Grubby Fatal Error: Unable to Find a Suitable Template

Grubby Fatal Error on DigitalOcean Linux VPS

The fatal error message “Grubby Fatal Error: Unable to Find a Suitable Template” will pop up when we do system updates with a

yum update

command on the following DigitalOcean Linux virtual private server images:

  • CentOS 5.x, 32-bit and 64-bit
  • CentOS 6.x, 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Fedora 17.x, 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Fedora 18.x, 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Fedora 19.x, 32-bit and 64-bit

For those of you who have never heard of DigitalOcean, it is a Linux VPS cloud hosting provider established in about 3 years ago and headquartered in New York City. It has grown rapidly since its inception and is now one of the largest cloud hosting providers in the world. You can read our DigitalOcean Review here. The error message described in this article applies to DigitalOcean’s servers. The same errors could also happen to the Linux servers from other hosting providers.

The images below are the captured screens that display the fatal error message.

On CentOS 5.x and 6.x (either 32-bit or 64-bit):

Grubby Fatal Error - CentOS

On Fedora 17.x, 18.x and 19.x (either 32-bit or 64-bit):

Grubby Fatal Error - Fedora

How to Eliminate this Grubby Fatal Error

Before doing your very first update on your CentOS or Fedora image, remove file “/boot/grub/grub.conf” with the following “rm” command,

rm /boot/grub/grub.conf

and optionally remove the symbolic link “/etc/grub.conf” with this line,

rm /etc/grub.conf

and then update your server as what you would normally do.

yum update

If you follow the steps above, you should be able to update the kernel without seeing the “Grubby Fatal Error” message.

Some VPS cloud hosting providers such as DigitalOcean are not using GRUB. However the CentOS and Fedora templates they provide to their users still include the GRUB menu interface configuration file. That is the root cause of the fatal error. By removing the configuration file grub.conf, the Linux kernel will be successfully updated without the error message “Grubby Fatal Error: Unable to Find a Suitable Template”.

We hope this article will help those who have run into this issue when doing an update on CentOS or Fedora servers. On the other hand, hosting providers should look into this issue and probably update their Linux images when GRUB is not in use. When a user spins up a fresh VPS server and runs an update on it right afterwards, the Linux kernel should be updated without any Grubby fatal error messages displayed on the screen.

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DigitalOcean Review
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Last Updated: May 20, 2016