Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Postby Thiemo » 2018-05-18 05:35

Hi all

I recently bought a Toshiba Portegé Z30 A-13R and tried to install Stretch on it. The net install failed saying that a file could not be copied. After that I tried the full DVD installation with DVD 1. It run through without error but it could not boot. So I installed Kubuntu on an other partition withour error but still no booting. The messages flickerign shortly on the screen before it turns back to the Toshiba screen is
System BootOrder not found. Initializing defaults.

Reset System


I tried to boot from the installation had via openSUSE install stick where one can select to boot from hard disk. This ends up with
error: no such device: /efi/boot/fallback.efi

Press any key...


I started a SystemRescueCd stick and executed
Code: Select all
efibootmgr -v
which gave
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0001,0004,0003
Boot0000* USB Memory
Boot0001* HDD/SSD
Boot0002* LAN1 BBS...
Boot0003* LAN2 PCI...
Boot0004* LAN1 PCI...

so I wonder why, when all other references on the net I found, it does not sport entries for Debian or Kubuntu?

Btw, I tried to change the order but it failed saying the it was not readable. Maybe I did not start in UEFI mode or need to remount the efivars in rw mode. I will check.

Does somebody have a clue?

Kind regards

Thiemo
Thiemo
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 2017-04-19 15:38

Re: Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Postby p.H » 2018-05-18 07:24

If you had not started in EFI mode, efibootmgr would fail instead and could not print the EFI boot variables.

Did you install Debian in EFI or legacy mode ?
You can tell the Debian installer started in EFI mode because it is printed on the first menu screen. Also, when partitioning the disk an EFI system partition must be present and when installing the boot loader, LILO is not available and GRUB installation does not ask which device to install on.

If you installed Debian in EFI mode, an EFI system partition should be present and contain an EFI/debian or EFI/Ubuntu directory. If there is no EFI boot variable for Debian, maybe the creation of the EFI boot variable failed, or the UEFI firmware is broken in some way and did not actually write the boot variable. As a workaround, you can try to install a copy of GRUB as the fallback boot loader. Chroot on the installed system (from the installer in rescue mode) and run :
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grub-install --removable

Or if the UEFI firmware supports legacy boot and you don't need EFI boot, you can install GRUB for legacy boot (grub-pc).

If you installed Debian in legacy mode, some BIOS/UEFI firmwares require that a partition entry in the MBR has the boot flag set. If the partition table is GPT, you can set the flag on the protective GPT partition with fdisk.
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fdisk -t dos /dev/sda
a
w
p.H
 
Posts: 395
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Postby Thiemo » 2018-05-19 16:44

Thanks a lot p.H. You saved my day! I installed in UEFI mode and followin your description closely, I first futilely tried with SystemRescuCD, I now can boot.

I wonder whether I should file a bug with Debian. To me it seems, that grub-install --removable should have been executed by the installer an in case of error latter should have been reported with details.
Thiemo
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 2017-04-19 15:38

Re: Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Postby p.H » 2018-05-19 17:21

Debian cannot account for every broken UEFI implementation out there.

For example, the UEFI firmware on some series of HP laptops seems to ignore EFI boot entries. efibootmgr shows them, so they were correctly created during the installation without any error, but they are ignored at boot time. Only the fallback bootloader is booted automatically.

IIRC, the Debian installer asks whether it should install a copy of the boot loader in the "removable device path" (or the like) when booting in EFI modfe. Or maybe does it only in expert install ? Not sure, as I mostly use expert install, and rarely install in EFI mode. The removable path may already contains another program, so IMO the Debian installer should not overwrite it by default without asking for confirmation. However IIRC the text sounded a bit deterrent to answer "yes".
p.H
 
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Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Why no Linux boot entry in uefi?

Postby Thiemo » 2018-05-22 05:29

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Debian cannot account for every broken UEFI implementation out there.


I did not mean to blame Debian for the shortcomings of UEFI implementations. I am sorry, if I did make this impression.

I just wanted to install quite unattended, did not get an error in the end and was rather puzzled it did not boot. I do not remember having had to answer a question about install path.
Thiemo
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 2017-04-19 15:38


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