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#1 2016-07-10 14:37:47

Agarax
Member
Registered: 2016-07-06
Posts: 6

Problems installing on System76 Laptop

So I bought a new Linux laptop for travel/work, but I'm not a huge fan of Ubuntu so I tried to install BunsenLabs.

Lemur
https://system76.com/laptops/lemur
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (64-bit)	
14.1″ Matte 1080p IPS LED Backlit Display	
Intel® HD Graphics 520	
3.1 GHz i7-6500U (2.5 up to 3.1 GHz – 4 MB Cache – 2 Cores – 4 Threads)
16 GB Dual-channel DDR3 at 1600 MHz (2× 8 GB)
512 GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD – Seq. Read: 2150 MB/s, Write: 1500 MB/s	
WiFi up to 867 Mbps + Bluetooth

However, during install UEFI didn't work, so I switched to CSM/legacy support and the installer works just fine until it hits installing grub.  At this point it red texts at installing the boot loader.

I have tried the following:

  • Debian stable installer with non-free firmware -- fails in the same way.

  • Debian testing installer -- works just fine, but BL has trouble net-installing with both that and sid.  Related thread.  I could probably get that to work with enough hacks, but looking at other threads BunSid tends to have problems.

  • Kali 2016.1 (I work in netsec) -- Installs just fine, but BL netinstall also has problems here.  That and I don't like running Kali as a daily driver

  • Fedora/Ubuntu both install just fine, but I really want to use BL.

Anyone have any ideas?  My ideal solution would be if there is some way to use the testing installer to put down Jessie.

Last edited by Agarax (2016-07-10 14:38:55)

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#2 2016-07-10 17:09:20

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 8,309
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Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

BL is built using Debian's live-build, which currently doesn't support UEFI booting.

red texts

Huh? Is there a message? And where are you trying to install grub (what's your partition scheme)?

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#3 2016-07-10 17:29:23

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
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Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest that your drive has a GUID partition table rather than a traditional MBR-style table and so it lacks the space needed for the (non-UEFI) GRUB bootloader.

You can check this by loading the BunsenLabs live ISO image and running this command:

sudo parted -l

If I'm right, the "Partition Table" should be listed as "gpt".

GPT disks need a BIOS boot partition to house the (non-UEFI) GRUB bootloader.

You can create one on your disk by installing the gdisk package and using:

sudo sgdisk --new=$partnum:34:2047 --typecode=$partnum:ef02 /dev/sdX

Replace "$partnum" with the number of the new partition -- this will be one greater than the current number of partitions on the drive (for example, if the drive currently has 3 partitions then replace "$partnum" with "4", without the quotation marks).

Replace the "X" in /dev/sdX with the drive letter of your main system drive, probably /dev/sda but check by running `lsblk`

You could also create it with gparted: make sure that the new partition is marked with the "bios_grub" flag, like this:
2016_07_10_182538_767x21_scrot.png
It only needs to be ~1MiB in size and can fit in the "spare" sectors between 34 & 2047 that are left empty in a correctly aligned drive.

*Do not* create a filesystem on the new partition.

Once your GPT drive has a BIOS boot partition, GRUB should install in non-UEFI mode.

You could even simply chroot into your installed system and re-install and configure GRUB from there with no need to run the installer again.

EDIT: Also, I see you have Skylake hardware -- you might want to follow this guide as well:
https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=1185

However, the support for your hardware will probably still be sub-optimal -- I would recommend Arch for that machine.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2016-07-10 17:35:29)


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#4 2016-07-10 20:44:01

Agarax
Member
Registered: 2016-07-06
Posts: 6

Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

hhh wrote:

Huh? Is there a message? And where are you trying to install grub (what's your partition scheme)?

Sorry, should have been more specific ... here is the error:

Red Screen Error

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

Replace "$partnum" with the number of the new partition -- this will be one greater than the current number of partitions on the drive (for example, if the drive currently has 3 partitions then replace "$partnum" with "4", without the quotation marks).

I'm using the default encrypted layout (it is a travel laptop after all) which has boot on the first partition, and then everything else on a logical partition (1 boot 4 extended 5 logical with the LVM).

Where should I shove this partition at?  Still use 3 since it is technically the 3rd partition? or 6 to use the extended logical partitions?  Below is my output (note: I had changed it from GPT to DOS using gparted already after the first failure.  Didn't seem to change anything.)

