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Thread: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

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  1. #1

    Default Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    I have OS 11.4 running successfully. It has been a very solid distribution.

    I recently downloaded and burned OS 12.2 and then attempted to install it in its own partitions. I customized the installation into /boot, /, and /home partitions, as well as a swap partition. I also choose the boot loader to be grub2, which is the default, to be placed in the /boot partition since I already have a multi-boot product in my MBR.

    The installation started successfully, installing various packages while I watched the Details screen. But as soon as it attempted to install the grub2 package it just froze. It never continued and eventually I pressed the reset button on my computer. Thankfully nothing was lost in my hard disk partition setup, but this is really a disappointment that the installation of a major OS fails. It is not something I expected from the usually high quality programmers contributing to OpenSuse.

    Is it some known bug that the installation fails when installing grub2 ? I realize grub2 is new with OS, so I must think that something has been overlooked in it setup in 12.x.

    I could of course try again and specify that I want to use grub rather than grub2 as my boot loader, and perhaps then no attempt to install grub2 will be made and the installation will go on to completion. But I wanted to check here to see if anyone else has encountered this bug.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    You need to write grub to the MBR of the first HD (usually sda)
    You can do that with the DVD if SUSE is already installed
    http://forums.opensuse.org/content/1...vd-rescue.html

    There is also an option to use legacy grub in the install if you prefer
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    You need to write grub to the MBR of the first HD (usually sda)
    You can do that with the DVD if SUSE is already installed
    http://forums.opensuse.org/content/1...vd-rescue.html

    There is also an option to use legacy grub in the install if you prefer
    I do not need to write grub to the MBR. I already have a multi-boot program using the MBR. I wanted to install grub2 to the /boot partition. But that frze the install.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    You don't need a /boot
    Just write it to /
    then run the distro controlling the MBR and update the grub there
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    I do not need to write grub to the MBR. I already have a multi-boot program using the MBR. I wanted to install grub2 to the /boot partition. But that frze the install.
    Then follow the method in post #2 but use the --force option with grub2-install and the partition of your choice.

    Code:
    #  grub2-install --force /dev/sdaX
    You mention you have a multi-boot program. I assume you're multi-booting with other OSes. Any other Unix like (not Linux)? I'm asking because grub2 might fail to install if there are BSD (0xA5, 0xA6, 0xA9) primary partitions. If your multi-boot program (that you didn't name us) does something arbitrary to the partition table (such as hiding partitions, changing partition IDs) or you have BSD disklabels which lead grub2-probe nowhere, grub2 will indeed fail to install. And this is one out of several different reasons that could cause grub2 to fail to install - not just with openSUSE, but with any Linux distro.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    Then follow the method in post #2 but use the --force option with grub2-install and the partition of your choice.

    Code:
    #  grub2-install --force /dev/sdaX
    You mention you have a multi-boot program. I assume you're multi-booting with other OSes. Any other Unix like (not Linux)? I'm asking because grub2 might fail to install if there are BSD (0xA5, 0xA6, 0xA9) primary partitions. If your multi-boot program (that you didn't name us) does something arbitrary to the partition table (such as hiding partitions, changing partition IDs) or you have BSD disklabels which lead grub2-probe nowhere, grub2 will indeed fail to install. And this is one out of several different reasons that could cause grub2 to fail to install - not just with openSUSE, but with any Linux distro.
    The multi-boot program is Acronis OSS and it does hide partitons, which simply means that it changes the partition types on-the-fly. In that case what you say makes sense if it is true that grub2 will fail to install to a /boot partition in that case.

    But that really seems to me to be a major failing with grub2. Why would it fail to install to a /boot partition because some other partition totally unrelated to the current install has its partition type changed ? The actual partitions I am using in the install have totally valid MBR partition types ( 0x83 for the Linux partitions and 0x82 for the swap partition ).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Do you still have installation logs? They are located under /var/log/YaST2. Could you make them available? It is not the first report that GRUB2 installation does something wrong and I try to find a pattern.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    The multi-boot program is Acronis OSS and it does hide partitons, which simply means that it changes the partition types on-the-fly. In that case what you say makes sense if it is true that grub2 will fail to install to a /boot partition in that case.
    May I ask why you are hiding partitions? I actually happen to do the same thing "on the fly" with Legacy Grub. Actually I do worse, I rewrite partitions entries, so that the primary partitions have different offset and size depending on the operating system to boot. It allows me to "overlapp" BSD partitions in order to use different BSD disklabels. The purpose is to have the same BSD slices in all four BSD disklabels for data or other partitions to share between FreeBSD, NetBSD, openBSD and DragonFly BSD. I don't know how many people in the world do this. We might probably be 6 or 7. It has worked for years. Actually it still does, except that Linux (Grub2) doesn't install anymore on these machines. I think it is trying to be too clever, follow the BSD disklabels and gets confused because mine are 'unconventional' or simply gets confused with BSD disklabels in general. If I delete the partitions entries in the partition table (write 00 in each BSD primary partition 16 bytes entry), I can install any Linux which uses Grub2 without problems. Thus that's what I have to do to install Linux nowadays. Next I install my os-prober version, which supports UFS2 (unlike any other os-prober version which tries to mount these partitions read-only as UFS1 and fails) and I don't have problems. I wouldn't have "problems" with another os-prober version, just lots of errors. But I don't think the installation issue is related to os-prober. I think it is a grub2-probe issue. Your problem is probably totally different. However grub2 is very picky while scanning partitions, and you said that you're hiding partitions. If I would hide partitions by just changing their partition IDs, it wouldn't work. That's of course the first thing I tried - because changing a partition ID is easier than deleting and rewriting the entire partition entry.

