All the Debian-based distributions, including the Linux Mint, come with the “Recovery Mode”. The “Recovery Mode” allows the users to find and fix the issues preventing the system from booting. It also allows the users to reset the forgotten user password.

The “Recovery Menu” contains the ready-to-run commands to fix the system issues such as fixing the file system or packages. To fix the file system or packages, the system must be mounted with the system state set to “read/write”. Initially, the file system state is set to read-only, but using the “root” option from the “Recovery Menu” users can change it.

This guide explores the process of getting Linux Mint into recovery mode and explains the process of fixing the system.


Let’s begin!

How to Access the Recovery Mode in Linux Mint?

If anything goes wrong or the system is not working as expected, users can use the “GNU GRUB” menu to boot into the “Recovery Mode”. The “GRUB” primarily provides the users with a set of installed kernels to boot from.

First, press and keep a hold of the “Shift” key until the system’s boot logo appears. Doing this opens the “GNU GRUB” menu and from here, select the “Advanced options … Cinnamon”. It can differ according to the Linux Mint version you are using on your system:

Next, select the “Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon… (recovery mode)”. This option can be different according to the kernel version installed on your system:

It opens the Recovery Menu where users can fix the issues preventing the Linux Mint from booting and fixing other issues as well:

Note: To access the “GNU GRUB” in UEFI mode, press the “Escape” key multiple times.

How to Use the Recovery Mode in Linux Mint to Fix the Boot Issues?

After accessing the “Recovery Mode”, let’s understand its options and how users can use them to recover their system.

Make the File System Writable

In the “Recovery Mode”, the file system is mounted as “read-only”. So before making any changes to the system using the “Linux Mint Recovery Menu”, make the file system writable. To make the system writable, navigate to the “Drop to root shell prompt” option. It opens a terminal (as root) below the recovery menu and from here, press the “Enter” key to enter maintenance:

Now, use the “mount” command to remount the filesystem in read/write mode. Here, the “-o” stands for options. The “/” represents the file system in the “Home” directory:

mount -o remount,rw /

To exit the terminal, run the “exit” command and return to the “Recovery Menu

It changes the “Recovery Menu (filesystem state: read)” to “Recovery Menu (filesystem state: read/write)”:

After entering the “Recovery Mode”, users can use the following options to execute commands to fix the system:


The “resume” option boots the system normally. Use the “resume” option after fixing the issues in the recovery menu.


The “clean” option removes the unnecessary packages and unused dependencies (uses the apt-get autoremove command). Use the “clean” option to free up the space on the system because if the system is full, users cannot log in. After the cleaning wizard completes the process, use the “Enter” key to return:


The “dpkg” or “Debian Package” is a command-line tool to manage the packages on the Debian-based distributions. It is a part of Linux Mint’s recovery mode and aids in repairing broken packages. Before using it, select the “root Drop to root shell prompt” option and run the “NetworkManager” to enable the Network Services. Enabling the network services allows the users to install the required or missing packages from the internet:


Users can also use the “network Enable networking” option to enable the networking services in the recovery mode in x Linux Mint.

After enabling the internet services, run the “exit” command and select the “dpkg Repair broken packages” option:

It automatically fixes the broken/corrupt packages on the system:


The “fsck” or “File System Consistency Check” is a command-line utility that finds and fixes the file system inconsistencies. To use it, the file system must be in the “read-only” mode in the recovery menu. To make the file system read-only, reboot the system otherwise, the following error message may appear:

After rebooting the system and entering the “Recovery Mode”, select the “fsck” option to check all file systems for errors:

While doing it, users may face the error that states “e3fsck: Cannot continue, aborting”. This error comes up because the file system is mounted and is in use:

To fix it, press the “Enter” key to exit to the recovery menu and select “root Drop to root shell prompt”:

Now run the “nano” editor to open the “/etc/fstab” file where users can manage (mount and unmount) the file systems. After opening the file, comment on the highlighted lines using the “#”. To save the changes, press the “CTRL + S” and then “CTRL + X” to close the file:

Reboot the system to apply the changes and upon retrying, it will work as expected and complete the process:

Note: After unmounting the file system, users cannot log in or use the system to the full extent. Uncomment the specified lines (by removing the #) and after rebooting, the system will boot into its normal state:


The “grub” or “Grand Unified Bootloader” runs as the first application program when the system boots and loads the Linux kernel. The “Recovery Mode” of Linux Mint includes the “grub Update grub bootloader”. It refreshes the GRUB configuration to show all the installed kernels on the system. To use it, select the “grub Update grub bootloader” option and let it do the work:

Use the “Enter” key to close the “grub” updating wizard:


The “root Drop to root shell prompt” opens a new shell under the recovery menu. This shell allows the users to run commands and access the system:


The “system-summary” refers to the general information about the system. It displays detailed information about the system’s disk, memory usage, network information, and much more.

That’s all for getting Linux Mint into recovery mode.

Final Words

To enter the recovery mode in Linux Mint, press and hold the “Shift” key when the system’s boot screen appears. If it does not bring the recovery mode, repeatedly press the “Escape” key (works for the UEFI). After the “GNU GRUB” menu opens, select the “Advanced options … Cinnamon” and then the “Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon… (recovery mode)”.

The recovery mode contains different options that enable the users to fix issues preventing the system from booting. This guide has discussed the complete process of getting into and using the recovery mode in Linux Mint.