Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-19 18:48

I'm trying to install the latest Debian build on the internal emmc storage of an Apollo Lake mini-PC by Beelink. This class of pcs seem to have a lot of trouble running any other OS besides the version of Windows 10 can comes preinstalled.

The only Linux build I've been able to boot, is this Ubuntu iso, which has been specifically modified to run on Intel Atom and Apollo Lake devices:

http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2018/ ... pollo.html

Is there a way to replicate this process to also get Debian working?

EDIT:
I'm also able to boot AltLinux from a usb stick.
https://en.altlinux.org/Rescue
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby debiman » 2018-04-20 02:28

tell us more about the device.
specs, a link.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-20 15:49

That might not be a terrible idea, sorry. ;-)

Because of it's incredible idle power consumption and support of Intel Quick Sync,I'm trying to turn a [url]Beelink AP34[/url] into a dedicated Plex server/NAS.
http://www.bee-link.com/Beelink-MiniPC-TV-BOX-65-1.html

I guess the problem is related to the boot loader and how it handles 32bit/64bit:
http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2017/06/customizing-ubuntu-isos-documentation.html
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby wizard10000 » 2018-04-20 16:15

You should be able to boot a multiarch netinstall image. I was able to do that with both Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices.
we see things not as they are, but as we are.
-- anais nin
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-20 16:33

I've already tried the multi-arch iso yesterday.

https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/cu ... ch/iso-cd/

But the system freezes to a non-blinking-cursor right after selecting the UEFI usb boot option from the boot menu.

My guess is that the Apollo Lake systems work different from the previous gen. Judging from the different options for Intel Atom and Apollo Lake-based system in the respin script from Linuxium.

http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2017/ ... ation.html
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-20 16:55

Please be more specific. For me, at least, it was not clear what you have managed to boot and from where. You say that you have booted linux from a USB stick. Are you now unable to do so from the emmc? Because that is quite common actually, the emmc devices have specific partitions that need to be in specific places at times for normal boot (which is the reason that some people never even bother to install there). Or are you unable to get any kernel to load from USB at all?

EDIT: okay, I think you are saying that you want specifically Debian to boot and this does not work even with multiarch. You maybe need a more modern kernel than in Debian. Apollo lake came only in 2017 I think
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-20 17:19

A quick summary of what works and what doesn't:

- I'm unable to boot Debian 9.4.0 from a usb stick in order to then install the os to the internal emmc. The system instantly freezes and just displays an non-blinking cursor.
- Same happens when I try to boot the latest Ubuntu build from usb.
- The AltLinux rescue iso boots just fine from usb.
- The specifically "respun" Apollo Lake-iso of Ubuntu can also boot from usb on the Apollo Lake.

Like it says in the Linuxiu blog post I've linked above, it seems to be a problem with the GRUB bootloader.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-20 17:53

If that is the case then it should be easy, because GRUB is completely separate from the OS it boots, as you may know. Perhaps contact the Ubuntu guys and ask what bootloader/patches they are using. You would think that they would have the code somewhere for perusal, but being Ubuntu it would not surprise me if they don't (again).
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-20 18:16

The version of Ubuntu I was referring to is not actually made by Canonical but rather by a single guy. He has already described the problem and how he gets it to work over at his side:

http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2017/ ... ation.html

I was just hoping to get Debian to work though. Since both the Linuxium patched version of Ubuntu and AltLinux are able to boot on my machine, it should be technically possible to get Debian to boot as well.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-20 20:33

Ok. I guess you already have found all you need then. If you get it to work you can contact Debian and ask them if your info can be added to their database over there at debian.org

https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-21 06:25

Debian Jessie (8.0) was the first Linux distribution to include full support for mixed-mode UEFI installation on these machines. The multi-arch installation media (available in netinst and DVD form) include the UEFI boot loaders necessary for both i386 and amd64
By selecting "64-bit install" from the initial boot menu, debian-installer will install a 64-bit (amd64) version of Debian. The system will automatically detect that the underlying UEFI firmware is 32-bit and will install the appropriate version of grub-efi to work with it.


According to the official documentation, Debian should work on an Apollo Lake system. However, it won't even load the initial boot menu so there's no chance to select 32bit grub-efi.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-21 07:44

What are you referring to with "initial boot menu"? Do you mean that you do not see the entry in the UEFI dialog, or that you cannot get the UEFI dialog to display at all? UEFI is entirely machine dependent and there is not much you can do to change it except get an update from the manufacturer (in most cases). You can, however, change the boot list contents and order using tools such as efiootmgr on Linux.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby TOMillr » 2018-04-21 07:49

I was referring to the "initial boot menu" mentioned in the quote above.

The UEFI boot option for the connected USB stick does show up when I go to the system's boot menu. But the system crashes right away when I select that UEFI option.

The quote made it sound like there would be another boot menu that would come up once I hit the UEFI boot option.
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-21 08:35

Yes, but this you already knew this. I mean you said already many posts above that the Debian GRUB wont work on that machine. Why are you trying to use it then? Isn't that completely expected?
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Re: Apollo Lake pc with emmc storage can't boot Debian

Postby _nobody_ » 2018-04-21 13:47

Debian Jessie (8.0) was the first Linux distribution to include full support for mixed-mode UEFI installation on these machines. The multi-arch installation media (available in netinst and DVD form) include the UEFI boot loaders necessary for both i386 and amd64
By selecting "64-bit install" from the initial boot menu, debian-installer will install a 64-bit (amd64) version of Debian. The system will automatically detect that the underlying UEFI firmware is 32-bit and will install the appropriate version of grub-efi to work with it.

I would NOT follow this, in RED. I have simplified the BSP rules (in other words boot-loader/UEFI). Here are the rules:
[1] NEVER use combined UEFI (legacy/UEFI), use either legacy, either UEFI mode;
[2] Use ONLY UEFI with CSM options, to cover legacy boot, if required;
[3] Always match UEFI with OS. Thus, use 32bit UEFI with 32bit OSes, either 64bit UEFI (pleonasm) with 64bit OSes!

I have for me imposed additional rule (after [1]): always use 64bit systems from bottom to top! :mrgreen:

This does simplify the BSP problem, doesn't it? :idea:

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