Gparted Output
Partition Creation Screen

EDIT: Also, I see you have Skylake hardware -- you might want to follow this guide as well

Everything seems to be working OK with the Live boot (except for this one thing), so I'm not as worried about that.  If I can get everything installed I don't mind using backports.

Do you think this might be preventing the system from installing properly?

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#5 2016-07-10 20:53:30

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
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Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

I think jessie's GRUB version has a problem with NVMe drives but I was hoping it had been fixed.
hmm

Will the Debian jessie netinstall ISO image install to your drive?
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff … 64/iso-cd/

Also, I have no experience of LVM and encryption so I cannot help with that.
sad

If your partition table is listed as "msdos" then you do not need a BIOS boot partition.


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#6 2016-07-10 21:05:47

Agarax
Member
Registered: 2016-07-06
Posts: 6

Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

Too bad.

Yeah in my OP I mentioned that one of the first things I tried was a netinstall with the non-free drivers.

I'll see if I can find a way to install Jessie using the testing installer and see if that can work

Otherwise It'll be a franken-bl install of some kind using testing or sid.

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#7 2016-07-10 21:10:37

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
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Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugrepo … bug=746396

It was fixed on the 8th of May, 2014 so it (just) missed the jessie train...

EDIT: No, wait, this should be fixed in jessie as well hmm

I'm not sure why this is failing but it may be related to your encrypted set up.

Perhaps somebody who knows about such things will be able to help.

You could refer to TFM:
https://debian-handbook.info/browse/sta … steps.html

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2016-07-10 21:30:27)


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#8 2016-07-10 21:30:18

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

OP, do you actually need the LVM/Encryption  format for the drive? Would it not  be easier to just wipe the drive and go through the install of BL from a MBR/MSDOS set up?


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#9 2016-07-16 14:10:09

Agarax
Member
Registered: 2016-07-06
Posts: 6

Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

Yes, I really need the encryption for a travel laptop where I keep sensitive data on it.

Not sure if disabling would help though.  The /boot partition is still separate and unencrypted from the LVM.

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#10 2017-07-01 20:39:47

L1NT
New Member
Registered: 2017-07-01
Posts: 1

Re: Problems installing on System76 Laptop

I've been a happy CB/BL user for almost a decade who's never had anything worthwhile to share or any novel question to ask before, so my apologies for my first post being on a stale thread, but since I've been battling this same issue for over a year, the thread remains not [Solved], and it's still one of the first matches when performing an Internet search for this problem, I thought I'd share the steps that led to my success:

Environment:
System76 Oryx Pro w/ a PCIe SSD and a 1TB mechanical drive. My initial "solution" was to install BL onto the mechanical drive within an encrypted LVM using legacy BIOS; this worked well for me over the last year, but it was silly having a high-performance SSD in my box doing nothing but adding weight - not to mention the heckling I endured from the few who knew I was wasting expensive hardware.

Steps that worked for me today to install BL onto an encrypted LVM on my SSD:
- re-enable UEFI and secure boot in my BIOS menu (reach via F2 during boot up) & used the latest BL iso
- follow standard workflow via the BL installer (I chose to use guided partitioning with encrypted LVM)
- when the "failed to install grub" event occurs, select the menu option to launch a shell and perform the following steps to install grub and a compliant kernal via chroot:

cd /target
mount --rbind /dev dev
mount --rbind /proc proc
mount --rbind /sys sys
cp /etc/resolv.conf etc/
chroot . /bin/bash
nano /etc/apt/sources.list
add `deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie-backports main contrib non-free` (ctrl-x, y)
apt-get update
apt-get -t jessie-backports install linux-image-amd64
apt-get -t jessie-backports install grub-efi
update-grub
grub-install
exit
exit

- continue with installation, choosing the "continue without bootloader" option
- finish installation, but on first boot, press "e" to edit the boot option, adding "nomodeset" to the "linux" command
-- make this option permanent after the first boot by updating the line "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nomodeset"" in the `/etc/default/grub` file and executing `sudo update-grub`

Articles I used for reference (and may contain more details regarding the steps themselves):
- Installing and booting to Intel 750 SSD in Debian 8
- one of the many articles suggesting "nomodeset"

I'm sure I've glossed over some critical details, so please call me out and I'll do my best to fill in any missing information.

-L1NT

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