Bash v: 5.1.16
  running-in: gnome-terminal inxi: 3.3.28

Kernels (mhwd-kernel -li)

The following kernels are installed in your system:
   * linux515 (running)
   * linux54

Manjaro version (lsb_release -sirc)

 ManjaroLinux 23.0.0 UltimaThule

Storage uses (LANG=C df -h)

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
dev             3,8G     0  3,8G   0% /dev
run             3,8G  1,4M  3,8G   1% /run
/dev/dm-0       164G   90G   66G  58% /
tmpfs           3,8G  103M  3,7G   3% /dev/shm
tmpfs           3,8G   16M  3,8G   1% /tmp
tmpfs           765M   84K  765M   1% /run/user/1000

It would be awesome if someone could help me!

All the best,

Well, that’s probably your problem right there. Or rather, part of it. Manjaro is a rolling-release distribution and as such must be kept up-to-date, or it will break, as you are discovering. If you can’t for whatever reason, or as in your case, don’t because you don’t use it often enough, I’m thinking you’d be better off with a point-release distribution, like Debian or Ubuntu.

I think a read-only file system is, AFAIK a sign of a failing hard drive. So it’s likely hardware-related…


I haven’t been aware of the different between rolling-release distributions and point-release distributions. Thank you for clarifying that! Maybe a point-release distribution might be better suited for this machine. However, since I know that regular updates are important now, I can just start this machine regularly for system updates from now on.

Also, I currently don’t have the time to set up a new system and would love to get the current one running asap. The main reason for the full system update is that I need to install a package (namely texlive-plaingeneric). What do you think about installing the package without updating the system? I know that’s not a great solution but I am in need for a quick fix.

Whether the read only file system is a consequence of shutting down by power cycling the machine
or whether there was another cause
is irrelevant for now.

To fix it you need to run a file system check and have it fix whatever errors there might be.

The cause may be a failing drive - or it may not be.

You should still be able to issue:
sudo tune2fs -C 11 /dev/mapper/luks-4086b629-18a7-4f8a-b88e-691b0f119832
followed by:
sudo tune2fs -c 10 /dev/mapper/luks-4086b629-18a7-4f8a-b88e-691b0f119832

it will set the mount count to 11 and then force a check after every 10th mount - so the file system will be forcibly checked on the next reboot
and then on every 10th boot afterwards
(it normally only takes a second or a few)

You could also initiate this manually, from the outside, from a live system, for instance.

the system will not just break when you don’t update for a long time - but will give you problems running the updates
as there will most likely have been changes to pgp keys used to validate packages before installation
and that will result in the update initially failing
or change to mirrors where the packages come from
requiring you to first refresh the mirrors before the update
(likely both of the above - and then a few other causes of trouble after a long time not attending to the system)

But this can be fixed rather easily - it’s just not automatic and requires you to manually intervene.


Thanks for your help!

I followed your advice and the error during the dependency check did not occur again. I am currently updating the system and will let you know once it finished.

I think I can live with fixing some problems manually when updating the system. I really like Manjaro and the community here is awesome, I very much appreciate your support! :slight_smile:

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