Discussion:
Install Archlinux on HP Elitebook
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n***@contrepoison.ch
2017-12-18 14:36:41 UTC
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Hi everyone,

I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux
distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to
date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in
the boot menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the
boot menu.

Does anyone knows how to install Arch on one of thoose #@$&=%* machine ?

Many thanks, Tom
Beta Smollner via arch-general
2017-12-18 14:56:45 UTC
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Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in the boot menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
Does your USB-stick boot on other systems?
I can boot on my company’s elitebook just fine with an easy2boot-prepared [1] stick.

~ P

[1] http://www.easy2boot.com/
Ken OKABE via arch-general
2017-12-18 15:24:00 UTC
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Here is my experience.

1. Ubuntu live image is the most stably working distribution among
others, so it's good for base to install Arch.
2. If your laptop is UEFI, it's good to have reEFInd USB stick.
www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
If your PC cannot boot reEFInd USB stick, your bios setup is very wrong.
3. If you can boot into Ubuntu live image, the rest is relatively easy
to set up Arch.


On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM, Beta Smollner via arch-general
Post by Beta Smollner via arch-general
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in the boot menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
Does your USB-stick boot on other systems?
I can boot on my company’s elitebook just fine with an easy2boot-prepared [1] stick.
~ P
[1] http://www.easy2boot.com/
n***@contrepoison.ch
2017-12-18 15:50:38 UTC
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Post by Ken OKABE via arch-general
Here is my experience.
1. Ubuntu live image is the most stably working distribution among
others, so it's good for base to install Arch.
2. If your laptop is UEFI, it's good to have reEFInd USB stick.
www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
If your PC cannot boot reEFInd USB stick, your bios setup is very wrong.
3. If you can boot into Ubuntu live image, the rest is relatively easy
to set up Arch.
On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM, Beta Smollner via arch-general
Post by Beta Smollner via arch-general
Does your USB-stick boot on other systems?
I can boot on my company’s elitebook just fine with an
easy2boot-prepared [1] stick.
~ P
[1] http://www.easy2boot.com/
Well, I guess my bios setup is very wrong then. I have exactly the same
behavior with an easy2boot stick and reEFInd. I guess my only option
left is to backup my data, restaure factory settings and hope for the
best.
As I don't know where to look to find some logs for this behavior debug
will not be easy...

I'll keep this topic up to date as soon as I have news. Thanks alot for
these tips

Tom
Marcel Hoppe via arch-general
2017-12-18 16:03:00 UTC
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Hey Tom,

i have a little question, how do you create your install stick?
if i need one for an uefi system, i only copy the content of the iso to a
fat formated stick and name the partition like the iso is named.
i don't use arch direct, i'm using antergos but i'm sure the arch iso is
also efi bootable.

Greets
Marcel
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Post by Ken OKABE via arch-general
Here is my experience.
1. Ubuntu live image is the most stably working distribution among
others, so it's good for base to install Arch.
2. If your laptop is UEFI, it's good to have reEFInd USB stick.
www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
If your PC cannot boot reEFInd USB stick, your bios setup is very wrong.
3. If you can boot into Ubuntu live image, the rest is relatively easy
to set up Arch.
On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM, Beta Smollner via arch-general
Post by Beta Smollner via arch-general
Does your USB-stick boot on other systems?
I can boot on my company’s elitebook just fine with an
easy2boot-prepared [1] stick.
~ P
[1] http://www.easy2boot.com/
Well, I guess my bios setup is very wrong then. I have exactly the same
behavior with an easy2boot stick and reEFInd. I guess my only option left
is to backup my data, restaure factory settings and hope for the best.
As I don't know where to look to find some logs for this behavior debug
will not be easy...
I'll keep this topic up to date as soon as I have news. Thanks alot for
these tips
Tom
brent s.
2017-12-18 16:13:09 UTC
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Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux
distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in
the boot menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the
boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
I'm assuming you tried following this?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_flash_installation_media#BIOS_and_UEFI_bootable_USB
--
brent saner
https://square-r00t.net/
GPG info: https://square-r00t.net/gpg-info
n***@contrepoison.ch
2017-12-18 22:05:11 UTC
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Post by brent s.
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux
distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in
the boot menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the
boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
I'm assuming you tried following this?
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_flash_installation_media#BIOS_and_UEFI_bootable_USB
n***@contrepoison.ch
2017-12-18 22:07:36 UTC
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Hey

Sorry for the previous mail, mishandling on my side...

Brent, your assumptions are right. I even tried the wiki page about the
840 G1 [1] as it is another Elitebook. Not better unfortunately...
Marcel : in the easiest way possible with dd. Thereafter all the others
possible ways :/
mar77i not wet I have to backup all my data onto my NAS. I'll RAZ my
computer & BIOS afterwards. Good to know that the usb key can be a
source of error I'll try with another one. Still sounds kinda funny to
me because my other computer which is also an HP w/ EFI (Envy17) boot
fine with every USB stick.

