Oh no! lts2019-5.4.65-65 and .66-66 will not boot

My system failed to boot this morning. It was working last night.

I used ‘space’ to get the boot menu - there are two kernel options, Clear-linux-lts2019-5.4.65-65.conf and .66-66.conf; neither work.

Adding either systemd.unit=rescue.target or systemd.unit=emergency.target (to either of the kernel boot configs, 65-65 or 66-66) results in the message:

Cannot open access to console, the root account is locked.
See sulog(8) man page for more details.

Press Enter to continue

doing so displays the Oh no! screen.

Using systemd.unit=getty.target gets me a login prompt but I cannot login. My normal user account is not permitted ("System is booting up. Unprivileged users are not permitted to log in yet. ... see pam_nologin(8)") and of course I don’t have a root password (root account is locked).

If I boot from some rescue disk, what must I do to unlock the root login, please?

Otherwise, re-installation now seems to be my best option (but will the kernel I download work?).

Any ideas on where I go from here, please?

Many thanks,
Jerry

Intel i5 on Asus Z370-P with Samsung M2 SSD root and two WD 1TB SATA disks. AMD Radeon GPU (nothing special, twin DVI, 5? years old). No encrypted filesystems.

Update:
I mounted the broken system root using a rescue disk/live CD and ran

passwd -R /path/to/mounted/root -d root
passwd -R /path/to/mounted/root -u root
passwd -R /path/to/mounted/root root

to change the root password. I suspect the -d was unnecessary. This unlocked the root login and allows rescue.target to get to a shell.

Experimentation shows that I can get to multi-user.target and login, both as root and as myself but attempts to systemctl isolate graphical.target lead directly to the Oh no! screen.

Next step - try to get some debug output from systemd as it moves from multi-user.target to graphical.target.

Any advice?

Thanks,
Jerry

check threads about last update 33760, you are not alone there is a solutions already

https://community.clearlinux.org/t/33740-killing-desktop/5397/18

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Clear Linux 33760 update fixes crash at boot white screen for my PC. Thanks for the quick fix.

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