Dell, Windows and UEFI

Questions about hardware, drivers and peripherals.
In the Original Post please also include the output of inxi -Fzx
albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 13 Jul 2018 17:11

I've always only had dell desktops. My current dell is old and beginning to show bad blocks. So I bought a new Dell Inspiron 3472 that came pre-installed with Windows 10. I hate Windows. It also had no real bios, rather it had UEFI.Then came my epiphany. UEFI is not ready for prime time with Linux. The "bios" was called Aptio Setup Utility that has no instructions nor user manual. Nor any way to boot from USB. Just blindly poking around with google, I finally was able to boot from USB. But Solydx wouldn't install. Debian 9 sort of installed, but everything was HUGE and totally unusable. Xubuntu installed and I used it to delete most Windows partitions. But things became just senseless. Multiple installations of Xubuntu just sat there, with only one being bootable. End of rant.

Does anyone know of a way to make this new computer usable for Linux? I thought of wiping it clean, but without Aptio instructions or a classic bios I would still be in trouble.

Surely, others here have bought machines recently that did not force UEFI on you.

User avatar
ilu
Posts: 2044
Joined: 09 Oct 2013 12:45

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby ilu » 13 Jul 2018 18:36

I have only experience with Dell Notebooks, it was always a hassle to get the darn thing to boot, but always worked out in the end.

SolydX generally installs well on UEFI. Please give us the Dell modell number and system specs - you can

Code: Select all

sudo apt install inxi
inxi -Fxz
on that working xubuntu installation or use inxi from the SolydX live image.

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 14 Jul 2018 03:45

Sorry I can't go any faster. This thing is fighting me all of the way.
Apparently, I wasn't as far along as I thought. Here I was using GParted to create and initialize a partition for my data. And it appeared to let me create a partition, but refused to make an ext4 filesystem because an invisible piece of Windows was hideing in that space. So I guess that I didn't get rid of windows at all. I don't guess that GParted is as useful as I had hoped.

Code: Select all

mke2fss 1.44.1 
mke2fs.ext4 -F -O ^64 -L " '/dev/sda3'
Found a dos partition table in /dev/sda3
/dev/sda3 is apparently in use by the system; will not make a filesystem here.
Here's what you asked for:

Code: Select all

System:    Host: nova Kernel: 4.15.0-23-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 (Gtk 2.24.31) Distro: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Machine:   Device: desktop System: Dell product: Inspiron 3472 v: 1.2.0 serial: N/A
           Mobo: Dell model: 0T1C85 v: A00 serial: N/A
           UEFI: Dell v: 1.2.0 date: 05/25/2018
CPU:       Dual core Intel Celeron J4005 (-MCP-) arch: N/A cache: 4096 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 7987
           clock speeds: max: 2700 MHz 1: 940 MHz 2: 1140 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Device 3185 bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 )
           drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel UHD Graphics 600 (Geminilake 2x6)
           version: 4.5 Mesa 18.0.0-rc5 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel Device 3198 driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:0e.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-23-generic
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCIE Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: e000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: enp1s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
           driver: ath9k bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-3: Atheros usb-ID: 001-006
           IF: null-if-id state: N/A speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1000.2GB (0.7% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST1000DM010 size: 1000.2GB temp: 36C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 29G used: 6.1G (23%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 34.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2537
Info:      Processes: 159 Uptime: 18 min Memory: 391.8/3755.1MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: N/A
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.191) inxi: 2.3.56 
Am I the only stupid one here?

kurotsugi
Posts: 2103
Joined: 09 Jan 2014 00:17

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby kurotsugi » 15 Jul 2018 11:25

AFAIK there are 2 or 3 hidden partition for windows. one of them is a boot partition which should not deleted but the other two should be safe to remove. Dell is supporting linux so I think it should be easy to install linux on it. though, the windows stuff might make things a lil bit complicated. have you contacted dell's support about how to install linux on it?

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 15 Jul 2018 16:17

@kurotsugi
Thank you for your reply. I used gparted to delete MS partitions, except first. Then I created new partitions for OS installations and for data and backup. I tried using dd to zero out the contents and that seemed to work removing the hidden MS crap. Dell support seems useless to me. Questions I asked were just scanned for keywords that sent me to boilerplate. They are not Linux friendly.