Thanks all for your advices,
Tom

[1] : https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HP_EliteBook_840_G1

___
Post by brent s.
Post by Marcel Hoppe via arch-general
i have a little question, how do you create your install stick?
Greets
Marcel
I'm assuming you tried following this?
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_flash_installation_media#BIOS_and_UEFI_bootable_USB
--
brent saner
That is an amazing website you have there. I'd almost say demoscene
worthy...
Did you make progress with your USB booting? In my experience some
firmwares don't play nice with USB booting and need some fiddling
around, maybe you'll have to try a different usb stick. I found that
perseverance and some effort can make almost anything happen. Setting
up a laptop to boot from EFI took me every free minute for about 3
days the first time came across it, but I became notably quicker
since.
cheers!
mar77i
David C. Rankin
2017-12-20 08:00:32 UTC
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Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux
distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in the boot
menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.

For specific example, on my HP Elitebook Pro 8760w, which installing grub
within Arch, the following mbr (bytes 0-446) are written:

hexdump -Cv mbr_arch_446.bin
00000000 eb 63 90 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |.c..............|
00000010 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |................|
00000020 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |................|
00000030 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |................|
00000040 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |................|
00000050 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 80 01 00 00 00 |................|
00000060 00 00 00 00 ff fa 90 90 f6 c2 80 74 05 f6 c2 70 |...........t...p|
00000070 74 02 b2 80 ea 79 7c 00 00 31 c0 8e d8 8e d0 bc |t....y|..1......|
00000080 00 20 fb a0 64 7c 3c ff 74 02 88 c2 52 be 80 7d |. ..d|<.t...R..}|
00000090 e8 17 01 be 05 7c b4 41 bb aa 55 cd 13 5a 52 72 |.....|.A..U..ZRr|
000000a0 3d 81 fb 55 aa 75 37 83 e1 01 74 32 31 c0 89 44 |=..U.u7...t21..D|
000000b0 04 40 88 44 ff 89 44 02 c7 04 10 00 66 8b 1e 5c |***@.D..D.....f..\|
000000c0 7c 66 89 5c 08 66 8b 1e 60 7c 66 89 5c 0c c7 44 ||f.\.f..`|f.\..D|
000000d0 06 00 70 b4 42 cd 13 72 05 bb 00 70 eb 76 b4 08 |..p.B..r...p.v..|
000000e0 cd 13 73 0d 5a 84 d2 0f 83 d8 00 be 8b 7d e9 82 |..s.Z........}..|
000000f0 00 66 0f b6 c6 88 64 ff 40 66 89 44 04 0f b6 d1 |***@f.D....|
00000100 c1 e2 02 88 e8 88 f4 40 89 44 08 0f b6 c2 c0 e8 |***@.D......|
00000110 02 66 89 04 66 a1 60 7c 66 09 c0 75 4e 66 a1 5c |.f..f.`|f..uNf.\|
00000120 7c 66 31 d2 66 f7 34 88 d1 31 d2 66 f7 74 04 3b ||f1.f.4..1.f.t.;|
00000130 44 08 7d 37 fe c1 88 c5 30 c0 c1 e8 02 08 c1 88 |D.}7....0.......|
00000140 d0 5a 88 c6 bb 00 70 8e c3 31 db b8 01 02 cd 13 |.Z....p..1......|
00000150 72 1e 8c c3 60 1e b9 00 01 8e db 31 f6 bf 00 80 |r...`......1....|
00000160 8e c6 fc f3 a5 1f 61 ff 26 5a 7c be 86 7d eb 03 |......a.&Z|..}..|
00000170 be 95 7d e8 34 00 be 9a 7d e8 2e 00 cd 18 eb fe |..}.4...}.......|
00000180 47 52 55 42 20 00 47 65 6f 6d 00 48 61 72 64 20 |GRUB .Geom.Hard |
00000190 44 69 73 6b 00 52 65 61 64 00 20 45 72 72 6f 72 |Disk.Read. Error|
000001a0 0d 0a 00 bb 01 00 b4 0e cd 10 ac 3c 00 75 f4 c3 |...........<.u..|
000001b0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 aa 45 7d ff 00 00 |.........E}...|
000001be

However, when installing grub from suse (Leap 42.2) the mbr is fully populated:

