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The The Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe, previously known as The Water Cooler, is a place to post stuff that has absolutely nothing at all to do with computers, broadband, Scot's Newsletter, or anything that's "supposed" to be here.
I looked at rEFInd as a potential solution, but was afraid of opening another can of worms, and I had enough "new" tickets open. I also considered a UEFI/BIOS "hybrid" called CSM (compatibility support module) that allows UEFI systems to boot in legacy BIOS mode. But I'm also upgrading my Backup Drive to a 4TB internal, and I needed a GPT format for that size drive. Or at least I think I needed UEFI/GPT for that... Even if I didn't, figured I just needed to bite the bullet and get it all sorted out sooner rather than later.
I'm relieved that's behind me (knock on wood), as it's my main work machine and it can't be down for any length of time. So I only have Friday night and Saturday to get it installed, knowing I need most of Sunday to complete signing into accounts with new machine/browser, backups, autostarts, etc...
Not looking forward to the next time, although maybe all this UEFI stuff will be sorted out by then. In 5 years, I'll try to "upgrade Debian 10" in place. And if that fails, this machine will be about 10-15 years old, and perhaps due for an upgrade. I'd like a Ryzen7 or 9, but can't justify it when the old hardware is still pretty D*** good. Current specs:
CPU: Quad Core Intel Core i7-4770 (-MT MCP-) speed/min/max: 1168/800/3900 MHz Kernel: 4.19.0-8-amd64 x86_64 Up: 2h 35m
Mem: 2382.4/15727.3 MiB (15.1%) Storage: 5.70 TiB (12.5% used) Procs: 244 Shell: bash 5.0.3 inxi: 3.0.32
Well it has been fun in a schadenfreude sort of way to see your struggles with EFI. My only experience with UEFI/GPT was a few years ago on a desktop mobo that supports both UEFI and BIOS. At the time I didn't bother with GRUB at all - just used rEFInd which I think is a great bootloader.
However when I had to reinstall the whole system to use an SSD and an HDD I just went back to msdos. Call me a Luddite, but the old way is fine for what I need - exclusively Linux, no Microsoft.
And I have very limited experience with SDDM. I got rid of Gnome Display Manager when I installed Debian on the Thinkpad, and went with Light DM (no way to tweak GDM's battleship gray theme that I could see.)
Yes, Refracta is my attempt to replace Remastersys. Won't install on "client" PCs, but I do have several computers around the house....main production machine, laptop, KODI server/media ripper, 2 KODI client NUC boxes and studio recording computer....that I like to have "duplicate" setups for the sake of simplicity. So I like to create a "master" remix to install on all devices, then install individualized packages depending on what the machine is primarily used for.
And I agree, this was counter-productive! But this was my first foray into the Debian world, and installing proprietary drivers that Ubuntu automatically probes hardware and installs drivers for. That was a learning process that I guess was inevitable moving from user-friendly Ubuntu to do-it-yourself Debian. And my old faithful Remastersys is no longer usable, which I was quite proficient at using. So I had to locate a replacement and learn all the idiosyncracies of that.
In all fairness though, the Refracta installation worked like a champ on my legacy/MBR/BIOS installations. No different than Remastersys used to be. The overwhelming majority of issues encountered were due to UEFI idiosyncracies, IMO, and my unfamiliarity with UEFI. Not to mention Secure Boot, Fast Boot, and Private Key issues....plus every time I powered off the MOBO, the UEFI resets to defaults. So everytime I tried something new, it seemed the UEFI reset itself. What a CLUSTER you-know-what?! So while it was a huge PITA, I have learned some things that will hopefully serve me well in the future. Which may yet serve to turn this into a "productive" exercise.
I've only got 1 more UEFI machine, and the rest are BIOS/MBR. I only have the SDDM issue on BIOS/MBR and that's easy to deal with. I'll probably take another look at my "master mix" in the VM and see what I can tweak in a universal manner, then create another ISO snapshot and try to use the Refracta2USB tool rather than dd. Perhaps the Refracta tools are best used in a "chain"....RefractaSnapshot>Refracta2USB>RefractaInstaller...rather than mixing & matching. Perhaps...
@HJ I assume you were doing this Refracta exercise so you could easily install your LXQT system on "client" PCs. Will you have to go through the whole song and dance to do this every time you need to install it? Seems a bit counterproductive.
Great job. I didn't bother to mention your grub-install line as that is what most of the tutorials tell you to do anyway. I had always used that when installing archlinux on machines.
grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=grub_uefi --recheck
Glad that you finally got it resolved.