Calling Debian "expert install" users

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Palancar, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I am having issues getting 8.1 (full setup using 1 DVR 3.7 Gig) to see my usb flash drive and call up the splash screen to enter my LUKS password. The system install is on the sata drive (sda).

    Brief config notes: LVM on LUKS. Everything opens fine. Luks crypt is open and all three lv's are mapped correctly (device mapper). /boot, which is on a usb flash drive, is mapped correctly and the boot flag is on. The expert install goes very smoothly and I have added Cinnamon (off the DVR) during the install process. Luks crypt properly added to Crypttab and verified. I am going to be running Cinnamon on a 125 Gig partition so I have lots of room for additions.

    Everything looks perfect and then I shut it down after install. When I try to mount I get this:

    error: file /grub/i386-pc/normal.mod not found
    entering rescue mode
    grub rescue>

    I have done lots of reading about this common error. Most of what I see is using older grub where the prompt is grub> and not grub rescue>. I can see the partitions using grub rescue> ls but I can't figure out how to find the $prefix and $root. Once I can do that I'll be able to set root= and prefix= and then load and run normal module.

    If anyone here has a handle on this please feel free to do a step by step starting with the grub rescue> prompt.

    This laptop comes with both UEFI and legacy bios options. I have it set for legacy, but I have read that Debian sometimes still sees something that makes it think its an EFI install. I really want to run Cinnamon if I can. For some reason I can do this same install using Ubuntu and it finds the flash every single time. Hmmmmm?

    I am almost certain there are a few members here with Debian experience that could jump the hurdle I am facing in only a few minutes. Would you please help me to do so? Thanks.

    ps - I can't help wondering if I could load the Debian DVR running LIVE. From there I could open LUKS (terminal) and from there maybe update grub in some way. If not update maybe some kind of verification or location identification ----- just some thoughts from a lost guy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  2. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    During the expert installation (at the step that sets up grub) did it gave you a warning?
    one solution
    http://www.rants.org/2014/09/09/debian_install_solving_grub_error/
    second solution
    in the grub settings during the installation you must select an option like "this is not an efi system" or a similar setting (I do not remember the exact frase). If it is not selected grub will refuse to get installed on the first partition of the disk.

    Panagiotis
     
  3. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to respond!

    The linked problem/error you cited is not a factor for me. I am using an optical drive and DVR, so the usb install device error isn't pertinent. Nice to know though because I often times do install via usb flash.

    I need to go investigate your "second solution option". I don't recall seeing that option and I for sure didn't click on it if it was available. I find it strange that I don't experience this when I do a Ubuntu install. Both are debian based, and yet in this area the installers don't perform the same at all. There are no issues if /boot and the bootloader are placed on sda (obviously outside of LUKS), but that is NOT what I want for security purposes.

    I may be taking myself to "school" here for some learning. I am considering doing an expert install but skipping the creation/writing of the bootloader, since that is an install option. At that point I will need to learn to mount LUKS, etc... via the live DVR and create a bootable flash (bootloader and /boot).

    Maybe I'll re-phrase my thread and purpose the "attack" this way:

    Supposition; I have a perfectly running debian system, which boots off a usb flash (bootloader and /boot) containing what is needed to mount my system. The system is on sda. I have lost my flash drive and don't have backups of any kind. The system works perfectly but the flash is lost. How can I create a new flash to gain access to my debian system? I do have a LIVE debian DVR to mount LUKS and other stuff as needed.

    Is there a link or tutorial solving the scenario in my supposition above? That would in effect be a universal solution to a world of possible issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  4. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You are welcome:)

    It is somewhat "hidden" and you can easily miss it during the installation. Here are some screenshots of the installation

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg

    About your second question how to recreate/reinstall grub on another usb flash drive read the following

    https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch08s07.html.en
    https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/apds03.html.en#idp44865808
    https://feeding.cloud.geek.nz/posts/reinstalling-grub-on-unbootable-debian/

    Panagiotis
     
  5. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I have never seen those screens so I guess 8.1 is seeing my install as a legacy bios install. Ubuntu always sees it that way too. I once again appreciate your support.

    Not exactly the same at all, but I could've just extended that thread I suppose. I have used the guide mentioned there 10 times now and each and every time the Ubuntu install goes off without a hitch.

    If one of you guys can tell me why Cinnamon doesn't see my flash drive bootloader but Lubuntu always does I'ld love to learn something!! Later tomorrow I am going to install Cinnamon on this specific machine and leave /boot and the bootloader on sda as a test just to be sure. Still going to do the expert lvm on luks thing and if it works I'll come back and we can go from there. Feeling lost since this should be much easier than it is turning out.

    BTW - anyone reading this that is thinking about linux: if you are going to use device (entire disk) linux its all automatic for you, but I don't want to do that.
     
  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    GOT IT!

    I had to boot Debian Live DVR into advanced --- rescue mode ---- and completely rebuild the grub.
    Cinnamon is nice and fast on this machine. i7 16G plus swap. Lots to learn since its so different than Ubuntu.

    I have done this three times successfully. For some reason Debian never finds the bootloader on sdb (sda is fine but not what I wanted) when I try to boot up initially/first time. Once I rebuild grub the thing comes up like clockwork always after that! At least now I can learn Cinnamon/Debian and keep everything unencrypted away from Windows 10.

    Tomorrow I am going to play with creating boot usb's just in case I lose one of the originals. Going to run three independent systems using two flash devices for linux, with encrypted windows 10 Pro, all on sda, to be used sparingly.

    This weekend I'll be spinning out sector by sector partition images using Macrium Pro. I don't want to have to rebuild these once they get setup. LOL!

    Thanks for the help!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
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