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    But that really seems to me to be a major failing with grub2.
    I agree. I would like not to have to apply such tricks some day. I would suggest the Linux installation kernel doesn't have support for BSD disklabels (although I'm not 100% it does). That's nothing interesting it can do with that ... except completely confusing grub2-probe.

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    Why would it fail to install to a /boot partition because some other partition totally unrelated to the current install has its partition type changed ?
    It tries to be clever. I didn't have problems at the beginning (under Ubuntu, which has been using Grub2 for a couple years). It started with Grub2 version 1.99. I wrote a post here a long time ago, as I still couldn't explain what exactly happened.

    ----------------------------------------------

    * The disklabel (= the equivalent of the partition table) in each BSD is different and BSD disklabels are (more or less) incompatible with each other. The Linux kernel has support for the different BSD disklabels, which means that it is able to read these partition tables and create the device special files, which will allow you to mount BSD partitions (or slices) under Linux.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    May I ask why you are hiding partitions? I actually happen to do the same thing "on the fly" with Legacy Grub. Actually I do worse, I rewrite partitions entries, so that the primary partitions have different offset and size depending on the operating system to boot. It allows me to "overlapp" BSD partitions in order to use different BSD disklabels. The purpose is to have the same BSD slices in all four BSD disklabels for data or other partitions to share between FreeBSD, NetBSD, openBSD and DragonFly BSD. I don't know how many people in the world do this. We might probably be 6 or 7. It has worked for years. Actually it still does, except that Linux (Grub2) doesn't install anymore on these machines. I think it is trying to be too clever, follow the BSD disklabels and gets confused because mine are 'unconventional' or simply gets confused with BSD disklabels in general. If I delete the partitions entries in the partition table (write 00 in each BSD primary partition 16 bytes entry), I can install any Linux which uses Grub2 without problems. Thus that's what I have to do to install Linux nowadays. Next I install my os-prober version, which supports UFS2 (unlike any other os-prober version which tries to mount these partitions read-only as UFS1 and fails) and I don't have problems. I wouldn't have "problems" with another os-prober version, just lots of errors. But I don't think the installation issue is related to os-prober. I think it is a grub2-probe issue. Your problem is probably totally different. However grub2 is very picky while scanning partitions, and you said that you're hiding partitions. If I would hide partitions by just changing their partition IDs, it wouldn't work. That's of course the first thing I tried - because changing a partition ID is easier than deleting and rewriting the entire partition entry.



    I agree. I would like not to have to apply such tricks some day. I would suggest the Linux installation kernel doesn't have support for BSD disklabels (although I'm not 100% it does). That's nothing interesting it can do with that ... except completely confusing grub2-probe.



    It tries to be clever. I didn't have problems at the beginning (under Ubuntu, which has been using Grub2 for a couple years). It started with Grub2 version 1.99. I wrote a post here a long time ago, as I still couldn't explain what exactly happened.

    ----------------------------------------------

    * The disklabel (= the equivalent of the partition table) in each BSD is different and BSD disklabels are (more or less) incompatible with each other. The Linux kernel has support for the different BSD disklabels, which means that it is able to read these partition tables and create the device special files, which will allow you to mount BSD partitions (or slices) under Linux.
    I hide partitons because Acronis OSS provides this feature and when I boot into an operating system I only want that system to see the partitions I make available to it. What I have found out is that Linux completely ignores the partition type when it needs to mount a partition, so hiding partitions under Linux, by changing its partition type to something other than the standard Linux 0x83 normally does nothing for me on Linux distributions. I even hid a partition which was a copy of another partition, with the same UUID, and Linux mounted the hidden partition instead of it original !!!

    I do find it discouraging that grub2 would pay any attention to partition types given the situation mentioned jusrt above, especially when those partition types are not any partition currently being mounted.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Failure installing OS 12.2 when grub2 is installed

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    I hide partitons because Acronis OSS provides this feature
    Humm ... So the fact that Acronis provides a feature is not a sufficient reason to use it. I'm sure I could provide a lot of features that you will never use.

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    and when I boot into an operating system I only want that system to see the partitions I make available to it.
    From which other OSes are you talking about, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    What I have found out is that Linux completely ignores the partition type when it needs to mount a partition, so hiding partitions under Linux, by changing its partition type to something other than the standard Linux 0x83 normally does nothing for me on Linux distributions.
    Yes, it's OK. It does nothing to Linux ... except that:

    • If you just want to get partitions out of the way, there are better methods to achieve that under Linux by writing udev rules for example. But it's hard to help you if you don't tell us which other OSses are so precious that you don't want Linux to see them.
    • As you noticed, grub2-probe doesn't like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    I even hid a partition which was a copy of another partition, with the same UUID, and Linux mounted the hidden partition instead of it original !!!
    Absolutely. So you see that it is not the good method. Btw, you should NEVER have 2 partitions with the same UUID (other than a backup). Grub2 uses partition UUIDs and NOT kernel device names. If you plan to keep the cloned partition on the same machine, change its UUID!


    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    I do find it discouraging that grub2 would pay any attention to partition types given the situation mentioned jusrt above, especially when those partition types are not any partition currently being mounted.
    You didn't tell us what you are doing exactly, but unless you're doing something very complicated (but in this case, you wouldn't probably ask here), you don't need this Acronis OSS at all. Grub2 v 2.0 is able to hide partitions on the fly too with the command parttool. although it is not as good as the partnew and parttype Legacy Grub commands. I miss these ones.

    I suspect your boot manager is the cause of the problem. Dunno if it fakes a partition table or write garbage on the first track, or if grub2-probe just doesn't like your hidden partitions.

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