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#1 2023-07-27 22:46:00

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

I downloaded the devuan_chimaera_4.0.0_amd64_netinstall.iso, checked it aginst its SHA256SUM and burned it to a 64Gb USB2.0 stick.
The purpose was to install it to that same USB stick.

When I got to writing the partitions I came across something strange, see for yourselves:

netinstall.jpg

The USB stick I am using for the installation is SCSI8 (sdc).

SCSI6 (sdb) is my system drive and /dev/sdb3 is the swap file.

SCSI9 (sdf) is *not* partitioned and it contains a few important backup files.

sdf1.jpg

Anyone knows what is going on?

Thanks in advance.

Best,

A.

PD: sorry for the lousy image system but the one I had is no longer free.

Last edited by Altoid (2023-07-27 22:51:07)

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#2 2023-07-28 01:04:30

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 1,051  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Have you done like that before? What did you expect to see?

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#3 2023-07-28 01:59:42

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

Have you done like that before?

Install Linux directly on a USB drive?
Most probably, long ago.
Really can't recall.

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

What did you expect to see?

More like what I did not expect to see.

eg: the installer informing me that ...
      - it would format partitions in drives that don't belong to the drive previously selected for the installation.
      ie: drive selected is /dev/sdc but it informs that it will format partition #3 in /dev/sdb

      - it would format an inexistent partition.
      ie: drive /dev/sdf does not have a partition #3

Obviously, this problem has an easy enough solution: take all drives in my box off-line.

But questions remain:

Why does the installer want to work on drives not selected for the installation?
Why does the installer see an inexistent partition in one of those drives?

I think that that type of thing should not happen.
Surely it can't be because the selected drive is a USB stick?

Thanks in advance.

Best,

A.

Last edited by Altoid (2023-07-28 02:01:24)

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#4 2023-07-28 02:44:52

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 1,051  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Looks funny yes, but it's hard to know what is happening when you start partitioning the installer disk, whose first partition (which spans the whole image) is mounted at that time.

Generally it's not a problem for the installer to install onto any other disk, whether USB or not, but installing over itself is probably stretching it too far.

If you for practical reasons or whatever really need the installed system to replace the installer on that USB, you need to exercise a fair bit of commandline fu to make that happen; e.g. by setting up an nbd disk image in RAM to install to, and then copy that onto the USB just before reboot... (not something I've done, but it could be fun smile )

... or maybe I have misunderstood your use case?

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#5 2023-07-28 03:03:50

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

Looks funny yes ...

So I thought.

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

... hard to know what is happening when you start partitioning the installer disk ...
... installing over itself is probably stretching it too far.

Indeed.
For some reason I had it in my head/was convinced that is was loading to RAM ...  8^°
I wonder where I got that from?

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

... really need the installed system to replace the installer on that USB ...

No, not that at all.
More ignorance (of how the install process works) than anything else.

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

... misunderstood your use case?

You are too kind.

Thanks (many) for your input.

Best,

A.

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#6 2023-07-28 08:32:05

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 377  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

I've not used a net install, so can't say, but, I usually use one pendrive for the install media, & a separate pendrive to install it to, just like I do when installing to internal disks. wink

Could it be the fact that you are trying to install it to the same pendrive as you are booting from(?), I've never tried to do that.

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#7 2023-07-28 10:03:31

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

Camtaf wrote:

... you are trying to install it to the same pendrive ...

Exactly.
See previous posts.

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#8 2023-07-28 11:03:57

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,354  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

For some reason I had it in my head/was convinced that is was loading to RAM ...  8^°
I wonder where I got that from?

Live isos can boot the entire iso into RAM. That's an option in live-boot that isn't available in the installer isos. Add "toram" or maybe "toram=filesystem.squashfs" to the boot command for a live-usb and then it's not running from the usb stick. You could even remove the usb stick and keep running the system. Booting that way might allow you to install over the imaged usb, but then you have to get it right the first time or else start over with imaging the stick.

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#9 2023-07-28 11:29:23

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello fsr:

fsmithred wrote:

Live isos can boot the entire iso into RAM.

Yes.

fsmithred wrote:

Add "toram" or maybe "toram=filesystem.squashfs" to the boot command for a live-usb ...
... that way might allow you to install over the imaged usb, but then you have to get it right the first time ...

That's a good idea.
Have to get it right the first time around.

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#10 2023-07-28 11:52:06

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

Having come to my senses, I went ahead and did it right way.  8^°

I burned the netinstall.iso to a 2.0Gb MicroSD card to install to the previously used 64Gb USB2.0 stick.
During the installation I chose to delete everything on the stick so it would start anew.

