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GorillaBox and Boot Issues


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#1 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:10 PM

Ordered a GorillaBox, as advertised in PCLOS Magazine, and received it last week.  I've been looking for a small brute to tuck in my server closet and mostly serve media content through KODI, and to occassionally rip DVDs, convert media containers, edit home movies, etc...   And this little box is about the perfect size, with power to spare.  So far...LOVING it!

Specs here, in case anyone is interested:
https://chimpbox.us/cart/store/?pID=44

I had a 2nd 2TB WesternDigital HDD installed, and a multi-card reader.  And knowing I would install my custom MimeticDE-Lubuntu OS on it, I asked him to leave off PCLOS and ship it bare metal.  I think I'm fully prepared to process whatever gets thrown at it.  But I did have some issues with installation, which was a major surprise after KNOWING the box was linux-friendly.

Long story short, this was my first installation on a UEFI motherboard and I didn't know what I didn't know.  In hindsight, I would've let GorillaBox install PCLOS and just overwrote it (or perhaps dual-booted) with my own OS.  I think I'm good to go now, but there was an error in the boot-repair log that I want to ensure was addressed as part of my repair.  I sent an e-mail to the boot-repair@gmail.com address specified, but while I'm waiting for a response, figured I ask our resident experts their thoughts.  Copy of e-mail sent was as follows:

Quote

For the first time, installed a linux OS on a UEFI-enabled motherboard, with no other OS previously installed, and experienced several issues.  (dozens of previous installs were through BIOS or Legacy configurations).

After much googling, and trial & error, learned the hard way to create an EFI partition for the Ubuntu installer (Ubiquity) to install GRUB boot loader.  Utilized Yanni Boot Repair to fix broken boot and was finally able to boot...only to be followed up with a black screen issue, which "nomodeset" allowed me to workaround, only to discover that the installed kernel in my live distro (4.4.0-034) needed to be updated.  Fortunately, updating the system kernel to 4.4.0-104 fixed the graphics issues related to booting and provided correct scaling.

I'm now booting Lubuntu 16.04 successfully, with no issues.  So I think I'm good to go, but saw a warning on line 1887 of pastebin report:

Locked-ESP detected. You may want to retry after creating a /boot/efi partition (FAT32, 100MB~250MB, start of the disk, boot flag). This can be performed via tools such as gParted. Then select this partition via the [Separate /boot/efi partition:] option of [Boot Repair].

I believe I have done this already, which enabled me to boot.  Is this a false or harmless warning?  Is there another issue in my boot sequence that is waiting for an opportune moment to rear itself?  What can I do to remedy this error before it becomes an issue?  Full report linked below:

http://paste.ubuntu.com/26202081/

Please advise, and thank you in advance!

What do you folks think?  Am I good to go now? (the machine is booting as expected, without issue)  Or is this "Locked-ESP" error waiting to bite me in the butt later on?  Can anyone explain this error to me?

In the "Install Ubuntu" process (Ubiquity), I chose the "something else" option and created a 200MB "EFI partition" formatted with FAT32 and put a boot flag on it; created a 120GB partition for root, formatted with EXT4; and created a 4GB swap partition on sda.  On sdb, I utilized the entire 2TB drive as a home partition, also formatted EXT4.  Everything installed successfully, as expected, but the newly installed OS wouldn't boot.

Fired up the live disk, used gparted to verify partitions (as outlined above) and saw nothing wrong.  So I installed Yanni Boot-Repair from PPA and ran "Recommended Repair", which generated log file referenced above.  But after the recommended repair, everything was fine.  I'm just looking to understand what happened...what is a "Locked-ESP"...how did that happen...am I truly fixed, or did I just stumble onto a workaround?  Educate me please!

#2 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:36 PM

https://ubuntuforums...d.php?t=2112273

Edited by raymac46, 18 December 2017 - 09:36 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:44 PM

I'm grateful that every machine I have had to install Linux on so far is either so old it has a Legacy BIOS or you have the option in Setup to go either Legacy or EFI.
However this is interesting and informative.

http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/

Edited by raymac46, 18 December 2017 - 09:47 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:11 PM

View Postraymac46, on 18 December 2017 - 09:44 PM, said:

I'm grateful that every machine I have had to install Linux on so far is either so old it has a Legacy BIOS or you have the option in Setup to go either Legacy or EFI.

