Disable “Waiting for network configuration” messages on Ubuntu boot

I was just creating a custom live CD for Ubuntu 12.04 and was having a problem with the boot process hanging for several minutes while waiting for the network to be configured. I was trying to see if I could fix it but I have no idea why it is happening for now. I found a bug logged on LaunchPad here https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dbus/+bug/811441/comments/24 that describes a workaround for oneric (11.10) but this fix/workaround is there by default in precise so obviously it didn’t fix my problem.

I didn’t really need networking setup at all and just wanted to skip waiting for the network to be configured. In order to do this you just need to edit the file /etc/init/failsafe.conf. In that file is where it sleeps for several minutes waiting for the network to come up. All I did was:

sudo vim /etc/init/failsafe.conf

I changed the first sleep command to

sleep 5

and then commented out the following lines:

$PLYMOUTH message --text="Waiting for network configuration..." || :
sleep 40
$PLYMOUTH message --text="Waiting up to 60 more seconds for network configuration..." || :
sleep 59

Just place a ‘#’ character at the beginning of each of those lines. Now it will just wait 5 seconds and then continue on.

To my surprise, the network was actually working just fine even though the script thinks it is not.

Just a note, do NOT remove the failsafe.conf file, otherwise it will hang the boot process indefinitely waiting for the network to be “configured.”


  1. thx thx thx!! :)

  2. This does work to make it faster, but have you had any luck actually finding the root cause of the problem?

  3. Thanks for this information. It really works
    But actually why does boot waits?

    For me, this wait situation only happens when I change interface configuration file. (it’s network configuration)

    So it might be related, thought my network still works as I want.

    I don’t understand the need for this boot delay and for this messages

  4. yeah I don’t know…I wish I could find the root cause but this is as close as I could get

  5. I only had the local interface in /etc/network/interfaces as described in the post in your link and it still gave me the error and made me wait

  6. check the file /etc/network/interfaces, the form correct is

    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback

  7. @nicoxxl, @Alvaro, the suggestion to delete all but local loopback info from interfaces does not work in many situations. For instance, I get this extra wait when starting a KVM guest.. The network settings are properly configured with static IP (dhcp can’t be used as the guest is a server). But apparently network access is not available to the KVM guest at that stage of boot, hence the error. Commenting out the delays in failsafe.conf worked for me perfectly (the network works as expected upon completion of the boot sequence).

  8. Here you can find some rationale on introducing failsafe.conf
    And a set of nice looking workarounds

  9. […] e con risolto un bug relattivo alla connessione internet all’avvio  (più informazioni qui). Non è necessario installare questo update se avete il sistema installato su disco fisso, […]

  10. Thanks, this helped me!

  11. Thank you

  12. Thank you for this perfect fix!!!!

  13. Thank you for the workaround. This issue starting happening to me when I disabled networkmanager and instead installed wicd. Networkmanager would absolutely not connect to my WPA protected wifi, while wicd has no problem.

    So, I think the problem is related to networkmanager not finding a connection during the boot process. I love the failsafe workaround.

  14. Wonderful fix! After having issues with SystemD and replacing it with Upstart on a laptop, this was the only issue I had left to fix. Absolutely brilliant fix 😀

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  16. […] Thanks for explaining. I reduced sleep time at the three locations in /etc/init/failsafe as described at tech.pedersen-live.com/2012/05/…. […]

  17. Valentin Hilbig January 14, 2016 at 7:13 am

    “Our crops needs water! So let’s blow up that damned dam!” Hey .. Hello .. wait .. look there .. there is .. a valve! You forgot opening the valve! Hello? Anybody? WTF?!? (In the distance you hear a loud *BOOOM*)

    The problem is not Plymouth nor Failsafe, the problem is misconfigured interfaces! If you tell Ubuntu “There must be network on boot” and then Ubuntu waits for the network to come up, this is not the fault of Failsafe to give the network some more time!

    To avoid the waiting, just configure the network interfaces correctly and be happy!

    Following command does this for you for all interfaces (if properly configured by the usual standard):

    sudo sed -i.old-`date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S` ‘/^auto lo$/!s/^auto /allow-hotplug /’ /etc/network/interfaces

    This updates all “auto” interfaces (which therefor *must* be up at boot) as optional (aka. “allow-hotplug”) and there is no more failsafe-waiting on those interfaces not being up.

    Problem solved. Phew, that was way more easy, right? And please, while I understand that blowing up a dam is real fun, perhaps in future first look if there, perhaps, is some proper valve, you only need to turn on or off. Thanks.

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