A message displayed by the Linux kernel upon detecting an internal system error from which it cannot recover. Kernel panics are often software errors, but many times can an indicator of hardware issues.
Common types of kernel panics

The two most common types of kernel panics are:

Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on...

This message can be caused by a number of issues:

  • The wrong root file system was specified in the GRUB configuration (look at the root= argument)
  • A bad hard disk or corrupt partition table
  • The kernel module for your storage device is not loaded or failed to load

Another common error is from a Machine Check Exception, these are almost always due to bad or failing hardware, check the separate knowledge base article on MCE events.

Other kernel panics

If the panic you see is not the same as those listed above, copy down as much of the text as possible and submit a support ticket so that we can help you further.