SLiM has well documented errors with systemd’s shutdown process (See ArchWiki). While this was the root of the problem, the related errors I found while working backwards are worth pointing out.
Failure to mount /boot:
I noticed periodically that my boot process was failing and I was getting dropped to recovery mode. Of course, the first thing I did was check
/etc/fstab for errors, but found none. Running
$ lsblk showed that my block devices had been mislabeled.
I don’t think this is particularly an Arch or Linux issue, but maybe to do with the MicroSD slots of the Asus X205TA. /dev/mmcblk0 is the onboard card, while /dev/mmcblk1 is the external that I use for a swap partition and backups.
A proper mount would look like this:
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT mmcblk0rpmb 179:24 0 4M 0 disk mmcblk0boot0 179:8 0 4M 1 disk mmcblk0boot1 179:16 0 4M 1 disk mmcblk0 179:0 0 29.1G 0 disk ├─mmcblk0p1 179:1 0 100M 0 part /boot ├─mmcblk0p2 179:2 0 10G 0 part / └─mmcblk0p3 179:3 0 19G 0 part └─_dev_mmcblk0p3 254:0 0 19G 0 crypt /home/austin mmcblk1 179:32 0 29.7G 0 disk └─mmcblk1p1 179:33 0 2G 0 part [SWAP]
However, after the initial boot, the devices were getting mixed up (e.g. the system thought /devmmcblk1p1 was the /boot partition).
- One solution would be to remove the /boot entry from /etc/fstab since it technically isn’t needed after the boot process. However, this can cause some inconvenience when it comes to things like updating your kernel or initramfs.
- So, I found that using UUIDs in /etc/fstab took care of this problem just as well.
Failure to Execute Login Command:
Once I got to past the boot (re)mount problems I was getting “random” failure to execute login command errors from SLiM when trying to login. Typically this happens when you’ve got a typo or other errors in ~/.xinitrc. But I had no erorrs there.
I have been using Home Folder Encryption so, next I checked my dm-crypt setup and everything looked fine.
Remembering the above erros, I was able to recreate it by observing that SLiM interferes with the shutdown process. When a proper shutdown occurred, there was not a labeling error. However, when I had to hard reboot (via power button) – due to SLiM inhibiting the shutdown process – the mislabeling happend on the subsequent startup.
The solution here for me was, rather than creating a system call as the Arch Wiki suggests, just a simple shell alias to force SLiM to stop before the system tries to poweroff. Something like:
alias shutdown="sleep 1 && sudo shutdown now | sudo systemctl stop slim"
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