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 15 Jul 2018 16:37

@Ilu
Well, I finally got Solydx to install on UEFI box. However, it seems to be really uncomfortable there. When I clicked restart after install, the gui was way too large and therefore ugly. I set the DPI setting to 96 and it seemed to be fixed after restart. But, it doesn't stay there: for reasons I haven't discovered. Sometimes it looks good and sometimes it looks large and ugly again. There are other misbehaviours also. Possibly something to do with the fact that Package updater cannot complete its update.

Code: Select all

E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
================================
butch@nova2:~$ dpkg --configure -a
dpkg: error: requested operation requires superuser privilege
butch@nova2:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
[sudo] password for butch: 
Setting up libvlc-bin:amd64 (3.0.2-0+deb9u1) ...
Setting up glx-alternative-mesa (0.8.3~deb9u1) ...
Setting up ca-certificates (20161130+nmu1+deb9u1) ...
Updating certificates in /etc/ssl/certs...
0 added, 0 removed; done.
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  ca-certificates: update-ca-certificates
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package ca-certificates (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package glx-alternative-mesa (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package libvlc-bin:amd64 (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: ../../src/packages.c:235: process_queue: Assertion `dependtry <= 4' failed.
Aborted
butch@nova2:~$ 
====================================

Code: Select all

butch@nova2:~$ sudo apt-get install gparted

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.

[sudo] password for butch: 
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem. 
butch@nova2:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
Processing triggers for libreoffice-common (1:5.2.7-1+deb9u4) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47+b1) ...
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.130) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.9.0-7-amd64
W: initramfs-tools failed to select a resume device
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...
Setting up libvlc-bin:amd64 (3.0.2-0+deb9u1) ...
Setting up glx-alternative-mesa (0.8.3~deb9u1) ...
Setting up ca-certificates (20161130+nmu1+deb9u1) ...
Updating certificates in /etc/ssl/certs...
0 added, 0 removed; done.
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  ca-certificates: update-ca-certificates
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package ca-certificates (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package glx-alternative-mesa (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package libvlc-bin:amd64 (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: ../../src/packages.c:235: process_queue: Assertion `dependtry <= 4' failed.
Aborted
butch@nova2:~$ 

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Update fails, some problem with dpkg. On UEFI box.

Postby albert.wagner » 15 Jul 2018 23:18

I finally got Solydx to install on UEFI box. However, it seems to be really uncomfortable there. When I clicked restart after install, the gui was way too large and therefore ugly. I set the DPI setting to 96 and it seemed to be fixed after restart. But, it doesn't stay there: for reasons I haven't discovered. Sometimes it looks good and sometimes it looks large and ugly again. There are other misbehaviours also. Possibly something to do with the fact that Package updater cannot complete its update.

Code: Select all

E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
================================
butch@nova2:~$ dpkg --configure -a
dpkg: error: requested operation requires superuser privilege
butch@nova2:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
[sudo] password for butch: 
Setting up libvlc-bin:amd64 (3.0.2-0+deb9u1) ...
Setting up glx-alternative-mesa (0.8.3~deb9u1) ...
Setting up ca-certificates (20161130+nmu1+deb9u1) ...
Updating certificates in /etc/ssl/certs...
0 added, 0 removed; done.
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  ca-certificates: update-ca-certificates
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package ca-certificates (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package glx-alternative-mesa (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /etc/issue: /etc/issue.net: /etc/os-release: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop
dpkg: error processing package libvlc-bin:amd64 (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: ../../src/packages.c:235: process_queue: Assertion `dependtry <= 4' failed.
Aborted
butch@nova2:~$ 
====================================

Code: Select all

butch@nova2:~$ sudo apt-get install gparted

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.

