After an upgrade, most of the programs reasonably stopped running or refuse to run with the message "/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6: version `GLIBC_2.17' not found", ls, apt-get, insmod, networking modules.....
so now I lost networking , it does not recognize usb sticks.
Am I right to assume that the only solution is to boot from USB and then overwrite the current version with a more recent one ?

EDIT : I use Ubuntu 14.04, the problem happened after apt-get upgrade, I don't know precisely from what version to what version the glibc was upgraded, probably from something to 2.17
I don't need a step by step guide, just directions.

All programs depending on libc do not work anymore.


USB sticks are not recognized, the usb modules don't work, they must depend on libc, no change in syslog from the system when a USB stick is inserted.

  • Please edit your above post to include OS information. ( Upgraded [OS name] from [version] ... to [new version] ) . – Knud Larsen Jun 28 '16 at 15:25
  • A simple upgrade cannot have caused this mess. I run the same OS, Kubuntu 14.04, and have experienced nothing like this. Also, the current version of glibc provided by libc6 is 2.19-1. Agreed you do not have glibc_2.17-1, but do you have any version of libc.so.6 at all? What is the output of apt-cache show libc6? Laslty: if USB sticks are not recognized, you may use a live version of Ubuntu to boot, then install libc6 from that onto your hard disk via a chroot. – MariusMatutiae Jun 28 '16 at 16:53
  • I found out I have the 2.15 version, apt-cache does not work. that's what I was asking, is overwriting a solution or am I gonna run into more problems? – Baroudi Safwen Jun 28 '16 at 17:09
  • Which alternative do you think you have, right now? – MariusMatutiae Jun 28 '16 at 17:28
  • After overwriting, when I try to chroot It fails and I get "inconsistency detected by ld.so" – Baroudi Safwen Jun 28 '16 at 18:23

Where I messed up:

I was trying to install some library that depended on glibc 2.15, and so I installed glibc 2.15 with dpkg and thus overwriting my system's version which it was 2.19. The vast majority of linux programs depend on glibc and since they were built with 2.19, they got angry with me and stopped working, commands like ls, apt-get, aptitude, ping, ifconfig and insmod...

How I fixed it:

  1. I boot from a USB stick, downloaded all the packages related to glic 2.19, there is a red point for the packages on which depend glibc.
  2. mounted the partition:

    mount /dev/sdax /mnt

  3. extracted the contents of these packages in root:

    dpkg -x foo_bar.deb /mnt

  4. updated the ld cache:

    ldconfig -r /mnt

  5. reboot

  • So basically, you did what I told you to manually via USB... Which you said wasn't working. – acejavelin Jun 29 '16 at 13:06
  • @acejavelin thank you for taking the time to think about solving my problem. – Baroudi Safwen Jun 29 '16 at 15:47
  • 2
    Wow! This actually worked. If you're really brazen, you can do this live int eh OS you're running. I was one step away from blowing away my system and decided to give it a try. YOLO! After that I was able to continue with apt install -f and recover the rest of the way. – Paul May 19 '17 at 22:58

You don't have a high enough version of glibc, so you need to update it...

In a terminal window, enter:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libc6

Should take care of it.

  • thanks for replying, but apt-get does not run and networking programs like ifconfig, ping..... – Baroudi Safwen Jun 28 '16 at 16:07
  • @BaroudiSafwene Perhaps you can download it from here: packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/libc6 and transfer it over with a flash drive and install it manually? – acejavelin Jun 28 '16 at 16:19
  • Unfortunately USB sticks are not detected. – Baroudi Safwen Jun 28 '16 at 16:30
  • @BaroudiSafwene You can try a "dirty" install, but my experience with that is hit and miss... If possible, I would backup what you can and do a fresh, clean installation. – acejavelin Jun 28 '16 at 16:32
  • this doesn't help – stiv Aug 15 '19 at 10:53
  1. copy (ls cp tar touch) from the bin of the server which is running on 12.04 to the bin of server 14.04 having the issue by mounting a cd or a drive
  2. use

    /path for 12.04 cp file/cp ls /bin/ls
    /path for 12.04 cp file/cp tar /bin/tar
    /path for 12.04 cp file/cp touch /bin/touch
  3. dpkg -i libc6_2.19-0ubuntu6_amd64.deb
  4. restart

my issue solved

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