twbutler wrote:I had heard from many sources that Mint "just works", so I expected it to work, and was taken aback when it didn't.
There are many possible causes of such a failure. Sometimes the installer just gets something wrong, but other times there are bugs in the firmware. You mentioned that you've got a Dell computer, but I don't know offhand how common firmware bugs are on Dells, so I'm not sure if that might be a factor in your problems. If a firmware bug is an issue, there are ways around that, but IMHO it's better to try other approaches before implementing a workaround for a firmware bug, since such workarounds tend to be hackish and ugly.
To begin, try typing the following command:
- Code: Select all
sudo efibootmgr -v
Post the output here, between code tags (as I used in presenting the command).
Perhaps it is Grub that is to blame. I gave your refind tool a try, using the bootable CD rom image. When I boot from CD, I see the neat graphical boot screen (I am just now understanding that EFI supports graphics and not just text like LILO and Grub). Anyway, refind located the Linux Mint ESP partition and presented an option to boot it. I also saw the option to boot a "vmlinuz*" file, but figured since Mint had been detected, the first option was the one to use. After selecting the Mint boot option, I then see the Grub menu. So, Grub is in play also. I select the first option to boot Mint, and then Mint boots up to the desktop.
You can boot more directly by selecting the vmlinuz* option -- at least in theory. If you've got a separate /boot partition, you'd need to either enter extra options or create a /boot/refind_linux.conf file. At the very least, it's worth testing a boot in this manner.
So, there just appears to be a missing linkage between the EFI booter and Grub?
That's what the "efibootmgr" command will reveal.
I wanted to see if I understand your suggestion to use refind instead of Grub - are you saying that once I use the CD to boot Mint, I can install the refind package using Software Manager and that the installation of the refind package will replace Grub?
More or less. I'd use "dpkg" to do the trick, as in "dpkg -i refind_0.7.4-1_amd64.deb". I'm not sure if Software Manager will work to install a package you download from outside the Mint repositories.
I am still bothered by the fact that the the Mint installer did not set up the EFI mode boot loader correctly to begin with.
There are still far too many bugs in the EFI world. Some of these are inside Linux, because Linux developers are still trying to wrap their brains around this EFI thing. Others are in specific EFI implementations, because firmware developers are still trying to wrap their brains around this EFI thing. Unfortunately, firmware bugs are harder to fix than OS bugs, so it's likely that we'll be living with EFI firmware bugs for years to come.
I would prefer to have something that is in the Mint or Ubuntu repositories just for the sake of safety. Please do not be offended, but how can one know that refind does not contain malicious code, or spyware of some sort? That would be my only reservation about using it.
I'm not offended. You can always examine the source code and compile it yourself. Of course, if you lack programming skill, that won't do much good, but the fact that people who are
skilled at programming can do the same thing means that it's harder to hide malware inside an open source program such as rEFInd than in a closed-source program.
Also thanks for the reco of Samba. I was planning to use Samba already, but I suppose I can get rid of my /data partition and combine that space with /home, and place everything there. I assume Samba allws you to selectively share only certain folders, etc (I would not want to share all of /home with the Windows VM).
Yes, you can set up Samba shares for just some directories. There are lots of Samba tutorials on the net, as well as books on Samba.