"Unable to Install the system" Core 112

infrared
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"Unable to Install the system" Core 112

Post by infrared » August 11th, 2017, 8:44 pm

Hi, I am trying to install Core 112 on a amd64 mini-pc. After I select to delete all data on the harddisk, and then select ext4 filesystem, the system says "partitioning", the "creating filesystems", and then some other quick message I don't have time to read, and then simply says "Unable to install the system", with no explanation.

I switch to 2nd virtual terminal, it should a bunch of normal look filesystem creation information, and ends on "Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

If I switch to 3rd virtual terminal, and use dmesg, the final entries show that the filesystemns have been mounted, and last message is "Adding 988880k swap on /dev/sda2. Priority:-1 extents:1 across:988880k". Likewise shows file systems are mounted.

I don't know where to find other log messages, so I am lost. I used duplicate equipment (motherboard, ram, harddrive model) just recently with a pfsense install and had no trouble.

I tried going through reinstall, but selecting XFS. and get same behavior.

infrared
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Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

Post by infrared » August 11th, 2017, 9:18 pm

Another thing that seems worth mentioning: if I look under /harddisk, I see a lot of files installed, and I could create files myself, so it seems likely not a problem with reading or writing to the harddrive.

rodneyp
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Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

Post by rodneyp » August 11th, 2017, 11:30 pm

Would you be specific about the brand and model of mini-pc. That would serve two purposes
    prompt any other IPFire users of the same model to assist
    caution others not to obtain the same kit and expect it to work with IPFire unless/until the issue is resolved

    Is the PC primarily UEFI and if so, have you switched it to CSM mode, as required with IPFire ?

    It would also help to state the size of HDD in use, because IPFire uses different partitioning modes depending on that

    infrared
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by infrared » August 14th, 2017, 3:35 pm

    Hi, the model is a Qotom Q310G4 which is using the Q3215UG4 Nano Motherboard. It is using a 500GB WD Hard drive (not a SSD).

    I'll have to look into the UEFI/CSM issue... Testing on the BIOS or install level is a bit of a pain right now due to some issues with my test bench setup, but I'll get to it as soon as I can.

    One thing perhaps worth mentioning is that a few months ago I installed core 107 on the same model of mini-pc and had no troubles at all. However, that unit is currently in production, so I can't call it back to see if hard drive is exactly the same.

    infrared
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by infrared » August 14th, 2017, 5:59 pm

    I got my test bench setup again. The BIOS had an option for UEFI&Legacy, UEFI only, and Legacy only, so I switch to Legacy only. But I still get the same error during the install process. (Boot mode wouldn't effect anything until you were actually rebooting into the new system, right...?)

    I thought I'd try installing core 107 and then upgrading through the Web interface, as a workaround.

    bloater99
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by bloater99 » August 14th, 2017, 6:15 pm

    There might be a change in hardware support due to different kernels. If this is the case, it is possible that core 107 will work fine, but upgrading from there you'll eventually hit the same problem. But only one way to find out.
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    infrared
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by infrared » August 14th, 2017, 7:11 pm

    I just installed core 107, and then did a pakfire upgrade to 112, and rebooted. It seems to be working just fine. Seems like a straightforward case of an install script bug, excepting the possibility that I have bad install media. But I checked the sha1sum after I downloaded the ISO so that seems unlikely.

    rodneyp
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by rodneyp » August 17th, 2017, 4:56 am

    Your earlier comment about boot mode applying only after first reboot might not be entirely correct.

    ISO that are not built for UEFI won't boot from it. You could try booting an IPFire flash image from a USB device

    UEFI is continually changing and your two examples of the mainboard might have different releases.

    infrared
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by infrared » August 17th, 2017, 3:35 pm

    But I'm not having any trouble booting an ISO... Both 107 and 112 boots just fine into the installer. The error occurs half way through the install script.

    rodneyp
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by rodneyp » August 18th, 2017, 4:10 am

    The hardware you are using certainly looks useful for IPFire. It would be worthwhile resolving the issue.

