I have two computers affected by this and one that is not, each running Precise. I’ve tracked down the cause, but I’m not sure which of the components involved (friendly-recovery, resolvconf, postfix and upstart) is the culprit, so I’ll file this for friendly-recovery which is at least severly affected. Feel free to correct the target with better insight.
Steps to reproduce:
0. Have the ’postfix’ and ’resolvconf’ packages installed.
1. Boot into recovery mode.
The boot proceeds in nonsplash (text) mode, but in the end the recovery menu fails to show up. Instead the graphical greeter is brought up.
What I expect to happen:
For the recovery menu to show up so I can use it.
For debugging this, I first enabled logging for friendly-recovery.conf. That log implicated resolvconf, so I enabled logging for resolvconf, and that in turn revealed this:
cp: cannot create regular file `/var/spool/postfix/etc/resolv.conf': Read-only file system
So I checked, and indeed postfix wasn’t there on my laptop which wasn’t affected. It seems that due to the read-only file system, the resolvconf upstart job fails, which in turn leads to the resolvconf-dependent friendly-recovery job to also fail.
Uninstall postfix if you can afford to.