[sudo] password for butch: 
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem. 
butch@nova2:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
Processing triggers for libreoffice-common (1:5.2.7-1+deb9u4) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47+b1) ...
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.130) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.9.0-7-amd64
W: initramfs-tools failed to select a resume device
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...
Setting up libvlc-bin:amd64 (3.0.2-0+deb9u1) ...
Setting up glx-alternative-mesa (0.8.3~deb9u1) ...
Setting up ca-certificates (20161130+nmu1+deb9u1) ...
Updating certificates in /etc/ssl/certs...
0 added, 0 removed; done.
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  ca-certificates: update-ca-certificates
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package ca-certificates (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  glx-alternative-mesa: register-glx-alternative-mesa
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package glx-alternative-mesa (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: cycle found while processing triggers:
 chain of packages whose triggers are or may be responsible:
  solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system -> solydxk-system
 packages' pending triggers which are or may be unresolvable:
  libvlc-bin:amd64: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/vlc/plugins
  solydxk-system: /usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop: /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/xdg/math.desktop: /etc/os-release: /etc/issue.net: /etc/issue
dpkg: error processing package libvlc-bin:amd64 (--configure):
 triggers looping, abandoned
dpkg: ../../src/packages.c:235: process_queue: Assertion `dependtry <= 4' failed.
Aborted
butch@nova2:~$

User avatar
ilu
Posts: 2044
Joined: 09 Oct 2013 12:45

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby ilu » 15 Jul 2018 23:18

The trigger cycle has to be resolved before anything else will work and it seems that solydxk-system is involved. Since Arjen is taking care of other responsibilities at the moment :D there is not much we can do about solydxk-system at the moment.

I'm also wondering about "Found a dos partition table in /dev/sda3" - this sounds like mbr but EFI should come with gpt not with mbr. Check this with "parted -l" and post the output. mbr would be another reason to start from scratch.

How big is your existing EFI partition? I remember that grizzler said something about Solydxk needing at least 300MiB. That being said - mine is 100 MiB and the system is working fine (but I have a boot partition which might make up for the lack of space on EFI).

gparted is the best tool for these tasks and if gparted doesn't succeed you have to find out why. I wouldn't resort to terminal commands for formatting.

I would ditch this installation and start from scratch. Is there anything on the disk you need to keep? If not, start up the life system, use gparted to delete everything and (menu should be named "disk") to write a new gpt partition table. Afterwards you need to create a new EFI partition. More on EFI here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/EF ... _partition - use the instructions for GNU Parted (=gparted). Size recommendations are here: https://www.ctrl.blog/entry/esp-size-guide - use the largest, which is 513MiB.

I'm not sure why kurotsugi said the first partition should not be deleted - I'm guessing he meant the EFI partition. Maybe wait for kurotsugi to elaborate on that?

Edit: as long as it's about the same machine (and possibly related) please stick with one topic. Please don't copy stuff into diferent threads, people have a hard time checking whether it's identical or not. If it's just a double post please remove one of them.

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 16 Jul 2018 01:33

The hidden dos partition table was trash left from destroying windows. I ran dd with /dev/zero on that partition and then GParted was able to make a filesystem there. I populated it with my data and now am using it in Debian and Xubuntu.

Yes, the disk is GPT. I convinced myself by creating 6 partitions numbered 1-6 and narry a word about "extended" partitions.

Gparted says that the EFI system partition is 512 MiB.

I was, and still am, confused as to where to post a question about "software" failing during "installation" on new "hardware".:)

You are probably right about re-installing solydx. I'll let you know. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

User avatar
ilu
Posts: 2044
Joined: 09 Oct 2013 12:45

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby ilu » 16 Jul 2018 01:48

albert.wagner wrote:
16 Jul 2018 01:33
I was, and still am, confused as to where to post a question about "software" failing during "installation" on new "hardware".:)
Stuff failing during installation belongs into "installation" but your trigger cycle most probably happened during upgrade after installation - we should have a forum section for "upgrade troubles". Which ISO did you use?

albert.wagner
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Mar 2018 16:43

Re: Dell, Windows and UEFI

Postby albert.wagner » 16 Jul 2018 16:08

My label on the usb stick has "solydx9(2)". So, probably, "solydx9 2nd edition". It installed perfectly without a hitch. I have no idea what happened earlier. I was shooting in the dark. BTW, I just installed "rEFInd". It's supposed to boot anything on UEFI and do it with a GUI. We'll see.


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