    It's not clear whether your HDD was new or came with Windows pre-installed. Do you recall whether or not GPT partition table was present ? IPFire installer would replace that with MSDOS partition table on any HDD not greater than 2T and the result might vary depending on the version of partitioning tool used and options invoked.

    Documentation for gdisk quotes for the "z" option:

    "z Zap (destroy) the GPT data structures and exit. Use this option if you want to repartition
    a GPT disk using fdisk or some other GPT-unaware program. You'll be given the choice of
    preserving the existing MBR, in case it's a hybrid MBR with salvageable partitions or if
    you've already created new MBR partitions and want to erase the remnants of your GPT parti-
    tions. If you've already created new MBR partitions, it's conceivable that this option will
    damage the first and/or last MBR partitions! Such an event is unlikely, but could occur if
    your new MBR partitions overlap the old GPT data structures."

    The "w' option in fdisk/sfdisk achieves similar, although the documentation provides less rationale.

    infrared
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by infrared » August 18th, 2017, 3:54 pm

    The drives were refurbs from factory. I didn't check if there was any partitions on them already. I could wipe the partition tables if somebody told me the correct Gnu/Linux command. I think I know how to zero out an MBR, but I don't know anything about GPT, to be honest.

    rodneyp
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by rodneyp » August 18th, 2017, 11:11 pm

    Its a while since I purchased new HDD. The WD, IIRC, came unformatted from the factory. Those having "PVR" suffix are advanced format and likely to have GPT, if any partition table.

    Zeroing out the MBR would not suffice because GPT partition table occupys sectors 1 to at least 33.

    Nevertheless, if you need to install more of these systems, it might help to put an MSDOS aka MBR, partition table on them prior to booting IPFire install.
    Then less risk that installer does an incomplete conversion of GPT to MSDOS.

    It appears that IPFire uses the fdisk/sfdisk clan for partitioning and it would be better to stick with those to avoid any other incompatibilites. These will be on any utility CD such as Parted Magic or Systemrescue CD and most other installed Linux. Alternatively, using either WD DLG utility or or a disk wiping utility to zero out the first MB of the HDD should suffice. IPFire installer for i586 certainly creates an MSDOS partition table on an unformatted HDD. YMMV if using IPFire x86_64.

    I have not done a fresh install since core 109, but did not encounter any installer issues there.

    rodneyp
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by rodneyp » August 20th, 2017, 7:50 am

    I've now tried a fresh install of core 112 to a different HDD and got your result - "unable to install system"

    parted might be the faulty program. Console 2 shows it being instucted to produce partitions optimally aligned for 4k logical sectors - but it doesn't. It does throw a warning (twice) that partition is not optimally aligned, without identifying which of two of the four. In my case, sda2 (swap) 370.2 MiB, 758166 sectors and sda4 (/var) 55.3 MiB, 112122602 sectors are not evenly divisable by 8. Additionally, sda1 (/boot), although optimally aligned, looks rather skimpy at 64 MiB and the grub2 binaries do not get installed before the installation aborts.

    installer's /var/log contains little.

    I'll try core 111 to see if I get the same result.

    rodneyp
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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by rodneyp » August 20th, 2017, 10:52 pm

    Now looking like this is a continuation of the problem reported for core 111 in viewtopic.php?f=51&t=19091

    The problem has now been reported for 3 quite different hardwares - FWIW mine is an ASUS A6U. Partitioning appears to complete and /boot gets partially installed before the installation aborts. Two of us were able to install earlier cores OK and upgrade to core 112. If it were an issue with later version of GRUB then I would expect a system that has been upgraded to core 112 to not reboot sucessfully, but it does.

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    Re: "Unable to Install the system" Core 112

    Post by Arne.F » August 21st, 2017, 7:39 am

    Check you bios settings and force to use LBA if this option is present. Some older bios versions report an empty hdd in large mode which is not really work with parted.
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