00000000 eb 63 90 10 8e d0 bc 00 b0 b8 00 00 8e d8 8e c0 |.c..............|
00000010 fb be 00 7c bf 00 06 b9 00 02 f3 a4 ea 21 06 00 |...|.........!..|
00000020 00 be be 07 38 04 75 0b 83 c6 10 81 fe fe 07 75 |....8.u........u|
00000030 f3 eb 16 b4 02 b0 01 bb 00 7c b2 80 8a 74 01 8b |.........|...t..|
00000040 4c 02 cd 13 ea 00 7c 00 00 eb fe 00 00 00 00 00 |L.....|.........|
00000050 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 80 01 00 00 00 |................|
00000060 00 00 00 00 ff fa 90 90 f6 c2 80 74 05 f6 c2 70 |...........t...p|
00000070 74 02 b2 80 ea 79 7c 00 00 31 c0 8e d8 8e d0 bc |t....y|..1......|
00000080 00 20 fb a0 64 7c 3c ff 74 02 88 c2 52 be 80 7d |. ..d|<.t...R..}|
00000090 e8 17 01 be 05 7c b4 41 bb aa 55 cd 13 5a 52 72 |.....|.A..U..ZRr|
000000a0 3d 81 fb 55 aa 75 37 83 e1 01 74 32 31 c0 89 44 |=..U.u7...t21..D|
000000b0 04 40 88 44 ff 89 44 02 c7 04 10 00 66 8b 1e 5c |***@.D..D.....f..\|
000000c0 7c 66 89 5c 08 66 8b 1e 60 7c 66 89 5c 0c c7 44 ||f.\.f..`|f.\..D|
000000d0 06 00 70 b4 42 cd 13 72 05 bb 00 70 eb 76 b4 08 |..p.B..r...p.v..|
000000e0 cd 13 73 0d 5a 84 d2 0f 83 d8 00 be 8b 7d e9 82 |..s.Z........}..|
000000f0 00 66 0f b6 c6 88 64 ff 40 66 89 44 04 0f b6 d1 |***@f.D....|
00000100 c1 e2 02 88 e8 88 f4 40 89 44 08 0f b6 c2 c0 e8 |***@.D......|
00000110 02 66 89 04 66 a1 60 7c 66 09 c0 75 4e 66 a1 5c |.f..f.`|f..uNf.\|
00000120 7c 66 31 d2 66 f7 34 88 d1 31 d2 66 f7 74 04 3b ||f1.f.4..1.f.t.;|
00000130 44 08 7d 37 fe c1 88 c5 30 c0 c1 e8 02 08 c1 88 |D.}7....0.......|
00000140 d0 5a 88 c6 bb 00 70 8e c3 31 db b8 01 02 cd 13 |.Z....p..1......|
00000150 72 1e 8c c3 60 1e b9 00 01 8e db 31 f6 bf 00 80 |r...`......1....|
00000160 8e c6 fc f3 a5 1f 61 ff 26 5a 7c be 86 7d eb 03 |......a.&Z|..}..|
00000170 be 95 7d e8 34 00 be 9a 7d e8 2e 00 cd 18 eb fe |..}.4...}.......|
00000180 47 52 55 42 20 00 47 65 6f 6d 00 48 61 72 64 20 |GRUB .Geom.Hard |
00000190 44 69 73 6b 00 52 65 61 64 00 20 45 72 72 6f 72 |Disk.Read. Error|
000001a0 0d 0a 00 bb 01 00 b4 0e cd 10 ac 3c 00 75 f4 c3 |...........<.u..|
000001b0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e3 15 05 00 00 00 |..............|
000001be

And it is specific to however grub2 is configured, built, whatever on Arch. I
contacted HP, I had an extensive thread on this list, see thread from 10/28/16
with subject:

Single Drive Fresh Install (mbr/grub2) Fails to boot (can boot existing from
.iso??)

I never found the reason and just kept my install usb key handy and would
"Boot Existing OS", then hist "tab" and change the drive number to boot my
Arch install. Totally bizarre.

I even though of writing the bytes from the suse mbr to the arch mbr (since
the filesystem locations are the same on each disk), but never got around to
doing it.

Hopefully you will find the solution that evaded me.
--
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
David C. Rankin
2017-12-20 08:26:27 UTC
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Post by David C. Rankin
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.
And I should add, this is something in the way the grub install handles the
Elitebook bios information. I have used Arch for 8+ years on 4 different
laptops and probably 20 different computers, and this HP Elitebook 8760w is
the only box I have ever had this type problem with.

I'm more than happy to provide any requested information, mbr dumps, bios
specifics, whatever, if anybody has any further ideas to figure out why these
bytes are omitted when issuing:

# grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sda
--
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
David Rosenstrauch
2017-12-20 14:45:58 UTC
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Post by David C. Rankin
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Hi everyone,
I'm struggeling with my laptop : I can't manage to boot into any Linux
distribution.
My laptop is an HP Elitebook x360 G2 ; BIOS P80 01.09 Rev.A (up to date).
By turning off every "protection" I'm able to select the USB stick in the boot
menu ; but I can't pass this step. I immediately go back to the boot menu.
Many thanks, Tom
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2. (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.) I've started using syslinux in
recent years, and have been quite happy with it.

