Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby GogoAkira » 2019-12-06 14:46

I have two ssd on this elitebook, I found that to reinstall Debian I have to remove the second sdd so that grub doesn't try to install it on bsd filesystem and fail, it does however install grub on that disk so now I have two grubs, which is ok since it doesnt break BSD. And since its automatic I have ni idea how to tell grub which disk to install the dummy to like mbr grub used to. Not even sure this is the actual problem because I dont see what's happening my only clues are that it does install when there's only one disk and the fact i can see the grub partition on the bsd disk. Also this could be just on my hp laptop, becsuse if i remove powercord installation freezes, today i plugged the cord in at the beginning of installation and it said can't find installation cd, reboot worked.
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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby p.H » 2019-12-07 07:26

I do not understand your post.
Are you installing in EFI or BIOS/legacy mode ? "dummy" suggests EFI mode.
GRUB for EFI is installed in the EFI partition created or selected at the partitioning stage, or any available EFI partition if none selected. It cannot be installed in a BSD filesystem.
What are you calling "the GRUB partition on the BSD disk" ?
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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-12-07 09:41

The output of
Code: Select all
parted --list

with both disks connected would be good.
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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby GogoAkira » 2020-03-31 03:37

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:The output of
Code: Select all
parted --list

with both disks connected would be good.


Well I never came back here it looks like many months. Well we can disregard the upper message, but at that time there was a OpenBSD system installed on one physical disk and if both disks were connected debian installer complained that it couldn't install the dummy, I assume it tried to install it on a fs it doesn't recognize, so I pulled that disk and installed with no problems.

Anyway, my current setup is
Disk0: Debian Buster + Windows.
Disk1: Debian Bullseye

So I guess just trying to understand Efi, there was Gentoo on the disk but got replaced by Bullseye, after I installed Bullseye the gentoo efi entry is still visible from efi boot menu when computer starts but it doesn't boot anything since it doesn't exist, I can not remove this one from the menu. I removed the OpenBSD menu entry since it was a manual entry. Now after Bullseye installation there is only one debian entry in efi and it works fine like it's supposed to, first entry in Grub is bullseye, below there is buster, etc. But does this mean that efi system kind of chooses just the first physical disk if there are 2 or more disks, to install the efi grub while dummy boot partitions are created on each of the disks for the rest of the stuff needed to boot. I am fairly certain if I was to pull the disk where Bullseye lives I would not be able to boot Buster since now there is only one debian efi entry and it points to uuid of the Bullseye disk, the other efi entry got overridden since it has the same name? Idk this hp laptop is weird.
This is more me thinking, and this thread is more of a discussion now.

Code: Select all
Model: ATA LITEON LCH-256V2 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 256GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Number  Start   End     Size    File system     Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  538MB   537MB   fat32                 boot, esp
 2      538MB   30.5GB  30.0GB  ext4
 3      30.5GB  38.5GB  7954MB  linux-swap(v1)        swap
 4      38.5GB  256GB   218GB   ext4


Model: ATA NT-256 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 256GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Number  Start   End    Size    File system     Name                          Flags
 1      1049kB  556MB  555MB   ntfs            Basic data partition          hidden, diag
 2      556MB   661MB  105MB   fat32           EFI system partition          boot, esp
 3      661MB   677MB  16.8MB                  Microsoft reserved partition  msftres
 4      677MB   172GB  171GB   ntfs            Basic data partition          msftdata
 5      172GB   198GB  26.0GB  ext4
 6      198GB   206GB  7954MB  linux-swap(v1)                                swap
 7      206GB   256GB  50.0GB  ext4

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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-03-31 09:57

GogoAkira wrote:there was a OpenBSD system installed on one physical disk and if both disks were connected debian installer complained that it couldn't install the dummy, I assume it tried to install it on a fs it doesn't recognize

Did you check TTY4 or the installer log to see the full error message?

GogoAkira wrote:there was Gentoo on the disk but got replaced by Bullseye, after I installed Bullseye the gentoo efi entry is still visible from efi boot menu when computer starts but it doesn't boot anything since it doesn't exist, I can not remove this one from the menu.

Have you tried using the efibootmgr(8) command to delete the entry?

GogoAkira wrote:But does this mean that efi system kind of chooses just the first physical disk if there are 2 or more disks, to install the efi grub while dummy boot partitions are created on each of the disks for the rest of the stuff needed to boot.

The UEFI firmware should obey the options provided in the NVRAM boot entry and the GRUB modules ("the rest of the stuff needed to boot") are placed under ${boot directory}/grub/x86_64-efi/ (for systems with 64-bit UEFI firmware), where ${boot directory} is /boot on whichever system the grub-install(8) command is run unless it is overridden by the --boot-directory option.

GogoAkira wrote:I am fairly certain if I was to pull the disk where Bullseye lives I would not be able to boot Buster since now there is only one debian efi entry and it points to uuid of the Bullseye disk, the other efi entry got overridden since it has the same name?

Rather than guessing we should probably examine the NVRAM entries instead:
Code: Select all
efibootmgr -v

You can create a new NVRAM entry pointing to the buster grubx64.efi with efibootmgr(8) or by running grub-install(8) from buster.
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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby GogoAkira » 2020-03-31 10:59

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Did you check TTY4 or the installer log to see the full error message?

At time no, I checked the logs inside /var/log/installer and it just says grub installed correctly, but then again at that time I would have reinstalled the system and the logs were deleted.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Have you tried using the efibootmgr(8) command to delete the entry?

No, but I will now, now that I learned about it :) and saw the output of efibootmgr -v

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:...unless it is overridden by the --boot-directory option.

Thanks

Gonna run grub-install from Buster and see

Code: Select all
gogoakira@DebianThp:~$ efibootmgr -v
BootCurrent: 0001
Timeout: 0 seconds
BootOrder: 0001,0002,0000
Boot0000* Windows Boot Manager  HD(2,GPT,c1ec1ce2-bb2b-4f37-951e-f58fce164840,0x109000,0x32000)/File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.4.7.9.5.}...h................
Boot0001* debian        HD(1,GPT,a270b61d-299f-4a33-9390-2d5c327ea211,0x800,0x100000)/File(\EFI\debian\shimx64.efi)
Boot0002* gentoo        HD(1,GPT,00482d59-50e0-9b4a-ae96-4ec0b587c08c,0x800,0x200000)/File(\EFI\gentoo\grubx64.efi)
gogoakira@DebianThp:~$

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Re: Grub efi unable to install dummy.

Postby p.H » 2020-03-31 11:38

Consider the --bootloader-id option to set a boot entry with a name other that the default "debian". Otherwise grub-install will either create a second boot entry with the same name "debian" or overwrite the existing one.
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