Recovery modes

The following recovery functions are currently available:

See Using recovery modes for details on how these modes are accessed.

Install mode

With install mode, all existing user and system data on the device will be removed and the device will be initialised from the system version image dated and listed in the reinstall text.

Unlike with a factory reset (see below), install mode will erase the contents of the ubuntu-save partition, reverting the device to its manufactured state, potentially removing configuration data essential to its functionality.

After the re-initialisation process has completed, you will need to step through the installation process of network configuration and account credentials again.

See Installation steps for further details on how the installation will proceed.

TPM provision failures:

Re-installation can fail if a device’s TPM is assigned to a previous installation. To solve this issue, reset or clear the TPM assignment from the device’s BIOS before selecting reinstall as a recovery mode.

Run mode

When booting in run mode, the device will attempt to boot normally, with no further option to recover or reinstall the system unless the recovery process is reinstantiated.

Recover mode

In recovery mode, the device operates as it would from a pristine initial installation, including its snaps, via a temporary file system.

Most importantly, however, the running system data is untouched. This allows you to log in to the system using prior credentials to recover your data, either via SSH or locally after setting up a password for the user.

Rebooting from recovery mode will return the system to run mode.

Factory reset

The factory reset option will erase all system data and reset the device to its original fresh from the factory state. This means that not everything is removed.

In particular, the contents of the ubuntu-save partition remains intact. This partition typically contains configuration data essential for the original functionality of the device, such as network configuration details. To fully initialise such a device, and remove all data, use install mode.

This is a dangerous option and should only be performed when you are certain the data on a device data is either backed-up or unwanted.

Additionally, the install-device hook may optionally be executed with a factory-reset.

1 Like

“After has bee initiated …” Not sure what this should say.

Thanks for flagging this. I’ve updated the text.

This page will also need a reference to “factory-reset” recovery mode.

Thanks for the reminder! We’re still working on parts of the factory reset feature, but I’ll make sure we update this page when the feature lands and we have its wider documentation in place.

The list of recovery functions lists “Install mode/factory mode” as if those are alternative names for the same thing, but I vaguely recall that there is a slight difference. Can you check into that and clarify if they mean exactly the same thing or not?

I would reorder the explanations on this page thusly:

  1. install
  2. run
  3. recover
  4. factory reset
    the reason being that install mode defines much of what the subsequent modes need explained. So an initial and thorough explanation of install mode means that subsequent mode explanations would be much shorter and more focused.

That’s a great insight - thanks. I’ve re-ordered the page. Expanding on these would really help too.