Slowroll upgrade has caused issues with GRUB

On one of my Slowroll installs (the other installation remains fine), today’s (Friday) upgrade has caused some issues with GRUB, specifically, it is taking a number of minutes to get from “Welcome to GRUB!” to actually begin booting the OS.

  • Boots to “Welcome to GRUB!”
  • Screen then goes to black.
  • After two minutes or so, the GRUB menu finally appears.
  • The eight-second countdown now takes more than a minute to complete, as it takes a good 10 seconds for the ‘8s’ to change to ‘7s’ and this pattern continues for each succeeding second countdown, until it actually starts to boot.

This is the list of packages that were upgraded/downgraded today:

The following 25 packages are going to be upgraded:
  alsa initviocons kdenetwork-filesharing kexec-tools libasound2 libatopology2 libchromaprint1 libLLVM16
  libopenmpt0 libSDL2-2_0-0 libvlc5 libvlccore9 libxxhash0 MozillaFirefox ptools traceroute vivaldi-stable
  vlan vlc vlc-codec-gstreamer vlc-lang vlc-noX vlc-qt vlc-vdpau wmctrl

The following 8 packages are going to be downgraded:
  apparmor-abstractions apparmor-docs apparmor-parser apparmor-profiles apparmor-utils libapparmor1
  libe-book-0_1-1 python3-apparmor

The following 2 packages are going to be reinstalled:
  less libSDL-1_2-0

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

25 packages to upgrade, 8 to downgrade, 1 new, 2 to reinstall.
Overall download size: 207.8 MiB. Already cached: 0 B. After the operation, additional 243.1 KiB will be used.

I am not sure which of these packages has caused the GRUB issue, but after subsequent reboots, this problem remains.

Is resolving this, as simple as reinstalling the problem package(s), or should a bug report be filed?

Thanks in advance.

Grub runs before anything else. So it doesn’t use any of those packages.

Mostly, grub is using your BIOS to read enough of the disk to access the menu. You are possibly using “btrfs” for your file system, and grub has to navigate the complexity of that file system. I’m guessing that some reorganizing of the file system caused this problem. And it will probably go away with future reorganizing – perhaps at your next update.

This was installed on an external USB SSD and btrfs is the file system.

I booted into it twice again last night, including after upgrading, no change.

Today, I just booted into it for the first time and GRUB booted as expected, without delay. There were no upgrades pending on this session.

I’m glad it is now working for your.

There are some “btrfs” maintenance programs that run every time, and apparently they have fixed whatever caused the problem.

I mostly use “ext4”. But I did experiment with “btrfs” in a virtual machine perhaps 2 years ago. And I ran into a long delay getting to the grub menu. So I booted up an external USB system on that virtual machine, mounted the “btrfs” file system. I then unmounted it again and rebooted. And apparently that was enough to fix the problem and get me back to a short boot time.