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What can I do if my virtual server does not boot after the kernel update?

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Issue

Upgrading kernel(s) inside Linux guests to the following versions will break them. Updated guest(s) won’t ever boot and will crash on startup.

Environment

CentOS 6.x kernel version >= 2.6.32-754.2.1.el6.x86_64

Debian 9.x kernel version >= 4.9.0-7-amd64

Resolution

The issue can be fixed in one of the following ways:

  1. Skip the recent kernel while updating guest’s packages:
    • Update CentOS 6.x with:
      # yum update --exclude=kernel*2.6.32-754.2.1*
    • Update Debian 9.x with:
      
      # apt-mark hold linux-image-amd64 linux-headers-amd64
      # apt-get update
      # apt-get dist-upgrade
  2. After the kernel was updated, add the following kernel options to the GRUB boot loader configuration file:
    • For CentOS 6.x, add eagerfpu=off option to edit /boot/grub/grub.conf file
    • For Debian 9.x, add elevator=noop and pti=off options to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst file.
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