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I'm getting an error while trying to update the linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64 package on Debian 6, x64.

Setting up linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64 (2.6.32-41squeeze2) ...
Running depmod.
Running update-initramfs.
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-amd64
Examining /etc/kernel/postinst.d.
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools 2.6.32-5-amd64 /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub 2.6.32-5-amd64 /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64
Searching for GRUB installation directory ... found: /boot/grub
Searching for default file ... Generating /boot/grub/default file and setting the default boot entry to 0
entry not specified.
run-parts: /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub exited with return code 1
Failed to process /etc/kernel/postinst.d at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64.postinst line 799, <STDIN> line 2.
dpkg: error processing linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64 (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 128
configured to not write apport reports
                                      Errors were encountered while processing:
 linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Am I doing something wrong?

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/etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub does little more than run "update-grub". You might try running "update-grub" by hand and see if it spits out a more informative error, and go from there –  stew May 8 '12 at 15:48
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1 Answer

I had a problem with the exact same signature today (zz-update-grub returning 1), which doesn't tell you a lot. I took apart grub-mkconfig (adding echo statements everywhere), until I found out that it died in sourcing /etc/default/grub, where I had added resume= with some swap-detection logic to the default linux cmdline.

With my swap partition currently off (I tripled my ram today), it failed to find a swap partition and the backticked call silently caused the script to exit. Swapon fixed everything, though I've since added a test with an actual error message to /etc/default/grub.

I have no idea if this is your actual problem, but it's at least a place to start looking (zz-update-grub mainly runs update-grub, which runs grub-mkconfig with some arguments). I can post my code if that would help.

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Double WTF there ... running 2.6.x kernels without a swap partition is something I would call risky because I have seen my share of flaky behaviours ... BUT the boot loader installer failing on it is even more problematic since your swap device might be something like a loop device activated late in the boot process for various reasons... –  rackandboneman Dec 12 '12 at 8:54
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