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#1 2017-11-13 16:28:55

mskala
Member
Registered: 2017-11-13
Posts: 4

Ascii installer image?

Is there such a thing as an Ascii installer image?  If so, where can I find it?

I'm trying to install on a Dell Inspiron 11 netbook, which has an eMMC drive as its main built-in storage and a BIOS that wants to use UEFI - the UEFI can maybe be disabled but it's not clear doing so actually helps with my problem.  The Devuan Jessie installer cannot see this drive.

So with Devuan Jessie apparently a non-starter, I tried installing Slackware, whose installer kernel can boot up and see the drive, but some parts of its installation scripts are buggy with respect to EFI; it installs a system but not a valid boot loader.  I attempted to work around that by manually reproducing the steps the installer should have taken to get the kernel into the UEFI boot menu, and I got as far as having the installed kernel on the eMMC drive come up and immediately panic, unable to mount the root partition.  Apparently ELILO could see the drive but the kernel Slackware had installed couldn't, even though it was supposed to be the same kernel from the installer that had been able to see the drive.  I've tried recompiling a new kernel (in the Slackware installation on the netbook's eMMC drive, mounted live from the Slackware installer - the installation works except for being unable to boot itself) but so far I haven't found a set of options that works.

My next thought was to go back to Devuan - which had been the distribution I wanted to try in the first place - but use Ascii instead of Jessie.  Net searches indicate that Ascii may have a kernel recent enough to see the drive.  But I cannot find any downloadable installer image for Ascii and am not sure one exists.  All the discussion I can find of installing Ascii seems to involve installing Jessie first and then upgrading it, and that's a non-starter with the Jessie installer unable to see the drive.  So what I think I really want is an Ascii installer.  Not a path to Ascii that goes through installing Jessie.

On disabling UEFI:  so far I haven't been able to get it to boot from the eMMC in that state; it's possible I screwed up the "bootable partition" flag and I'll look into that, but even if that is the only reason I couldn't boot from eMMC with UEFI disabled, the kernel installed by Slackware, and the kernel on the Jessie installer, will still be kernels that cannot see the eMMC drive.  So I think my only hope for disabling UEFI to be helpful would be if it allowed me to avoid the installer bugs in Slackware and get a friendlier process for trying other Slackware kernels.

Is my only Devuan option to install Jessie on some kind of removable media (like another USB drive), upgrade that to an Ascii installation on the removable media, and then somehow bootstrap it into an Ascii installation on the eMMC drive?  Might it be possible to boot with the Slackware installer (which is the only process I've found that gets me to a Linux prompt that can see the eMMC drive) and live-mount the Devuan Jessie installer, so that I can run that under a kernel that is able to see the drive instead of its own kernel?

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#2 2017-11-13 17:39:56

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 444

Re: Ascii installer image?

I can think of some other options. When I was adding support for nvme disks in refractainstaller, I didn't have any nvme disks to test it, so I also made it aware of mmc devices. I know it sees them and displays them as choices for partitions/drives, but I've never tested an actual install to one. Nothing here will boot from mmc. So there are a couple of options for using that installer.

1. Try the devuan desktop-live uefi iso. It's jessie, but since the installer will see your drive, it might work.
https://files.devuan.org/devuan_jessie/desktop-live/

2. Try a refracta iso with the same installer.
Those are here - https://sourceforge.net/projects/refrac … isohybrid/

3. If you really do need a newer kernel, I made a devuan desktop-live iso with 4.9 kernel from backports.
That's here - http://distro.ibiblio.org/refracta/files/experimental/
Also in that same directory is ascii with openrc and eudev. That one is more experimental and was made for testing purposes. It's probably not your best choice.

4. Try a refracta-ascii no-X iso - https://sourceforge.net/projects/refrac … s/testing/
That one has the same installer, cli version. It's labeled as pre-alpha, but keep in mind that ascii is based on stretch, so it's really pretty stable. Refracta is a re-spin of Devuan and uses Devuan repositories for packages.

5. Use a refracta iso to do a debootstrap install of ascii.

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#3 2017-11-14 17:41:21

mskala
Member
Registered: 2017-11-13
Posts: 4

Re: Ascii installer image?

Thanks for the suggestions!  The devuan desktop-live UEFI ISO boots successfully but cannot see the eMMC drive.  All the others on the list load the kernel and then a few seconds into the boot process, the screen goes blank and the machine crashes (no response to such things as pressing CapsLock).  It looks powered down, but is not, because pressing the power button doesn't wake it; only after holding down the power button for several seconds to really power it off, can I reboot.

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#4 2017-11-14 18:11:34

mskala
Member
Registered: 2017-11-13
Posts: 4

Re: Ascii installer image?

