Strange boot message in Debian

I booted my Debian 11 last night and the boot failed with a whole series of message lines beginning with
The stars were red and the series of lines were arranged in a tree structure.
The last line was

[****]A start job is running for Update the operating system whilst offline (1h 12min 48s /no limit)

Yes I left it for over an hour, and nothing happened.
I then powered off, booted again and it booted normally.

Does anyone understand what it was trying to do?

Poltergeists, Neville?

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I’d call them better Poettering-geists :smiley:

I’d start investigating for info here:

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Very clever. I suspected systemd.
That manual page is not installed on my system.
If Debian ever tries to introduce updates while booting I will be saying goodbye to it. Had enough of that nonsense with windows. If it HAS to be offline let me choose the time or do it at shutdown.

Thank you,

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I never experienced that thing. I don’t have unattended upgrade enbaled/installed though…
Do you have it?

Not to my knowledge, but will check.
I always initiate my upgrades from a terminal, and let them run while I am sitting there working. It sometimes gives messages saying that some process that is running has been upgraded and that it needs to be stopped for the upgrade to take effect.
I turn computer off when not in use, so unattended upgrades can not happen.
I have had start job messages before in Debian, but always during shutdown and not related to upgrades.

I had to learn about unattended upgrades.
The info is here

I checked if I had the necessary packages

nevj@trinity:~$ dpkg -l | grep unattended
ii  unattended-upgrades                   2.8                              all          automatic installation of security upgrades
nevj@trinity:~$ dpkg -l | grep listchanges
ii  apt-listchanges                       3.24                             all          package change history notification tool

So , Yes I have the packages installed

Now lets look at /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades

Unattended-Upgrade::Origins-Pattern {
        // Codename based matching:
        // This will follow the migration of a release through different
        // archives (e.g. from testing to stable and later oldstable).
        // Software will be the latest available for the named release,
        // but the Debian release itself will not be automatically upgraded.
//      "origin=Debian,codename=${distro_codename}-updates";
//      "origin=Debian,codename=${distro_codename}-proposed-updates";

        // Archive or Suite based matching:
        // Note that this will silently match a different release after
        // migration to the specified archive (e.g. testing becomes the
        // new stable).
//      "o=Debian,a=stable";
//      "o=Debian,a=stable-updates";
//      "o=Debian,a=proposed-updates";
//      "o=Debian Backports,a=${distro_codename}-backports,l=Debian Backports";

There is supposed to be a line

Unattended-Upgrade::Mail "root";

It is not there
Now look at /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades
It is not present.

Therefore I think I do not have unattended upgrades configured.

I cant think of anything I have changed… other than a routine update/upgrade.
The phenomenon has not reappeared.

Regards and thanks