HTH,

DR
n***@contrepoison.ch
2017-12-21 08:27:48 UTC
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Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by David C. Rankin
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2. (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.) I've started using syslinux
in recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
HTH,
DR
Hello everyone,

I have good news ... sort of. After a full reset (OS+BIOS) here is the
result :
[1] Archlinux : not able to boot.
[2] Obarun : not able to boot. Yet this distro uses syslinux, not
grub...
[3] OpenSuze : not able to boot. David : maybe a difference between Leap
42.2 and 42.3 ?
[4] Debian : not able to boot. I tried Debian and Subgraph.
[5] Ubuntu : booting and functionnal (as functionnal as Ubuntu can be).

I'll install Ubuntu and see what I can install from there. Archlinux
with syslinux I guess. Note : all these USB stick were made with dd.
Even Ubuntu was unable to boot with an Easy2Boot stick with imgPTN image
and so one.

Tom
Marcel Hoppe via arch-general
2017-12-21 08:31:43 UTC
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Have you tried arch with systemd-boot instead of grub2? (I always use
systemd-boot since a while😉)

Greets
Marcel

Gesendet von meinem Smartphone
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by David C. Rankin
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2. (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.) I've started using syslinux
in recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
HTH,
DR
Hello everyone,
I have good news ... sort of. After a full reset (OS+BIOS) here is the
[1] Archlinux : not able to boot.
[2] Obarun : not able to boot. Yet this distro uses syslinux, not grub...
[3] OpenSuze : not able to boot. David : maybe a difference between Leap
42.2 and 42.3 ?
[4] Debian : not able to boot. I tried Debian and Subgraph.
[5] Ubuntu : booting and functionnal (as functionnal as Ubuntu can be).
I'll install Ubuntu and see what I can install from there. Archlinux with
syslinux I guess. Note : all these USB stick were made with dd. Even Ubuntu
was unable to boot with an Easy2Boot stick with imgPTN image and so one.
Tom
Florijan Hamzic via arch-general
2017-12-21 09:04:23 UTC
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Hi,

i also would say systemd-boot should be used with uefi:

1. make sure you have bootable image with *UEFI* ArchLinux Image and the *EFI
partition* must be available (
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#Requirements_for_UEFI_variable_support
)
2. as mentioned in the wiki you need to have the latestHP firmware (
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HP_EliteBook_840_G1)
3. install systemd-boot (
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/systemd-boot#EFI_boot)
4. you need to manually add a new EFI Boot entry in your BIOS pointing to
the boot loader file (from Step 3) (
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HP_EliteBook_840_G1)

best regards



2017-12-21 9:31 GMT+01:00 Marcel Hoppe via arch-general <
Post by Marcel Hoppe via arch-general
Have you tried arch with systemd-boot instead of grub2? (I always use
systemd-boot since a while😉)
Greets
Marcel
Gesendet von meinem Smartphone
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by David C. Rankin
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while
other
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by David C. Rankin
distros don't seem to have that problem.
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2. (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.) I've started using syslinux
in recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
HTH,
DR
Hello everyone,
I have good news ... sort of. After a full reset (OS+BIOS) here is the
[1] Archlinux : not able to boot.
[2] Obarun : not able to boot. Yet this distro uses syslinux, not grub...
[3] OpenSuze : not able to boot. David : maybe a difference between Leap
42.2 and 42.3 ?
[4] Debian : not able to boot. I tried Debian and Subgraph.
[5] Ubuntu : booting and functionnal (as functionnal as Ubuntu can be).
I'll install Ubuntu and see what I can install from there. Archlinux with
syslinux I guess. Note : all these USB stick were made with dd. Even
Ubuntu
Post by n***@contrepoison.ch
was unable to boot with an Easy2Boot stick with imgPTN image and so one.
Tom
Oleksii Vilchanskyi via arch-general
2017-12-22 14:30:32 UTC
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Hi,

