LMDE Install problems unacceptable

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LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby mfhall on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:28 pm

I must have installed at least 20 different Linuxes over the last few years.
NONE have been as problematic as LMDE 1303.

The installation process feels like an early, very buggy, beta app!

After about 5 attempts, I have now a partially successful install - with a great deal of web searching involved. At least I can boot and run all the apps, and I'm hopeful that I will be able to resolve the problems reading my RAID.

- The main problem was freezing at random points during installation (after setup). This was solved by removing the Ubiquity Slideshow before installing (run 'sudo apt-get remove ubiquity-slideshow-mint' from the live CD).

- The other problems are related to file system setup.

The install process nowhere tells you how to specify mount points for partitions. With trial and error, you find that AFTER you've set up the partitions and exited gparted you need to double-click or right click a partition and select a mount point (using edit if you want a directory such as /boot). NOT user friendly.

If you have a RAID (even if it's not your installation drive), your problems will be much greater. Unlike other LMs, the RAID is NOT automatically recognised (mdadm is not part of the live CD installation) - and gparted gives error messages when it tries to read the RAID elements. I am fortunate - my system boots from a separate SSD, so I can install just to that and deal with setting up the RAID after reboot(s). This means I can select 'cancel' on the gparted error messages and install normally.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ONLY EXPERTS ATTEMPT TO INSTALL LMDE 1303 TO BOOT FROM A RAID.

As my system is dual boot, and I want both Windows and LMDE to read an existing Intel fake RAID partition, I am struggling to get this working without wiping the RAID volume. I thought I had succeeded - and now I find that it's reverting to read only on reboot, and so won't mount ...

This is a stark contrast to my previous install of LM Mate 14.1 - where the RAID was recognised and treated like any other disk during the install process.

Given that Mint is intended as a newby friendly OS, this is just not acceptable. Intel fake RAID is not uncommon for only moderately advanced Windoze users, and the frustration of trying to resolve this will definitely discourage them from moving to LM, particularly if they want a dual boot system (as nearly all will).

At the very least, the LMDE download page should carry a warning that using RAID requires advanced Linux skills.

Much better would be to rename this distribution as beta, and get to work fixing the install system - both the slideshow problem and the RAID issues are well documented on the web (but the RAID solutions are a little hard to find ...).

A little investigation into how such a problematic system was released would also be wise - we wouldn't want it to happen again!
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby pjc123 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:04 am

QUOTE: The install process nowhere tells you how to specify mount points for partitions. With trial and error, you find that AFTER you've set up the partitions and exited gparted you need to double-click or right click a partition and select a mount point (using edit if you want a directory such as /boot). NOT user friendly.

Well, thanks for that. I got so disgusted yesterday, that I just gave up trying to install LDME 14. I have also loaded a ton of different Linux OS's over the last 10 years, and I have never seen anything this bad. I might give it one more try, but after reading all the other problems that you are finding, plain Debian and just installing the packages manually is looking good at this point. For this particular Linux install I just need a basic filesystem setup. So, now that I know how this works, is the install program going to offer a suggested setup for swap, root, etc. like every other installation program on the planet so I do not have to set this up completely manually? If not, is there any special setup I need to do related to Debian, or is it the same basic mount points as other Linux distros?

Releasing a version 14 manual at the same time as releasing the program would have made sense too.
Last edited by pjc123 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby pjc123 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:47 pm

So, still not seeing any of the proper screens, and hating to admit defeat, I figured what the heck, as a last resort let me manually delete the MBR and partition table and whatever other junk may be hiding on the beginning of my disk and see if that works.

So, from the live LDME disk I ran:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Walla!, magic. Now during the install I see the automated partitioning screen and can modify the partitions it set up with Gparted. So it was either the MBR, partition table, maybe LVM information from my previous Fedora install, or Fake RAID information from an even older XP install that was scrogging everything. So, a Gparted delete of my entire disk was not able to clear everything.

As a side note, there was no ubiquity-slideshow-mint program on mine to delete.

My Mint hard disk install is now fully operational. Now to install it on my second computer.
Last edited by pjc123 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby mockturtl on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:04 pm

pjc123 wrote:Releasing a version 14 manual at the same time as releasing the program would have made sense too.
The Debian Edition is semi-rolling, and doesn't have version numbers. The iso's are dated, instead (the latest is 201303).

It's the Ubuntu-based main edition that's currently at 14 ("nadia").
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby mockturtl on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:08 pm

LMDE has a separate subforum: viewforum.php?f=189

I see several "install problem" threads; you may find help there.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby pjc123 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:24 pm

mockturtl wrote:
pjc123 wrote:Releasing a version 14 manual at the same time as releasing the program would have made sense too.
The Debian Edition is semi-rolling, and doesn't have version numbers. The iso's are dated, instead (the latest is 201303).

It's the Ubuntu-based main edition that's currently at 14 ("nadia").


I see. I guess a Mint Debian manual would be pretty difficult with a rolling release. So, the only option is to use the Ubuntu version 13 and eventually version 14 manual, even though some things do not apply. I did find a Debian Administrators Handbook somewhere (Squeeze based) which answered a couple of questions that I had, and they are working on a Wheezy version.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby catweazel on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:09 am

mfhall wrote:I must have installed at least 20 different Linuxes over the last few years.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ONLY EXPERTS ATTEMPT TO INSTALL LMDE 1303 TO BOOT FROM A RAID.

My experience was completely different. I'm a total noob and installed LMDE to a four SSD RAID0. It worked first go for me.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby pjc123 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:59 am

catweazel wrote:
mfhall wrote:I must have installed at least 20 different Linuxes over the last few years.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ONLY EXPERTS ATTEMPT TO INSTALL LMDE 1303 TO BOOT FROM A RAID.

My experience was completely different. I'm a total noob and installed LMDE to a four SSD RAID0. It worked first go for me.


But are you using Fake RAID, as the OP has stated? I also have a Fake RAID controller card on one of my pcs (Adaptec), and it has been unsupported in other applications I have used in the past.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby catweazel on Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:04 am

pjc123 wrote:But are you using Fake RAID, as the OP has stated? I also have a Fake RAID controller card on one of my pcs (Adaptec), and it has been unsupported in other applications I have used in the past.

I use mdadm across 4 SSDs.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby mfhall on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:41 pm

pjc123 wrote:But are you using Fake RAID, as the OP has stated? I also have a Fake RAID controller card on one of my pcs (Adaptec), and it has been unsupported in other applications I have used in the past.

I use mdadm across 4 SSDs.


Just to clarify (I'm the OP referred to) - I have an existing Intel Fake RAID (4 disks in RAID 5) that is already in use by Windows - so I can't scrap & recreate it without a lot of fuss, and I definitely don't dare to set it as 4 separate drives in the BIOS, then use mdadm to create a software RAID and expect to read it from Windows. I can use mdadm to access it - but on a reboot it goes read-only and can't be mounted. I have to be able to dual boot, as I need to run MS Office reliably.

The best clue I've found so far (I'm not alone in having this problem...) is that mdmonitor, which is supposed to be started from mdadm at boot, isn't running.
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Re: LMDE Install problems unacceptable

Postby rdonnelly on Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:13 am

I found the best way is to turn off your notebook or PC, go to bed and do the install first thing in the morning when the hardware is cold. The install process seems to really warm up my new Dell. So that is what worked for me. :mrgreen:
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