There is nothing wrong with UEFI, I have been using it for many years now.

Hedon: As far as that error message, there are a ton of Ubuntu bug reports about that error going back to 2012. If everything is working fine, I wouldn't worry about it any.
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#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:56 AM

When I don't have to jump through hoops to disable secure boot and make sure the default install will set up a UEFI system properly I'll be happy to use UEFI. Most distros I've installed so far are configured to use BIOS and MBR if possible. I don't want to dual boot anything - just install Linux and get it working (one distro one machine.)
BTW I had problems with upgrading Windows 7 to 10 on some Acer machines because the extended partition was too small. So UEFI has its issues too.
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#6 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the additional info fellas!

You confirmed my suspicions.  I have always installed in BIOS/Legacy mode, usually wiping out Windows in the process.  This was my first foray installing on a virgin disk and a UEFI system.  I briefly toyed with installing in BIOS/Legacy mode but then figured "it's a UEFI motherboard, let's give it a go".

It seemed to install just fine, until the very last step of Ubiquity "installing Grub2", which threw an error and told me to create a boot partition at the beginning of the disk.  So I did, with gparted, and it still wouldn't boot.  I didn't like carving out a boot partition from the front of the disk, after the install, and figured that was to blame.  So I started from scratch, created the boot partition as per Ubiquity's error message, THEN installed using "something else" partition scheme.  When Ubiquity threw the same error, despite addressing its suggested remedy, I got a little mad and started googling.  Google did suggest that all I needed to do at that point was install Yanni Boot-Repair and perform a "recommended repair".  I had used Boot-Repair a long time ago and, sure enough, it fixed the boot issue and fired up my newly installed OS right quick.

I don't completely understand what happened here, or why, but you'd think Ubuntu/Ubiquity would have addressed this by now.  It's kind of embarrassing that this bug has survived in one of Linux' most popular distros since 2012?!  I installed version 16.04...it is the current recommendation for an LTS release....no reason for it NOT to work with UEFI motherboards.  I wonder if Calamares and/or Anaconda have these issues?  And if not, why not use Calamares?  It's supposed to be distro agnostic, so why not use that?  Grrrrrr.........

I've digressed.  I've got my favorite linux distro installed in UEFI mode, without issues, and this little GorillaBox is quite impressive!  Added bonus...I sent my money to a vendor who specifically caters to Linux and Linux Users!

Tequila and fresh horses for ALL my men!

#7 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:37 AM

I do not understand why Ubuntu would not set up an EFI partition when other distros handle this easily. Look at LinuxMint, you literally just select it and it does the rest:https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_sarah_cinnamon.php

You still have to disable Secure Boot in your bios but there are ways to get that working if it bothers you that much. That is really a window's feature anyway. If you are not dual booting, just roll with it.
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#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:52 AM

I have not installed Linux Mint in a long time - just upgrade in place as needed. The last time I installed Linux Mint was LM 17 on an SSD and it formatted the drive as MBR and and installed using the Legacy BIOS. I only have one machine new enough to support EFI. I don't have any issues with UEFI per se - just don't really need it so far.
I at one time installed Mint on an HDD that is formatted as GPT and it worked fine. I used rEFInd as my boot manager. This is on the same machine from 2013 that has a Legacy and UEFI option.
I don't care about Secure Boot but it is difficult to switch off with some hardware. Acer requires you to set up a BIOS password before you have the option.

Edited by raymac46, 19 December 2017 - 09:57 AM.

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#9 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:57 AM

View Postraymac46, on 19 December 2017 - 09:52 AM, said:

Acer requires you to set up a BIOS password before you have the option.

I think that is the first thing that you should be doing with a new machine.
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#10 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:20 AM

The problem is Acer doesn't tell you explicitly that step is necessary to disable secure boot so if you don't...
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#11 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:34 AM

View Postraymac46, on 19 December 2017 - 10:20 AM, said:

The problem is Acer doesn't tell you explicitly that step is necessary to disable secure boot so if you don't...

Well that is goofy
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