Further to that - it looks like the black-screen issue is because I need to boot the kernel with the "nomodeset" kernel command-line option.  Discovered while making attempts with Slackware; it would likely also be helpful with the Devuan and Refracta images but I haven't explored them further yet.

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#5 2017-11-14 21:02:16

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 444

Re: Ascii installer image?

The need for nomodeset is fairly common. It depends on the video card. I got a black screen without it on my old nvidia card and a black screen with it on my new nvidia card.

I looked at refractainstaller-uefi and found some errors. It won't see the mmc drive for the grub selection, but it should see it for /, /home and /boot choices. What does fdisk show for the drive's device name? I would expect something like /dev/mmcblk0p1 for the first partition on the first drive. I'd like to know if I need to change my search pattern. Thanks.

If you want to try a corrected version of the script, I can post it somewhere.

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#6 2017-11-16 01:57:01

fungus
Member
From: Any witch way
Registered: 2017-07-12
Posts: 364
Website

Re: Ascii installer image?

Intel i9xx trouble

Here I am trying 2222 all over again.  Accidentally as I was called to attend something I left the iso while trying to boot in the safemode and after a while it managed to get to openbox.

On my second installation attempt (the 1st couldn't even get wifi networking on the console to work properly) where at least I got wifi to work before installation, I struggled to get X up and all attempts were fruitless.

This is what Xorg log showed:

[   173.177] (II) Module fb: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
[   173.177] 	compiled for 1.19.2, module version = 1.0.0
[   173.177] 	ABI class: X.Org ANSI C Emulation, version 0.4
[   173.177] (II) UnloadModule: "fbdev"
[   173.177] (II) Unloading fbdev
[   173.177] (II) UnloadSubModule: "fbdevhw"
[   173.177] (II) Unloading fbdevhw
[   173.177] (II) UnloadModule: "vesa"
[   173.177] (II) Unloading vesa
[   173.177] (==) Depth 24 pixmap format is 32 bpp
[   173.177] (WW) glamor requires at least 128 instructions (64 reported)
[   173.177] (EE) modeset(0): Failed to initialize glamor at ScreenInit() time.
[   173.177] (EE) 
Fatal server error:
[   173.177] (EE) AddScreen/ScreenInit failed for driver 0
[   173.177] (EE) 
[   173.177] (EE) 

The puzzle is more with the live image, how would it take 10' to finally boot (open X and openbox) and suddenly, after this "accident" of being allowed the 10' not it boots uo faster?  Is the live image capable of storing a working setting for the next time?

Since booting the new installation was problematic I allowed it some time to see if it could recover.
Then I played on console for a while trying different DM, I even added LXDE, just in case some missing part of the puzzle was missing.  I even got X removed and reinstalled.

After the update of the system where kernel 4.9.04 was installed on the next boot 4.9.04 would totally freeze, while 4.9.03 would just labor while its other ttys were functional.  I added some intel firmware and refreshed initramfs and got to at least so the new kernel had the same begavior with the older one.

I don't know what it is that is missing in this sick puppy but I've never encountered another devuan or debian to be so resisting of producing a graphical screen.  I have been trying this thing ever since that iso was a couple of weeks old and I can't get it to work no matter what.

What is even more puzzling was that it eventually worked on live but the installation couldn't have the same behavior.
I noticed while on live there was missing graphic firmware something.  Also when the new kernel was built it had "potential missing modules" for i915 gfx.  I tried to feed any i915 crap I found available.  The live couldn't discover any higher resolution than 1280x....  all other isos I have ever tried go to 1920x...  so I think this is related.
By the way the 1280 resolution looks almost as bad or worse than 640x

--------------------
https://forum.mxlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=39889
> I tried booting with modesetting driver, but it is failing

These two I understand they call for the reverse
https://www.reddit.com/r/archlinux/comm … ideointel/
https://www.dinohensen.nl/linux/modeset … benchmark/

Last edited by fungus (2017-11-16 03:13:33)

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#7 2017-11-16 02:28:51

mskala
Member
Registered: 2017-11-13
Posts: 4

Re: Ascii installer image?

"nomodeset" turns out not to be a good idea on this machine because it interferes with starting X.  Instead, I found that the blank-screen problem also goes away if I disable "Load Legacy Option Rom" in the BIOS settings.

fdisk shows the eMMC drive as /dev/mmcblk0 and then the partitions are, as you say, /dev/mmcblk0p1 (the EFI partition), /dev/mmcblk0p2, and so on.

I'm not still looking for assistance on this - I ended up going back to Slackware, but may look at Devuan again at some point in the future.

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