After a apt-get update/apt-get upgrade ended with errors, my system became unusable. I was able to determine that the /boot partition was missing several files (useful ones, like kernel.img...)

I copied the missing files from another pi's /boot partition, but I don't know if the versions are in sync with this one. The pi does boot, and seems to work correctly, although a couple of my startup customizations seems to have been lost.

Is there a list of packages that I should reinstall to sync the files in /boot?

The only files that were on /boot after it was corrupted were:

-rwxrwxrwx  0 tom    staff     152 Jan 19  2014 cmdline.txt
-rwxrwxrwx  0 tom    staff    1179 Aug 25  2013 config.txt  
-rwxrwxrwx  0 tom    staff     137 Feb  9  2013 issue.txt
-rwxrwxrwx  0 tom    staff 3572200 Oct 28 03:09 start_x.elf

(this list is from a tarball I made on my mac before I copied files from the other system, thus the unusual owner/group)

1 Answer 1


I would recommend to download a recent system image, extract the image onto the harddrive, and copy the content of the /boot partition to that of the RaspberryPi's SD Card. Additionally, you have to copy the kernel modules, i.e. the content of /usr/lib/modules/<kernel_release> from the extracted system image to the SD Card.

You may also want to keep /boot/config.txt, which contains the boot configuration.

  • cmdline.txt is also custom in my case -- this box actually boots from an NFS filesystem.
    – TomG
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 3:38
  • 1
    Will apt-get be in sync after doing this?
    – TomG
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 3:39

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