just a guess, since you've mentioned `dd` - did you do
# wipefs -a /dev/sdX
where X is the USB stick? Distro ISOs always left the USB sticks in an
unusable state until I execute the above.
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by David C. Rankin
I have struggled with this issue and Arch for a year. The problem is grub2 on
Arch fails to write anything to bytes 0x04 - 0x63 of the mbr, while other
distros don't seem to have that problem.
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2.  (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.)  I've started using syslinux
in recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
HTH,
DR
Hello everyone,
I have good news ... sort of. After a full reset (OS+BIOS) here is the
[1] Archlinux : not able to boot.
[2] Obarun : not able to boot. Yet this distro uses syslinux, not grub...
[3] OpenSuze : not able to boot. David : maybe a difference between Leap
42.2 and 42.3 ?
[4] Debian : not able to boot. I tried Debian and Subgraph.
[5] Ubuntu : booting and functionnal (as functionnal as Ubuntu can be).
I'll install Ubuntu and see what I can install from there. Archlinux
with syslinux I guess. Note : all these USB stick were made with dd.
Even Ubuntu was unable to boot with an Easy2Boot stick with imgPTN image
and so one.
Tom
--
Regards,
Oleksii Vilchanskyi
PGP:0x8D3A0E046BDE941F2A53867CE3FD952D48C0B338
Eli Schwartz via arch-general
2017-12-22 18:14:04 UTC
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Post by David Rosenstrauch
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2.  (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.)  I've started using syslinux in
recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
Kind of offtopic for this thread, but "the grub2 config file is too
complex" is not actually a valid reason to stop using grub... because it
isn't even true in the first place.

I blame grub-mkconfig for this, as an automated tool for generating
grub.cfg without any user interaction at all, it is rather grotty. But
to make a fair comparison with syslinux, refind, systemd-boot and
others, you'd need to compare the quality of the grub-mkconfig
autogenerated output to the quality of the
(refind|syslinux|systemd-boot)-mkconfig autogenerated output.

Oh, wait. None of those have any such tool, and you are *required* to
write your own handwritten config. :p

And in fact, you can do the same exact thing with grub2 as well!
Consider my grub.cfg reproduced below, or Earnestly's example grub.cfg
at https://ptpb.pw/mk7y (courtesy of #archlinux on freenode):

```
set color_normal=light-gray/dark-gray
set color_highlight=dark-gray/light-gray
set menu_color_normal=light-gray/dark-gray
set menu_color_highlight=light-blue/dark-gray

set timeout=1
set default=0
set btrfsroot=53731b6e-8cce-467c-bf07-be1b04207846

# Use UEFI's Graphics Output Protocol.
insmod efi_gop

menuentry "Arch Linux" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux.img
}

menuentry "Arch Linux Fallback" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img
}

menuentry "Arch Linux ck kernel" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-ck root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-ck.img
}

menuentry "Arch Linux ck kernel Fallback" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-ck root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-ck-fallback.img
}

menuentry "Arch Linux LTS kernel" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-lts.img
}

menuentry "Arch Linux LTS kernel Fallback" {
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-linux-fallback.img
}
```

Consider the simplicity of this grub.cfg. A couple simple variable flags
for setting colors and timeout, then the dead-simple menuentry for
booting, replicated a couple times for each kernel/initramfs I have.

If you want, you can split out each menuentry into separate conf files
and `source` them.

And if you *really* want to get fancy, sure, grub has an *optional*
shell language you can use for weird fancy stuff. It's hardly mandatory,
though, just because the familiar Debian-style autogenerator produces
obtuse content like all autogenerators.

I hate when people spread this misinformed FUD about grub, but I suppose
it is largely grub's fault for encouraging the use of beginner tools and
making it seem intimidating to even learn how it works. :(

...

Hmm, I think I will invest the time in updating the Wiki page. This
travesty cannot continue, I must make sure people are well-informed.

