back to article Helsinki Syndrome: Ubuntu utterly fails to boot on metro

Bork knows no borders, be they geographical or technological, as demonstrated by this Ubuntu installation getting funky on the Helsinki metro. Of course, we have only the word of the GNU GRUB bootloader for that, judging by the image sent in by an eagle-eyed Register reader. Not that one needs to be that eagle-eyed when a …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Given the general spikiness of train power, and resulting intermittent crashings, the fix to that GRUBby one might just be to configure the "I'll boot option "0" if you don't pick another within 30 seconds" parameter, which is usually the GRUB default.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Totally. This is a reboot, not a bork.

      Perhaps the bork came first, and they applied the 'ol turn it off and back on again?

      Or perhaps the were just installing security patches like good netizens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A humank, then?

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      GRUB stops there if you appear to have been in a boot loop.

  2. Fortycoats
    Happy

    Not a poor second to Belgium

    when going a-bork!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a poor second to Belgium

      But Bork! is Swedish!!!!

      Bork! Bork! Bork!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY_Yf4zz-yo

      1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

        Re: Not a poor second to Belgium

        And Swedish is an official language in Finland.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully..

    .. that puts a nail in the wailing that "if it had only been Linux it would have worked".

    Not that I agree with it in general, but to hear that every. single. time. (and let's face it, Windows goes wrong a lot) is tiring to the point that no amount of caffeine can prevent the resulting yawn.

    Also note that Ubuntu is becoming more and more Windows compatible since it teamed up with MS.

    I'll go and hide now :).

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Hopefully..

      "I'll go and hide now"

      We'll still find you. Come on lads, get the pitchforks!

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Hopefully..

        Hang on, my flaming torches need to reboot!

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Hopefully..

          Hang on, my flaming torches need to reboot!

          Well press the flaming key then :)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Hopefully..

            Press Any flaming key, Shirley?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hopefully..

              Don't call me Shirley.

      2. HildyJ Silver badge

        Re: Hopefully..

        Unfortunately the "unofficial python API for pitchfork.com" is stale and hasn't been updated in years.

    2. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Hopefully..

      I can't say for sure it would have worked, but the default for that (not actually linux) grub screen is usually to boot the default (normally first) option after a certain time (default 5 seconds). So to get here that has either been disabled or a key has been pressed to interrupt it. It's the equivalent of starting windows boot manager and then leaving it there.

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Hopefully..

        If a reboot is a bork. My windows pc borks every time I install software.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Hopefully..

          My windows pc borks every time I install software.

          Ah, my work laptop suffers from that, too. Also when Microsoft flings out a new bunch of patches, the patches for those patches, or just for no readily apparent reason. It can also signal a desire for borking by just having some function, like copy/paste, cease to perform.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hopefully..

      ".. that puts a nail in the wailing that "if it had only been Linux it would have worked"."

      Not really. When Grub halts like that, it means that the OS hasn't yet been loaded. In other words, Linux had nothing to do with it.

    4. CRConrad

      Re: Hopefully..

      Also note that Ubuntu is becoming more and more Windows compatible since it teamed up with MS.
      You mean step one on the road to Windows compatibility is borkability? Yeah, sure, sounds plausible.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Hopefully..

        As I've been saying for at least a decade, Ubuntu has many of the same problems that Redmond and Cupertino have, and for the same exact reason. That reason? Trying to be all things to all people ... a task that not even one of the many "Gods" invented by humans have managed to do, not even in myth and fable.

  4. LDS Silver badge
    Linux

    Nemo propheta in patria

    What best place for Linux to fail but Finland?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Nemo propheta in patria

      Well, even Monty Python sang about it.

      I occasionally send that to a friend in Helsinki - I'm not sure he's representative of all Fins, but his sense of humour is *very* well developed so good natured windups are simply part and parcel of our interactions :).

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Nemo propheta in patria

      Linux didn't fail. Grub failed.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Nemo propheta in patria

        Perhaps my two downvoters could entertain us all with an explanation of why they downvoted a simple fact?

        sutor, ne ultra crepidam

        1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: Nemo propheta in patria

          I doubt they could.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Nemo propheta in patria

            "I doubt they could."