But I got the same behaviour from the installer:

Altoid wrote:

eg: the installer informing me that ...
      - it would format partitions in drives that don't belong to the drive previously selected for the installation.
      ie: drive selected is /dev/sdc but it informs that it will format partition #3 in /dev/sdb

      - it would format an inexistent partition.
      ie: drive /dev/sdf does not have a partition #3

netinst-2.jpg

Any idea as to what is happening?
Why would the installer want to muck around with a drive not selcted for installation?

Thanks in advance.

Best,

A.

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#11 2023-07-28 13:22:10

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 1,051  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

How does the dialog before that one look?

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#12 2023-07-28 14:00:34

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 377  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Partition your disk manually, seems to be an option, so I'd take a look at that.

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#13 2023-07-28 14:10:41

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

Camtaf wrote:

Partition your disk manually ...

That is exactly what I am doing.

Thanks for your input.
Best,

A.

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#14 2023-07-28 14:41:52

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,354  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

I've seen the disk order change when booting with usb in some cases such that what was /dev/sda when booting from internal drive is called some other device name in the installer.

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#15 2023-07-28 15:34:52

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

How does the dialog before that one look?

Here it is:

previous-3.jpg

The installation drive (USB stick) is correctly identified (VendorCo ProductCode), is the correct size (62.9GB) and is where it should be (SCSI9 /dev/sdd).

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#16 2023-07-28 15:39:39

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello fsr:

fsmithred wrote:

... seen the disk order change when booting with usb ...

Yes, I think that happens always.

But it does not matter here as the installation drive is easy to identify.
Unless I am not paying attention, the right drive will be formatted and receive the installation.

The problem (as I see it) is that the installer wants to muck around with other drives and in ways that don't make sense.
eg: formatting an inexistent partition. (?)

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#17 2023-07-28 23:39:25

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 1,051  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Ok. Apparently the partitioner picks up all swap partitions (can't see sdg3 but taht'd be another swap partition). It should be possible to avoid that by deslecting those ("don't use this partition") via that previous dialog.

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#18 2023-07-29 09:43:56

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 377  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

As I said earlier, if he selects manual partitioning he should be able to do that; or change the whole layout completely. wink

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#19 2023-07-29 14:00:41

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

ralph.ronnquist wrote:

Apparently the partitioner picks up all swap partitions ...

Apparently so, would have to delve further into that.
But ...

Remember my first post: the installer wanted to format a partiton that did not exist.

Now, having 1) chosen to do an expert install, 2) selected specific drive to use and 3) having opted to partition it manually, I think that this should not be happening.

I did what you suggested and made sure that "don't use this partition" was used on every partition I could find that did not belong to the drive I selected for the installation and that worked.

As the other ie: /, /var and /home partitions were already established, the installer only formatted the /swap partition.

That said, why isn't every partition set up as "don't use this partition" by default?
Why does the installer pick up a /swap partition from a previously unselected drive?

I don't understand what is going on, maybe a glitch or a bug? Quite worrisome, at least to me.

In any case, I stopped the installation at 32% as it had been there for well over 15'.
I guess that installing on a 64GB USB2.0 will do that and as the damn things no longer come with the luxury of an activity LED, you really don't know if it is being written to or the install process went awry for whatever reason.

I'll try again this weekend.

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#20 2023-07-29 22:48:15

GlennW
Member
From: Tweed Heads, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 415  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

It takes a few minutes to go through that part of the install session, and fstab (my files) will be ready ready for access.

I remember with one of the installers I used (ascii ?) you could cut and paste the directories.

