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#1 2022-07-15 19:04:26

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,583  

Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Someone sent this very thoughtful summary of a less than satisfactory experience trying to install Devuan to Devuan's administrative email. I thought that posting it here for feedback from D1G's resident geeks might be useful to the OP as well as others down the line. Have at it!!

Not sure if this is the right place to email this, but I gave up on Devuan, and thought someone should hear my feedback.

I'm not a newbie at Linux. I've been using it as my daily driver for the past 15 years. I've successfully installed Linux From Scratch, Gentoo, Void, Artix, Arch (many times), as well as more beginner-oriented distros like Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora and Endeavour without problems. Currently using Gentoo, Void and Artix as my daily drivers on different machines.

Devuan is the most "significant" non-systemd distro I hadn't tried, so I was curious. I thought it would be easier to install than the ones I'm used to, if anything. But I was wrong.

The computer I was using doesn't have an ethernet connection available, so I had to install over wifi. Booted into the (network install) iso. No firmware available for my wifi. A little annoying, but fair enough; I appreciate it not wanting to use too much non-free stuff by default. It asks me to load it from removable media. Figured that would be OK. I actually have 5 drives connected to the system, three of which had partitions with the necessary firmware on it. (Two of them ext4, one of them fat32.) Installer couldn't find it anywhere however (although it doesn't report that; it just proceeds and then fails exchanging keys). Tried escaping to the (very limited) shell. Running mount directly gives me uninterpretable errors (just "bad argument", I think) for all the relevant partitions.

OK, rebooted into Gentoo. Couldn't find any relevant documentation on the devuan site, but some debian related discussions online suggest it should be on a FAT32 usb stick. Not sure why it wasn't working with the FAT32 partition I already had, but oh well. I had to wipe another USB stick to reformat as FAT32 and install the firmware.

Was finally able to complete the installer process. Chose runit as the init system, since I've used runit on Void and Artix.

Rebooted. UEFI cannot find grub.

Back into gentoo. Mounted the partitions of the Devuan install and discovered that it installed the kernel and initramfs file on the main partition rather than the EFI partition for inexplicable reasons. So I manually copied them to the right partition and bypassed grub by using efibootmgr to create an appropriate boot option.

Devuan finally boots.

At login prompt, tried to log in as the user I created during on the installer. It tells me my password is wrong. OK, tried to log in as root. Tells me my password is wrong. Tried again in case I misstyped. Still wrong. The installer asked me to type and retype the passwords to confirm they're the same. I am quite confident I did not type the wrong thing four times (twice for each user) during the install, so this was pretty inexplicable.

Back into gentoo. Chroot into the devuan install and manually change the passwords.

Reboot devuan. OK, finally, I'm in.

No wifi. It must be possible somehow since the installer connected. (User friendly distros often copy the network configuration used during the install for you. If this were something like Arch or Gentoo where you install through a chroot I would have made sure the services I need for wifi were installed and enabled prior to rebooting the new installation, but the Devuan installer does not give you the opportunity to install anything else.)

Look around to see what's available. Looked for networkmanager and connman (mentioned as options in this documentation page here – https://www.devuan.org/os/documentation … ation.html – though "connman" is mispelled there), but they're not installed by the installer I guess. Of course there's no way for me to install them without network access. Other tools I've used for wifi like iwd, dhcpcd, openresolv, etc., are also missing.

But it looks like wpa_supplicant and dhclient are there. OK, I used wpa_supplicant on Linux From Scratch, so this should be doable.

Tried to enable them. Runit's services directory has no services for them.

Ran wpa_supplicant directly just as a program rather than service. It says it finds my card and everything is OK, but wifi scan cannot find any networks. Tried in vain to find any documentation whatsoever that might help at all. Devuan has next to no documentation, period.

Gave up. Maybe if I needed it for any real reason and wasn't just installing out of curiosity it might be worth trying to do more, but as is, this was my limit. How could this be harder than Linux From Scratch?

Really not trying to bash anyone; I know maintaining a distro is hard work. But I figure you would appreciate honest feedback from someone like me. At least you should consider making wifi-installs and configuration more straightforward and/or better documented, especially. Most people would have given up even sooner.

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#2 2022-07-15 20:26:27

xinomilo
Member
Registered: 2017-07-02
Posts: 259  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

a "full report", but no details. so, questions :

  • what devuan iso? does the iso checks out ok? (md5sum?)

  • did you burn iso in usb from legacy boot or uefi?

  • network manager applications like connman or network-manager get installed by installer, providing you choose a DE on installation.. eg. xfce recommends network-manager... so it should be there on default installation..

just a blind guess: bad/not fully downloaded iso or bad USB or something else..

edit] re-read, so network-install without network, doesn't work as expected.. better choose a full iso next time..

2c.

Last edited by xinomilo (2022-07-15 20:28:06)

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#3 2022-07-15 20:54:43

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 710  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

It would also be useful to know whether this person used the default Install option or the Advanced/Expert install option, and the choices along the way. Often enough people opt to use the latter and then make choices contrary to their needs and intentions. It would be good feedback about the appropriateness (and lack of) of the steps' advice and instructions.

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#4 2022-07-16 08:18:31

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,436  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

No firmware available for my wifi. A little annoying

What's annoying are entitled users attempting to use a distribution without even the vaguest understanding of how or why they work. Idiot.

