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Linux crashed. Lost everything. SMBus Controller not found. Reinstall required.

Trenix25

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A kernel thread in Debian Linux got hung up for a while and my system more or less locked up. I have no certain evidence as to why this happened. I did get the chance to reboot and perform a proper shutdown, for Debian at least. There was slight damage to the /vm file system. I remembered the running VM only after issuing the reboot command and was watching it all come tumbling down. The VM was not properly shut down and crashed. Kali Linux was lost forever. There was no backup of the current installation. There really wasn't much there and it should be fairly easy to fix. This is what I don't like about VMs. If something goes wrong I can't fix it. It came back with an initramfs prompt and said the SMBus Controller was not installed. I still have the files I downloaded from the Kali website that I used to start the VM in the first place, but all of the modifications that I made have been lost forever.

I figured if I'm going to reinstall I should do it right this time so I just downloaded the 4 GB installer image, an iso file for a DVD. I started up VMPlayer and told it to create a new VM using the iso file, but it didn't work. I watched a video about this and it worked just fine in the video. What am I doing wrong? I want to give it more than 80.1 GB of space for the main file system. This is what the pre-made VM image used.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 

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Ok, so far I've found a way around that. I plan to leave this post here in case other Linux users have the same issue so they will have some idea about how to proceed. I'm installing the various packages in Kali Linux now.

Select the option: I will install the operating system later. Then click on Next. VMPlayer will give you some options for supported operating systems. Select the correct option from the list. You will be given a chance to Configure Hardware. Clink on that. Instead of selecting the actual CD/DVD drive tell VMPlayer to Browse for files and select the correct directory and the correct iso file. Make sure the correct iso file is automatically attached at boot time. Also be sure to select the desired directory for your new virtual machine. I didn't want mine in root's home directory structure so I selected a directory on the /vm file system instead. Select the correct options for your new VM as you see fit and fire it up. You should see the boot disc start up on the really small screen. I'm hoping that will change after the installation is complete. Maybe VMPlayer will finally let me install those tools that are supposed to fix this problem.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 
I don't have these problems with QEMU and virt-manager and it's really hard to understand why so many people have issues with Kali already at the installation step.

What you describe seems like omitting some essential setup configurations for VM.
It also depends a lot on what kind of Kali ISO you're using.

I installed Kali only once in qemu and experienced no issues of any kind, but I'm not new to VM setup and paid attention to every option to make sure everything is set as wanted.
 
I never used VMware but VB lets you create backup images so I assume VMware also have backup facility.
This is Kali linux VB image. https://www.kali.org/docs/virtualization/install-virtualbox-guest-vm/
After installation you can change image size.

Again, I am not suggesting to use VB, just VMware will have similar options available.
Anyway, the rest is just standard OS (in VM) maintenance.
 
I don't have these problems with QEMU and virt-manager and it's really hard to understand why so many people have issues with Kali already at the installation step.

What you describe seems like omitting some essential setup configurations for VM.
It also depends a lot on what kind of Kali ISO you're using.

I installed Kali only once in qemu and experienced no issues of any kind, but I'm not new to VM setup and paid attention to every option to make sure everything is set as wanted.
The issue was with VMPlayer, not Kali Linux.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 
An important tip here. When installing a Debian based Linux distribution, make sure to edit /etc/apt/sources.list to specify https instead of http. You would think Kali Linux would have been more careful, being a security conscious distribution and all.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 
Those VM images are made with and geared toward specific VM's, but the cost is also that you don't get to choose what software gets preinstalled.

Regular Kali ISO such as full DVD or net install will do fine as well and it's IMO better than VM images.

The issue was with VMPlayer, not Kali Linux.
Yes I understand, my point is that learning every VM option (and configuring it) is basic to creating a VM because you rule out issues caused by misconfiguration.
 
I have not read the whole thread - if you did not overwrite the data with a new installation of linux then the data is still there.

You are booting "files" on the disk, which make up your operating system. You also place files, like what you downloaded or created, on the same disk.
If you simply delete the operating system files, the OS wont boot anymore, but the files of yours are still there.

Create a USB live stick, for example just download ubuntu and flash it onto a USB stick, and boot that. You can mount the old disk from there and access the files.
 
Those VM images are made with and geared toward specific VM's, but the cost is also that you don't get to choose what software gets preinstalled.

Regular Kali ISO such as full DVD or net install will do fine as well and it's IMO better than VM images.


Yes I understand, my point is that learning every VM option (and configuring it) is basic to creating a VM because you rule out issues caused by misconfiguration.
I never had any pdoblems i stalling or resizing VM image provided by distro maintainer. I doubt that there exists an iso with pure OS no software added. There is always preinstalled software. If OP is using VM image then that is fine.
 
I never had any pdoblems i stalling or resizing VM image provided by distro maintainer. I doubt that there exists an iso with pure OS no software added. There is always preinstalled software. If OP is using VM image then that is fine.
Net installer ISO has no software, you install everything by choice during installation.
Both Kali and Debian have netinstall ISO's.

You can go as far minimum as having no desktop at all.
 
I have not read the whole thread - if you did not overwrite the data with a new installation of linux then the data is still there.