(Also people really should use grub. It's quite nice to have a
bootloader which supports encrypted boot and loading kernels from
basically any filesystem without having to mount the ESP as /boot. I
also get to use a small 2MB partition for the ESP, which is possible if
you format it as fat12 which technically isn't supported by the standard
but chances are it will work anyway because of recycling filesystem code
that supports both on a generic level.)
--
Eli Schwartz
TechnoTux via arch-general
2017-12-23 18:38:50 UTC
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may be off-topic but i came by this article to install and run arch on UEFI without grup:
http://www.alaux.net/articles/uefi-and-linux-killed-my-grub-and-that-s-good
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
 More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
 altogether once they upgraded to grub2.  (The complexity of the grub2
 config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
 file is what eventually turned me away.)  I've started using syslinux in
 recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
Kind of offtopic for this thread, but "the grub2 config file is too
complex" is not actually a valid reason to stop using grub... because it
isn't even true in the first place.
I blame grub-mkconfig for this, as an automated tool for generating
grub.cfg without any user interaction at all, it is rather grotty. But
to make a fair comparison with syslinux, refind, systemd-boot and
others, you'd need to compare the quality of the grub-mkconfig
autogenerated output to the quality of the
(refind|syslinux|systemd-boot)-mkconfig autogenerated output.
Oh, wait. None of those have any such tool, and you are *required* to
write your own handwritten config. :p
And in fact, you can do the same exact thing with grub2 as well!
Consider my grub.cfg reproduced below, or Earnestly's example grub.cfg
```
set color_normal=light-gray/dark-gray
set color_highlight=dark-gray/light-gray
set menu_color_normal=light-gray/dark-gray
set menu_color_highlight=light-blue/dark-gray
set timeout=1
set default=0
set btrfsroot=53731b6e-8cce-467c-bf07-be1b04207846
# Use UEFI's Graphics Output Protocol.
insmod efi_gop
menuentry "Arch Linux" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux.img
}
menuentry "Arch Linux Fallback" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img
}
menuentry "Arch Linux ck kernel" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-ck root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-ck.img
}
menuentry "Arch Linux ck kernel Fallback" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-ck root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-ck-fallback.img
}
menuentry "Arch Linux LTS kernel" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-lts.img
}
menuentry "Arch Linux LTS kernel Fallback" {
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts root=UUID=$btrfsroot rw
    initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux-linux-fallback.img
}
```
Consider the simplicity of this grub.cfg. A couple simple variable flags
for setting colors and timeout, then the dead-simple menuentry for
booting, replicated a couple times for each kernel/initramfs I have.
If you want, you can split out each menuentry into separate conf files
and `source` them.
And if you *really* want to get fancy, sure, grub has an *optional*
shell language you can use for weird fancy stuff. It's hardly mandatory,
though, just because the familiar Debian-style autogenerator produces
obtuse content like all autogenerators.
I hate when people spread this misinformed FUD about grub, but I suppose
it is largely grub's fault for encouraging the use of beginner tools and
making it seem intimidating to even learn how it works. :(
...
Hmm, I think I will invest the time in updating the Wiki page. This
travesty cannot continue, I must make sure people are well-informed.
(Also people really should use grub. It's quite nice to have a
bootloader which supports encrypted boot and loading kernels from
basically any filesystem without having to mount the ESP as /boot. I
also get to use a small 2MB partition for the ESP, which is possible if
you format it as fat12 which technically isn't supported by the standard
but chances are it will work anyway because of recycling filesystem code
that supports both on a generic level.)
--
Eli Schwartz
David Rosenstrauch
2017-12-24 17:43:51 UTC
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Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
Post by David Rosenstrauch
More of a workaround than a solution, but I stopped using grub
altogether once they upgraded to grub2.  (The complexity of the grub2
config file as compared to the simplicity of the grub-legacy menu.lst
file is what eventually turned me away.)  I've started using syslinux
in
recent years, and have been quite happy with it.
Kind of offtopic for this thread, but "the grub2 config file is too
complex" is not actually a valid reason to stop using grub... because it
isn't even true in the first place.
... in your opinion.
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
Oh, wait. None of those have any such tool, and you are *required* to
write your own handwritten config. :p
Usually an example/stub config file is provided, which makes it very
easy to adapt it to your needs.
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
And in fact, you can do the same exact thing with grub2 as well!
Consider my grub.cfg reproduced below, or Earnestly's example grub.cfg
Consider the simplicity of this grub.cfg. A couple simple variable flags
for setting colors and timeout, then the dead-simple menuentry for
booting, replicated a couple times for each kernel/initramfs I have.
Perhaps it's possible to hand-author a grub2 cfg to look like this. But
whenever I went to edit a grub2 cfg on one of the systems I administer
it always looked like a massive, complex bash script.

Even the grub.cfg that Arch ships reads more like a shell script than a
config file:

https://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/tree/trunk/grub.cfg?h=packages/grub

And I've seen grub.cfg files on other machines (mostly redhat-oriented)
that run into thousands of lines.
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
I hate when people spread this misinformed FUD about grub, but I suppose
it is largely grub's fault for encouraging the use of beginner tools and
making it seem intimidating to even learn how it works. :(
Not misinformation, or FUD, just a difference of opinion. In my opinion
- and in my experience - the grub legacy menu.lst and the syslinux.cfg
scripts are short, simple, and very easy to understand while the grub2
config scripts I've run into are extremely long, complicated, and hard
to understand.
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
Hmm, I think I will invest the time in updating the Wiki page. This
travesty cannot continue, I must make sure people are well-informed.
I welcome any effort you make in trying to make the grub config simpler
and more understandable. I have no inherent bias against the tool, and
would be open to using it if I felt that it was becoming as easy to use
as grub-legacy or syslinux.

