Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Questions about Grub, the liveCD and the installer
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george_dee
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Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

Hello everyone,

Having some issues with mx which installed fine alongside w10, so in am giving lmde a shot. Running the live lmde debbie usb, lmde looks really nice. Tried to install, but alas the installer doesn't go any further than the partitioning. I get the message the the efi partition must be vfat, which now is fat32. Is there a way around this without loosing the windows install, as mx managed it fine ?

Thanks in advance.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

A FAT32 formatted EFI System Partition (ESP) accords with the UEFI specifications and should be acceptable for the installation and UEFI-GPT booting of any OS without any need for reformatting. In fact, reformatting the ESP would completely obliterate any OS bootloaders that have already been installed there. In your case, it would wipe out the \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI and \EFI\MICROSOFT\BOOT\BOOTMGFW.EFI files that were installed for booting Windows. Given your stated objective, you definitely do not want to do that.

What problems did you encounter with your MX Linux installation attempts? Were they in any way similar? I suspect that both installers may be encountering some problems other that those being reported in their error messages. Did you verify the integrity of your ISO downloads, and are you sure that your system booted them properly in UEFI-GPT mode? The ISO boot mode determines the boot mode for the OS installation.

__
P.S.: Is there some possible confusion about what needs to be installed into the EFI System Partition? Only the Grub bootloader (grubx64.efi) needs to go there and it works quite happily with FAT32. The /boot directory for LMDE (or MX) need not be installed into the ESP but can be left under $root on the ext4 partition where you install the Linux OS. That's its normal location unless the installer is told to put it elsewhere.
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george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

Thanks.
Figured as much, it would destroy the bootloader.

Tried all 3 boot.options.
Legacy installed fine but resulted in a grub rescue.boot screen and for both uefi options, with or without csm, the installer wanted vfat instead of fat32.

With mx i experienced quite a few dependencies issuee. Was tested by an mx developer or tester and he confirmed the depenency issues.

I really wanted to give lmde a shot, as it runs very nicely on the live usb, but guess i'll have to pass or hope the vfat issue dissapears.
george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

When trying to install, the only thing i do is put root in the partition i made for linux, the same i used for mx, and then when i go to continue the partitioner demands the efi be vfat. No mention of the bootloader up to that point.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

If your Windows OS was installed successfully and is currently booting properly in UEFI-GPT mode, the same EFI System Partition (ESP) that was created and populated for that purpose should also satisfy fully the ESP requirement of any other OS that is capable of UEFI-GPT booting. All that is required of any other OS is to create an appropriately named directory on that same partition and add its own bootloader (a grub2 bootloader for either linux distro) thereto.

If, in those circumstances, the LMDE installer is complaining about incorect formatting of the partition where it's trying to install its bootloader, the only conclusion that I can offer would be that it's trying to install it in the wrong place. But I can't explain why based on the information thus far provided. If it were an inherent "bug" or common issue, one would expect to see many more complaints about it.

__
P,S.: I would strongly advise against any further legacy install attempts on a platform configured for UEFI-GPT booting of currently installed OSes.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

Seems to be an lmde installer issue.
I reinstalled mx without any problems.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

Personally, I've not encountered any such problem installing and multi-booting LMDE and 3 other Linux distros along with Windows 10 and several "rescue" environments on my desktop set-up. (Full line-up here.) But I've stayed with "old-fashioned" BIOS-MBR booting and a Grub2 "master menu" for that purpose on that machine. My laptop uses UEFI-GPT multi-booting for only a single Linux distro (MX) along with Windows and some "rescue" environments.

I haven't tried installing LMDE on the latter machine. Maybe someday, but I'd be more inclined to switch it to Mint 19.3 Cinnamon which is tied with MX Linux in my own personal ranking. Manjaro is quite good too, but I'm far "behind the curve" with Arch Linux.

They all have various "pros and cons". It's really just a matter of whatever works best for you.
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SilFox
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by SilFox »

If possible, use UEFI only (no CSM) and (again, IF possible) follow this rule:
"One OS - One SSD/HDD"
Then, on boot, press key for motherboard's Boot-menu, usually one of F8 to F12, and than choose OS.
For setting of preferable OS (to boot first without touch anything) use efibootmgr from console.
Here is my example:
abc@comp:~$ efibootmgr
BootCurrent: 0001
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0003,0001,0000
Boot0000* Windows Boot Manager
Boot0001* linuxmint
Boot0003* MX19
Of course it is possible to put all that OSes on one disk, but this is hassle-free ...
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

SilFox wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:43 am
If possible, use UEFI only (no CSM) and (again, IF possible) follow this rule:
"One OS - One SSD/HDD"[...]
The OP said that he tried booting without CSM enabled but that the LMDE installer still refused to add its bootloader into the existing FAT32-formatted EFI System Partition. So, if its bootloader can't been installed into the ESP, subsequent UEFI-GPT system booting can't possibly find and boot the LMDE OS regardless of its other partitioning arrangements. On the other hand, the MX Linux installer is said to work fine under exactly the same conditions.