You are booting "files" on the disk, which make up your operating system. You also place files, like what you downloaded or created, on the same disk.
If you simply delete the operating system files, the OS wont boot anymore, but the files of yours are still there.

Create a USB live stick, for example just download ubuntu and flash it onto a USB stick, and boot that. You can mount the old disk from there and access the files.
It wasn't set up to do any of that. And I deleted all of that. I have finished the reinstallation process.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 
And there we have it, a nice installation of Kali Linux in a VM, all shiny and new. Now it runs KDE, which quite frankly looked much better in Debian 10 Buster than Debian 11 Bullseye. The newer icons are horrible.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 

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An important tip here. When installing a Debian based Linux distribution, make sure to edit /etc/apt/sources.list to specify https instead of http. You would think Kali Linux would have been more careful, being a security conscious distribution and all.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
Using https for downloads in debian would be an appropriate choice for privacy since the downloads
are encrypted.

For security, it's unnecessary since apt has it's own checking through gpg for each package which includes its own shasums. They can be accessed with the command: apt-cache show <package_name>. The command: debsums can be used to verify packages. But since apt has already done it, it's all unnecessary in the normal course of things.

One disadvantage using https for downloading through apt is the encryption overhead that https imposes, which may be negligible for small downloads, but more obvious in larger download situations. Another element is the bandwidth implication for mirrors for which http may be more economical processing-wise.
 
Matthew, it's a VM which is contained in a file and/or a folder.

Setup a clean environment, save everything, shut the VM down and then..

Copy + Paste.

Later: VM environment gets destroyed?

Delete the one you were using and make a copy of your clean copy.

I clone hard drive partitions every-so-often in addition to RAID 1. Redundancy and backups are important and while you may rarely rely on them, when - not if, something goes wrong then you'll have a much more solid fall-back point.

I have nothing else to contribute here so I'll just say good luck!
 
Net installer ISO has no software, you install everything by choice during installation.
Both Kali and Debian have netinstall ISO's.

You can go as far minimum as having no desktop at all.

This is penetration tool.. metapackages are selected during the installatio
Net installer ISO has no software, you install everything by choice during installation.
Both Kali and Debian have netinstall ISO's.

You can go as far minimum as having no desktop at all.
There is no difference between netinstaller and installer in terms of first package selection
and

"May wish to not to install any of the pre-defined software packages/bundles/collections (metapackages), giving you a finer degree of control of manually installing exactly what software you want. " Both netinstaller and installer (local) will give the same choice.

Netinstall works the same irrelevant of OS.
 
There is no difference between netinstaller and installer in terms of first package selection
True but nobody forces you to install the package, instead don't install desktop and let installation finish without desktop.
Then depending on desktop variant it might be possible to install minimal desktop.

In case of KDE the minimalistic package is called kde-plasma-desktop, so simply finish installation without desktop, boot into system and run sudo apt install kde-plasma-desktop.
This will install minimal required desktop without other default programs.

Same goes for "standard system utilities", you can opt out from installing them.

edit:
I see Kali does not offer minimalistic desktops according to your link, but Debian does.
 
Using https for downloads in debian would be an appropriate choice for privacy since the downloads
are encrypted.

For security, it's unnecessary since apt has it's own checking through gpg for each package which includes its own shasums. They can be accessed with the command: apt-cache show <package_name>. The command: debsums can be used to verify packages. But since apt has already done it, it's all unnecessary in the normal course of things.

One disadvantage using https for downloading through apt is the encryption overhead that https imposes, which may be negligible for small downloads, but more obvious in larger download situations. Another element is the bandwidth implication for mirrors for which http may be more economical processing-wise.
I haven't noticed any real overhead associated with https compared to http. I get maybe 27+ Mbps downstream at times.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 
My VM space had some trouble again. It turns out the file system has some bad sectors on the hard drive that are now playing hide and seek. I have found one, but the others remain elusive. There are at least four bad sectors on that file system. I have the physical sector numbers. badblocks does not work in Debian 10 or 11. It locks up after a while. As a result I'm using a huge number of 1 MiB files and dd to read each one 100 times, all 561164 of them. The last one is a bit smaller. I'm using iflag=direct to try to avoid reading them out of the system buffer to try to force the kernel to read the file from the disk each time. I can read each file 100 times in a bit less than a second. This makes me wonder if I'm just getting the rest from a buffer. I was getting maybe 75 files or so per second before when I was reading each one, one at a time. One of the VM virtual disk files had a bad sector. When I tried to create a tar file tar complained about this. Then the tar file itself landed on a bad sector, as did the gzip file made from the tar file. There was an image file from a flash drive that landed on a bad sector too, which was set aside in a different directory to isolate it. It seems I can search all day and not find the other bad sectors (critical medium error in the system journal), but when I try to use them to use a VM they show up and cause havoc. Shouldn't a sector either be bad or not? It should work or not work. It shouldn't play hide and seek like this. I had to delete the whole VM I had just made yesterday. After I finally find all of these bad sectors I'll be able to try again. Man that used up a lot of Internet data.

Signed,

Matthew Campbell
 

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