It comes out Like this,
/etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# systemd generates mount units based on this file, see systemd.mount(5).
# Please run 'systemctl daemon-reload' after making changes here.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sdc2 during installation
UUID=2f62f5a2-14f6-405d-8849-9fa7e3210d08 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sdc7 during installation
UUID=0bd195fc-4031-4b5c-a4c9-c807a749c60e /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
# /tmp was on /dev/sdc5 during installation
UUID=f6c50808-b2c7-4ece-8d5a-52e1fc520771 /tmp            ext4    defaults        0       2
# /usr/src was on /dev/sdc6 during installation
UUID=56eb9205-18e7-43b7-89dd-60f55a8c60cc /usr/src        ext4    defaults        0       2
# /var was on /dev/sdc3 during installation
UUID=ab8dfd96-4930-42d8-b07a-3212ab1bc60d /var            ext4    defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sdc4 during installation
UUID=f0eccce4-0bf9-4238-a477-c13d46a0814d none            swap    sw              0       0
# swap was on /dev/sdd3 during installation
UUID=e1d942bf-0f66-4294-980f-293c3815ef31 none            swap    sw              0       0
# /home/glenn/local/archive was on /dev/sdb6 during installation
UUID=e5747e43-525b-4311-b53b-f66fc7b81809 /home/glenn/local/archive ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/data was on /dev/sdb2 during installation
UUID=4a130c74-c9a0-4369-af07-3f6954939073 /home/glenn/local/data ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/free was on /dev/sdb5 during installation
UUID=7c682119-06c5-4f9d-bdc2-a7c6bbddb2f7 /home/glenn/local/free ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/media/circus was on /dev/sdb7 during installation
UUID=913582e9-3f2d-40f6-8494-7136a81db07d /home/glenn/local/media/circus ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/media/movies was on /dev/sdb9 during installation
UUID=d02d15fb-b266-4fe1-bc49-d341b1984610 /home/glenn/local/media/movies ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/media/music was on /dev/sdb8 during installation
UUID=bf2c2b46-6cb1-4677-b613-b6763be457ea /home/glenn/local/media/music ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/other was on /dev/sdb1 during installation
UUID=fcf78297-e13b-4b96-9acf-8f6a5465a3eb /home/glenn/local/other ext4    defaults        0       2
# /home/glenn/local/spare was on /dev/sdb3 during installation
UUID=d2a98357-069d-420c-9722-904268da1538 /home/glenn/local/spare ext4    defaults        0       2
# mount install.iso as a directory
# /mnt/storage/debian-8.2.0-i386-CD-1.iso /mnt/debian-cd/ udf,iso9660 loop 0 0
/home/glenn/My_system/system-isos/devuan/devuan_daedalus_5.0.preview-20230601_amd64_desktop.iso /home/glenn/local/archive/debs/iso/devuan_daedalus_5.0.preview-20230601_amd64_desktop udf,iso9660 loop 0 0
/home/glenn/My_system/system-isos/devuan/devuan_daedalus_5.0.preview-20230601_i386_desktop.iso /home/glenn/local/archive/debs/iso/devuan_daedalus_5.0.preview-20230601_i386_desktop udf,iso9660 loop 0 0
# DVD burner.
/dev/sr0        /media/cdrom0   iso9660 ro,user,auto  0       0

a pet hate on a (brand) new SSD drive the installer auto matically selects "dos mbr" .

So I did the partitioning before the installation with a live devuan session.

I prefer GPT and using UUIDs. My drives change order all the time, UUIDs help.

Next... every time you format a partition it get a new UUID. So you should get one for that "swap" that was reformatted.

It adds a quite a bit of time to the install (and sometimes wont start) if I don't format / and /var.

This is a single user PC.

I used to have more separate system partitions, /usr /boot /usr/src /var /home

all the best.

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#21 2023-07-30 12:11:54

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

GlennW wrote:

... comes out Like this,
--- snip ---
... did the partitioning before the installation ...

Yes, I used to do it like that.
Every time I moved from one distribution to the next one in line.
I then settled on Devuan ~6 years ago.

I was very much used to /dev/sdx notation but eventually started using UUIDs.

GlennW wrote:

... every time you format a partition it get a new UUID.

Indeed ...

And your fstab gets ...  fstabbed.
Resulting in a warning about the system not finding a UUID, usually happens when you resize the /swap partition.

GlennW wrote:

... used to have more separate system partitions ...

The benefit of separate partitions for /home, /var and /swap are important.
I also use primary partitions, easier/faster to work with than primary+extended if you don't need more than four partitions.   

My box has 8.0GB RAM and the 4.0GB swap partition (in my case) practically gets no use as I have priority set to -2 (it is a small SSD).
Should I need more disk space I will see about a tmpfs for swap, have been puting it off for the longest time.

With respect to the reason for this thread, I think the installer is not working properly.

ie:
Once a specific drive is selected for the installation, the default behaviour should be that no partition on any other drive be used for anything.
More yet, the installer should warn that a partition outside the selected installation drive will be used before continuing with the process.

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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#22 2023-07-30 20:52:08

GlennW
Member
From: Tweed Heads, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 415  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

The installer has been picking up swap files from any attached drive. since I remember, but also other distros I have used.

When I had windows I put the swap on a separate HDD and really noticed (benchmark-able) a speed increase.

That's all I got for now. Devuan is good.

(the second swap on my system is from a ubuntu-studio install that I'm playing with)

Thank you

Last edited by GlennW (2023-07-30 21:02:23)

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#23 2023-07-30 23:31:26

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,297  

Re: Strange netinstall.iso behaviour

Hello:

GlennW wrote:

... installer has been picking up swap files from any ...

I don't think that should happen.
You have seen it in other (Debian based?) distributions because the installer code is common to all of them.

GlennW wrote:

... put the swap on a separate HDD and really noticed ...

Yes, I also did that (another life, many years ago) when I could get my hand on another HDD.
When memory prices dropped, things changed a bit.

Thanks for your input.

Best,

A.

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