DR
Ralf Mardorf
2017-12-24 18:19:17 UTC
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I migrated from grub2 to syslinux. When using grub2 I manually edited
grub.cfg. I removed all the useless crap from grub.cfg and never used
the config for the config and all that auto-configuration features of
grub2. However, I've got a dual head setup and syslinux isn't able to
display the menu on my HDMI LCD monitor, if the VGA CRT monitor is
connected, but turned off. Apart from this I dislike chainloading and
sync of /boot when maintaining other Linux installs in a systemd-nspawn
container is a PITA. IOW syslinux is far away from being perfect, OTOH
syslinux.cfg is clean and self-explaining:

[***@archlinux ~]$ cat /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg
# http://syslinux.zytor.com/wiki/index.php/Doc/menu

PROMPT 0
TIMEOUT 600
UI menu.c32
MENU HIDDEN
MENU CLEAR
MENU COLOR screen 0;30;40
MENU COLOR border 0;30;40
MENU COLOR title 1;37;44
MENU COLOR unsel 0;37;40
MENU COLOR hotkey 1;37;40
MENU COLOR hotsel 7;37;40
MENU COLOR sel 7;37;40
MENU COLOR disabled 1;37;40
MENU COLOR scrollbar 0;30;40
MENU COLOR tabmsg 0;30;40
MENU COLOR cmdmark 0;31;40
MENU COLOR cmdline 0;37;40
MENU COLOR timeout_msg 0;37;40
MENU COLOR timeout 1;37;40

# Used hotkeys: ^8 ^A ^C ^e ^H ^M ^P ^Q ^R ^t ^V
DEFAULT Rt

MENU TITLE HAL 9000
LABEL Toolbox
MENU LABEL Toolbox
MENU DISABLE
MENU SEPARATOR


LABEL Hardware
MENU LABEL ^Hardware Detection
COM32 hdt.c32

LABEL Memtest
MENU LABEL Memtest^86+
LINUX /.boot/ubuntu_moonstudio/boot/memtest86+.bin

LABEL Reset
MENU LABEL R^eset
COM32 reboot.c32


MENU SEPARATOR
MENU SEPARATOR
LABEL Arch Menu
MENU LABEL Arch Linux
MENU DISABLE
MENU SEPARATOR


LABEL Threadirqs
MENU LABEL Arch Linux ^threadirqs
LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux
APPEND root=LABEL=archlinux ro threadirqs
INITRD ../initramfs-linux.img

LABEL Pussytoes
MENU LABEL Arch Linux Rt ^Pussytoes
LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux-rt-pussytoes
APPEND root=LABEL=archlinux ro
INITRD ../initramfs-linux-rt-pussytoes.img

LABEL Cornflower
MENU LABEL Arch Linux Rt ^Cornflower
LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux-rt-cornflower
APPEND root=LABEL=archlinux ro
INITRD ../initramfs-linux-rt-cornflower.img

LABEL Rt
MENU LABEL Arch Linux ^Rt
LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux-rt
APPEND root=LABEL=archlinux ro
INITRD ../initramfs-linux-rt.img

LABEL Arch
MENU LABEL ^Arch Linux
LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux
APPEND root=LABEL=archlinux ro
INITRD ../initramfs-linux.img


MENU SEPARATOR
MENU SEPARATOR
LABEL Other Menu
MENU LABEL Other Linux
MENU DISABLE
MENU SEPARATOR


LABEL Moonstudio
MENU LABEL Ubuntu X ^Moon Studio lowlatency
LINUX /.boot/ubuntu_moonstudio/boot/vmlinuz-lowlatency
APPEND root=LABEL=moonstudio ro
INITRD /.boot/ubuntu_moonstudio/boot/initrd.img-lowlatency

LABEL Light
MENU LABEL Ubuntu ^Q LightScribe Rt
LINUX /.boot/ubuntu_q/boot/vmlinuz-3.6.5-rt14
APPEND root=LABEL=q ro nomodeset
INITRD /.boot/ubuntu_q/boot/initrd.img-3.6.5-rt14

LABEL Suse
MENU LABEL ^Vintage SUSE 11.2 Rt
LINUX /.boot/suse11.2/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31.6-rt19
APPEND root=LABEL=suse11.2
INITRD /.boot/suse11.2/boot/initrd-2.6.31.6-rt19
Leonid Isaev via arch-general
2017-12-24 19:25:05 UTC
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Post by Ralf Mardorf
MENU LABEL Ubuntu ^Q LightScribe Rt
LINUX /.boot/ubuntu_q/boot/vmlinuz-3.6.5-rt14
APPEND root=LABEL=q ro nomodeset
INITRD /.boot/ubuntu_q/boot/initrd.img-3.6.5-rt14
LABEL Suse
MENU LABEL ^Vintage SUSE 11.2 Rt
What are those ctrl-* characters (like ^Q)?