            Thus my colophon.

            What's even funnier (or sadder, depending on perspective) is the folks who have a knee-jerk reaction to downvote people commenting on downvotes. Do you suppose they think they are actually accomplishing anything useful?

            inveniet quod quisque velit; non omnibus unum est, quod placet; hic spinas colligit, ille rosas

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Teething problems

    The big difference between Linux teething problems and Borkzilla teething problems is that, when the Ubuntu team will have ironed them out, they won't reappear.

    Windows teething problems apparently never go away because Borkzilla is always changing the teeth.

    1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

      Re: Teething problems

      Yes, and of course Linux doesn't change their teeth nearly as often, cough kde4 cough unity cough systemd cough pulse cough snap cough wayland cough io_uring cough namespaces.

      Sorry. Bit of a cold.

      1. two00lbwaster

        Re: Teething problems

        With that persistent continuous cough I'd be more inclined to ask: Covid?

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Teething problems

          Covid... systemd... is there a difference?

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: Teething problems

            Covid... systemd... is there a difference?

            One can be fixed by switching to Devuan or one of the BSDs.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Teething problems

            Of course there is. One is a virus, the other is a cancer.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Teething problems

      > Windows teething problems apparently never go away because Borkzilla is always changing the teeth.

      Windows teething problems have been around for so long they've now got dentures.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Good news?

    It's only an advertising billboard ("JCDecaux"). The Finns should be happy!

    1. Rob G

      Re: Good news?

      Actually, they show transport service updates as well as news and weather. And the odd ad. The Linux build is actually managed by the transport company rather than JCDecaux.

  7. MacroRodent Silver badge

    M100

    The Helsinki Metro isn't that old. The eldest M100 model train is from 1977, the latest from 1984 (https://www.hel.fi/hkl/en/by-metro/fleet/m100/). It opened for passengers only in August 1982, with a rump of a line (did not even to to the center of the city yet). Test trains had been rolling for years before that.

    1. CRConrad

      Re: M100

      The old ones are still better than the newer ones. Mainly because of the internal layout; no sitting back-to-wall and feet-out-among-walkers in the old ones. And no sitting staring directly into a wall two feet in front of you!

      1. arachnoid2

        Do they do that these days?

        I thought all train folk spent the trip looking into their lap at the phone ignoring all others, these days.

  8. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Simple answer is to test stuff... But that is far too simple these days

    1. jake Silver badge

      Given that the later picture shows it working properly, perhaps the first pic was a test.

  9. Finnish Anonymous Coward

    Haven't seen those lately. Although a year working remotely and not even having the courage to step into that metro might have something to to with it. A few years ago those kind of sights where quite common on every metro station. but that's another case. They were actually testing something related to the west extension of our practically single metro line. Not everything went smoothly, but it was only a few weeks. Since then, the only bork I've seen was at my nearest metro station, but everything was so messed up that it was totally impossible to even guess the operating system responsible for it from that garble on the screen.

  10. Jorvik

    Perkele, vittu, saatana!

    1. David Beck

      Clearly mod has limited language skills.

  11. Anonymous Tribble

    "Let those who never pondered a trip to the Isle of Wight for a last hurrah aboard its dodgy old 1938 ex-London Underground rolling stock raise their hand now. Just us then?"

    I have pondered such a trip. But for a "first hurrah", not a last one. Last time I went to the Isle of Wight was before the 1938 stock was introduced. It was 1923 stock in those days.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are all the real engineers?

    Funny, fixing things is my day job and most of the time it's usually hardware that's the culprit, following by the application software a distant second, rarely the O.S. it would be interesting to hear from a 'real' engineer rather than a board changer as to the actual stock faults on these signs.

  13. Christoph

    When they work those screens are brilliant

    Those screens usually show a large clear scrolling image of the line and stations so you can tell at a glance exactly where you are.. Far better than UK trains. But of course in the UK they would be vandalised on their first journey.

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