I would agree that one OS per physical drive may be the ideal set-up, but that doesn't appear to be the underlying issue in this case. In fact, multiple GPT drives can actually be an aggravating factor if they include multiple ESPs. I've done it myself on my laptop, but not without a few "glitches" on the way to a workable solution alongside the Windows /dev/sda bootloader.
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SilFox
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by SilFox »

to add its bootloader into the existing FAT32-formatted EFI System Partition.
IF someone will use dedicated disk for that OS, than he/she will have option "use entire disk", at least for testing purpose, and, most likely that will work.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

Possibly so, although there are some grub installer quirks even doing that on a UEFI-GPT set-up. (Ask pbear about them.) In any case, that isn't a "solution" that accords with this thread's title and the OP's stated purpose. To accomplish the "alongside Windows 10" purpose, the bootloader for LMDE must get installed into the existing EFI System Partition, either into its own /efi/ subdirectory, or as the /efi/boot/bootx64.efi default, or both.
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

Thanks for your help all.

I did some more testing and i can only conclude that the lmde installer is what is posing problem.

I installed Solus os without any issue, apart from initial boot the grub screen wasn't present but after updating all was well.
Second test, installed Linux Lite, but that one didn't play nicely on my laptop. It installed without issues, booted without grub but once in the desktop, i couldn't do anything.
Reinstalled MX, again without any issues.
Went on to Install classic Mint xfce without any issues.

None of these mentioned anything about the vfat partition. Only the lmde installer does this.

I have only 1 ssd in this laptop, hp elitebook 8460p, so i have it partitioned to dual boot.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

Your conclusion sure seems to be the only logical one in the circumstances. Grub2 installations can be a bit quirky at times, but this is a new one so far as my own experience is concerned. It will need to be addressed by the LMDE developers as I'm quite sure that installation alongside Windows 10 in UEFI-GPT boot mode must be regarded as a pretty common requirement.

Have you decided which Linux distro you'll be keeping? Just curious.
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george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

It's a toss-up between mx and solus. Want to get away from ubuntu based distros.
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by pbear »

george_dee wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:41 pm
Tried to install, but alas the installer doesn't go any further than the partitioning.
I'm late to the party, but decided to test this for future reference. Frankly, I think you simply got the commands wrong. Of necessity my test was a little different, but close enough. So, I start with a Win10 VM (VBox) installed in EFI mode. Boot LMDE live; attach a USB drive (becomes sdb). Install LMDE to sdb, sending the boot loader to sda (where Windows is installed, of course). Went though fine, no squawks. Notably, as expected, ended up with a debian folder in sda1 and no boot loader in sdb1 (a second EFI partition I set up to see whether it would tempt the installer).

No way to say where you went sideways, as you don't describe what you did in much detail. Will mention two things which seemed like maybe they could have been the problem. For starters, you have to use the manual method, but I assume you did. Then, you have to right-click the EFI partition you want the installer to use and assign it to /boot/efi. Second, you have to designate sda as location for the boot loader (not sdb or sda1).

FWIW, I installed Solus in a test box. Main complaint is that it times out easily on downloads. Can be annoying if using wifi. Reportedly not a problem if using ethernet.
george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

What commands to get wrong :shock:

I just follow the installers of all the distros i have tested and mentioned here. The Lmde installer is the only one that complains about the efi partition needing to be vfat. I am not installing in virtual machines but to the main ssd which is partitioned for dual booting.

Solus was binned and finally settled on MX.
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by pbear »

Shrug, I didn't expect to change your mind. As I said, I did the test for future reference. The installer is fine, which is no surprise. The developers aren't perfect, but this would have been a howler of a bug.

At a guess, you were thrown off because the Calamares installer is structured a little differently. That's not a bug.
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arvy
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by arvy »

We're all trying our best to be helpful, George. I can assure your that, when it comes to multi-boot UEFI-GPT set-ups, @pbear has had a lot of experience and has helped many others, including me. The essential point may simply be that his having been able to get LMDE 4's grub bootloader to install itself into his existing EFI System Partition does raise some further questions about why it was problematic in your case. As I said above, it does seem like the installer was trying to put it in the wrong place -- for whatever reason.

If you've definitely settled on MX Linux, perhaps it's not worth pursuing further, On the other hand, if confirmation would affect your decision, I could try a UEFI-GPT boot mode LMDE 4 installation on my laptop that is currently running MX alongside Win10. Would my doing that be worth the effort?
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
george_dee
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by george_dee »

Thanks for the offer, but i have found a workaround.

I was able to install lmde3 and then upgrade to 4.
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Re: Lmde install alongside Windows 10

Post by hapEcat »

I took a little different route with the partitioning scheme.
W10 and LMDE have their own boot partitions, you just specify which boot loader will be your default.
Choose W10's boot loader and W10 will be the default OS with LMDE the 2nd choice.
Choose LMDE's boot loader and LMDE is the default OS, with W10 the 2nd choice.
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Last edited by hapEcat on Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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