April 2, 2017

What do you do if your Linux machine hibernates and it isn’t able to wake up? I’m willing to bet that, at first, you panic and then you turn to Google and that’s probably why you are here.


Suspend and hibernate are great when they work. Historically this has been a sore spot for Linux. I recently found myself in a position where my laptop wasn’t able to wake from hibernate. This happened because I was running on batteries and stepped away from the machine. The system automatically went into hibernate mode. Unfortunately it wasn’t able to wake from that mode.


Like anyone else I immediately turned to Google. What I found wasn’t terribly helpful. I learned that no_console_suspend would prevent the console from blanking. That confirmed my suspicion that the machine was having trouble resuming from hibernate. Unfortunately I still couldn’t get a console even in single user mode and even passing init=/bin/sh to the kernel.


My machine wasn’t too customized so I was starting to think about reinstalling but I didn’t want to give up. I found another kernel parameter, resume= which let’s you specify where the software suspend image comes from. Normally this is the sawp partition. There’s a related kernel parameter, hibernate, which would also have worked. My solution was to pass resume=/dev/null to the kernel. This forced it to ignore the hibernate image. If I had known about the hibernate=noresume option I would have used this as it is more appropriate. The documentation for this option states: “Don’t check if there’s a hiberation image present during boot”.


If you find yourself in the situation where you can’t come out of hibernate in Linux pass hibernate=noresume. If that doesn’t work for you pass resume=/dev/null which will make waking from hibernation fail and launch your system normally.

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