Cheers,
--
Leonid Isaev
Ralf Mardorf
2017-12-24 19:52:04 UTC
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Post by Leonid Isaev via arch-general
What are those ctrl-* characters (like ^Q)?
Ok, the config isn't entirely self-explaining ;). The ^ marks the
hotkey. In this case pushing the q-key without the Ctrl-key directly
boots the particular Linux install. It's also possible to select a menu
entry by using the cursor up and down keys instead of using the hotkey.
Ralf Mardorf
2017-12-24 20:01:53 UTC
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Post by Ralf Mardorf
Post by Leonid Isaev via arch-general
What are those ctrl-* characters (like ^Q)?
Ok, the config isn't entirely self-explaining ;). The ^ marks the
hotkey. In this case pushing the q-key without the Ctrl-key directly
boots the particular Linux install.
Oops, no, the hotkey does select the menu entry, to boot I still need
to enter, but IIRC it's also possible to configure syslinux to directly
boot after pushing the hotkey.
Post by Ralf Mardorf
It's also possible to select a menu entry by using the cursor up and
down keys instead of using the hotkey.
Eli Schwartz via arch-general
2017-12-24 20:06:58 UTC
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Post by David Rosenstrauch
Usually an example/stub config file is provided, which makes it very
easy to adapt it to your needs.
Yes, grub2 really and truly sucks in this regard.
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Not misinformation, or FUD, just a difference of opinion.  In my opinion
- and in my experience - the grub legacy menu.lst and the syslinux.cfg
scripts are short, simple, and very easy to understand while the grub2
config scripts I've run into are extremely long, complicated, and hard
to understand.
I'd say it is the grub authors who are spreading the FUD, but I really
do feel that the common grub.cfg example is misdirection in action.

A difference of opinion would be if two people looked at the same
grub.cfg and one person said "this is too complicated" and the other
said "this is nice and simple". :)

I agree that grub-mkconfig examples are weird and complicated. TBH I
have no idea what they're doing, and they kind of scare me.
Post by David Rosenstrauch
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
Hmm, I think I will invest the time in updating the Wiki page. This
travesty cannot continue, I must make sure people are well-informed.
I welcome any effort you make in trying to make the grub config simpler
and more understandable.  I have no inherent bias against the tool, and
would be open to using it if I felt that it was becoming as easy to use
as grub-legacy or syslinux.
I'll see what I can do. :D
The current wiki page buries all information about the ability to
manually create a grub.cfg, in the "Tips and tricks" sub-page as a tiny
blurb.
--
Eli Schwartz
Jagannathan Tiruvallur Eachambadi via arch-general
2017-12-24 21:47:28 UTC
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Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
The current wiki page buries all information about the ability to
manually create a grub.cfg, in the "Tips and tricks" sub-page as a tiny
blurb.
Last time I read the wiki page I remember it explicitly stating not to write
grub.cfg manually and it cab break your system/boot. Given that warning and
the complex looking default configuration many people are turned away from
grub2. I too went to syslinux and it has been way easier. Having an entry in
the wiki for simpler grub.cfg would make a good case for grub2 :)
--
Kind regards
Jagan
Ken OKABE via arch-general
2017-12-25 02:52:50 UTC
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The preparation of GRUB and UEFI boot partition for Linux Installation
process is always bothersome.

Although currently I usually prepare 256MB of FAT32 partition-1,
sometimes it is the best manner that you simply have a boot-loader in
an external USB drive, especially when you have a hard time just to
boot a LinuxOS.

Have a working USB stick for

- UEFI
The rEFInd Boot Manager
http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/

- GRUB2
Super Grub2 Disk
https://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/


The below is my personal installation method (UEFI).

Create 2 USB sticks: the latest UbuntuLive and rEFInd
Boot UbuntuLive and download Arch ISO
unsquashfs airootfs.sfs (extract Arch file system dir from the ISO image)
systemd-nspawn to the extracted Arch file system (better than chroot)
pacstrap to the target partition (partition-2)
exit and return to Ubuntu live
systemd-nspawn to the newly installed target Arch file system
set up Arch
reboot the PC using rEFInd which should discover the newly installed Arch

of course,
on Ubuntu or later on Arch, you can "cp -ax" all files in rEFInd dir
to 256MB of FAT32 (boot flaged) partition-1, so that external rEFInd
USB stick is no longer needed.


On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 9:47 PM, Jagannathan Tiruvallur Eachambadi via
Post by Jagannathan Tiruvallur Eachambadi via arch-general
Post by Eli Schwartz via arch-general
The current wiki page buries all information about the ability to
manually create a grub.cfg, in the "Tips and tricks" sub-page as a tiny
blurb.
Last time I read the wiki page I remember it explicitly stating not to write
grub.cfg manually and it cab break your system/boot. Given that warning and
the complex looking default configuration many people are turned away from
grub2. I too went to syslinux and it has been way easier. Having an entry in
the wiki for simpler grub.cfg would make a good case for grub2 :)
--
Kind regards
Jagan
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