Installer couldn't find it anywhere

AFAIUI the installer only scans the first device found, which is a bug. Otherwise see https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/ … 04.en.html

Running mount directly gives me uninterpretable errors (just "bad argument", I think) for all the relevant partitions.

The busybox shell's mount command requires the -t option. Paraphrasing error messages is also really fucking annoying btw.

install the firmware

Ah, so you finally did discover the documentation then? Why the fuck did you complain earlier then? Troll.

Rebooted. UEFI cannot find grub.

Again with the fucking paraphrasing. Twat.

it installed the kernel and initramfs file on the main partition rather than the EFI partition for inexplicable reasons

So you didn't configure the partitioning stage correctly then? Another PEBKAC...

Ran wpa_supplicant directly just as a program rather than service. It says it finds my card and everything is OK, but wifi scan cannot find any networks.

Sounds like it's missing the firmware. Anybody with half a brain would check dmesg & /lib/firmware/ but this person is special, apparently.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

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#5 2022-07-16 12:25:30

kyuss
Member
Registered: 2022-06-28
Posts: 21  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Im inclined to agree with head on stick. PEBKAC for sure. I highly doubt said person has been successfully using linux for the past 15 years and think said person is shitposting.

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#6 2022-07-16 15:32:28

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,099  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

First mistake was excusable - OP believed the screen that asked him to load firmware from external media. Almost everyone who sees this screen should ignore it and continue. The firmware usually gets installed automatically.

We should probably put a screenshot of that in the install guide. I'm not sure how to get that. The screen doesn't seem to come up when booting a VM. Maybe a camera shot of a hardware boot?

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#7 2022-07-16 18:03:40

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,436  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

I was probably too harsh. Having a bad morning. Sorry all.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

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#8 2022-07-16 18:32:48

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,583  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Classic HoaS is always entertaining! big_smile

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#9 2022-07-16 18:38:21

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,583  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

More clarification from the OP:

I was using devuan_chimaera_4.0.0_amd64_server.iso. (I was using the server edition b/c I didn't want a desktop environment.)

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#10 2022-07-16 19:59:09

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 661  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Rebooted. UEFI cannot find grub.

Guess: the install media was booted in legacy mode. I have installed Chimaera so often in efi mode meanwhile I can't imagine what else might have gone wrong.

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#11 2022-07-21 04:34:41

czeekaj
Member
Registered: 2019-06-12
Posts: 76  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

The computer I was using doesn't have an ethernet connection available, so I had to install over wifi. Booted into the (network install) iso.

Honestly, mistake one I'd say. Network install is really great and all. But that's for guys who are building all the time. First time installing a distro you should of tried the live iso, minimal, or just an offline classic debian installer.

No firmware available for my wifi. A little annoying, but fair enough; (very limited) shell. Running mount directly gives me uninterpretable errors (just "bad argument", I think) for all the relevant partitions.

Again, using a minimal iso would fix a lot of this issue. You'd have a full bash shell, my first installs back on Jessie and ascii also came with every. single. non-free. wifi driver I could imagine. Honestly, I still have the same folder from live install to live install. We may of had to use pmount back then but we had live iso. To be frank, the automounting in other distro's drives me mad.

Pre-installed and a nice little script someone made to auto remove all those non-free drivers when I have a card that doesn't need it or I know which driver I do need so I uninstall everything but the one by hashing out the prebuilt script that was prepackaged in devuan and came with a nice little release note that outlines this.
Regarding mounting there is good release notes that covers how to setup an install to work EFI or MBR. How to set it up and what flags to use.

Rebooted. UEFI cannot find grub.

Back into gentoo. Mounted the partitions of the Devuan install and discovered that it installed the kernel and initramfs file on the main partition rather than the EFI partition for inexplicable reasons. So I manually copied them to the right partition and bypassed grub by using efibootmgr to create an appropriate boot option.

Devuan finally boots.

Honestly, I've had to use efibootmgr. But it's usually when the encrypted fs's efi bootloader gets lost.

Look around to see what's available. Looked for networkmanager and connman (mentioned as options in this documentation page here – https://www.devuan.org/os/documentation … ation.html – though "connman" is mispelled there), but they're not installed by the installer I guess. Of course there's no way for me to install them without network access. Other tools I've used for wifi like iwd, dhcpcd, openresolv, etc., are also missing.

But it looks like wpa_supplicant and dhclient are there. OK, I used wpa_supplicant on Linux From Scratch, so this should be doable.

I use a script from Katolaz called setnet.sh
I am trying to massage in an openvpn menu and list all your ovpn config files.
I'm not too skilled have some kinks to figure out before I can say it's working.
Or wicd-gtk works fine. No issues on the recent releases works perfect. Except when you don't have a gui. ofc smile

Last edited by czeekaj (2022-07-21 04:38:56)

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#12 2022-07-22 09:48:00

etech
Member
From: France - South West
Registered: 2022-03-13
Posts: 22  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Devuan is the most "significant" non-systemd distro I hadn't tried, so I was curious. I thought it would be easier to install than the ones I'm used to, if anything. But I was wrong.

Fantastic !!!

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#13 2022-07-25 01:49:00

GlennW
Member
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 247  

Re: Can you unravel where this went wrong?

Wrong iso, Gives up way too easy. Wrong attitude, Should try again.

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