Cannot boot Linux

Driphder

New Member
I installed Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS on the internal 64GB eMMC storage from a USB stick. The installation completed without any problem. However, when I rebooted, removing the USB stick when instructed, Linux would not boot. Instead, the computer is stuck in the bios (Aptio Setup Utility). It appears that the bios will not recognize the internal 64GB eMMC storage.

I tried several bios configuration changes, including this http://bbs.minisforum.com/attachments/微信图片_20190806184235-jpg.93/ from the N36 Windows forum, but I cannot get Linux to boot to the internal 64GB eMMC. I can get Linux to boot and run on my USB stick, so I can see the installation on the 64GB eMMC.

I also tried an Ubuntu image that MINISFORUM recommended, but the results were the same. The bios will not boot to the internal 64GB eMMC.

When I first received the N36 computer, Windows 10 booted successfully, so is there something I can do in Linux to get the bios to recognize the internal 64GB eMMC?
 

Wen

KODLIX developer
Staff member
Press "DEL" during boot to enter BIOS. Check"BOOT" -->“Boot option #1” item, set to [ubuntu].
 

Driphder

New Member
When I enter the BIOS, there are no boot options. If I plug in my usb stick, there are boot options only for my usb stick. Does this mean the internal 64GB eMMC has failed?
 

Wen

KODLIX developer
Staff member
You need to confirm the 64G eMMC information under ubuntu. For example: sudo fdisk -l ,
You need to provide me with this information.
 

Driphder

New Member
After trying to write your .iso to the 64GB eMMC, the storage was blank, and I could not write anything to it. I have attached the results of fdisk -l.

I decided to try again to install Ubuntu from my installation usb stick. This time it was successful. I can boot without the usb stick, and everything looks OK. I don't know why the first try failed, and I don't know why I couldn't write your .iso to the eMMC, but everything seems OK now.
 

Attachments

Wen

KODLIX developer
Staff member
64G eMMC No partition , No data, maybe not installed .

****************************************************************************
Disk /dev/mmcblk1: 57.7 GiB, 61907927040 bytes, 120913920 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
**************************************************************************
 

Driphder

New Member
Cannot boot Linux - solved

I want to summarize my experience installing Ubuntu in case anyone has the same problem.

1. After receiving the N36 computer, booted it in Windows 10, which was already on the computer. Everything appeared normal.
2. Downloaded the Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS installation file and wrote it to a USB stick.
3. Inserted the USB stick into a USB port on the N36 computer and rebooted, pressing the Delete key during the reboot to enter the BIOS.
4. In the BIOS, selected the BOOT tab, selected the USB stick as the #1 boot option, and saved/exited.
5. The installation started, and following the installation instructions, everything proceeded normally.
6. Rebooted the N36 computer, removing the USB stick when instructed, but the N36 returned to the BIOS instead of booting Ubuntu.
7. Checking the BOOT tab in the BIOS, found no boot options.
8. Reinserted the USB stick and booted Ubuntu from the USB stick (the Ubuntu installation file includes a copy of Ubuntu for those who want to evaluate Ubuntu before installing it).
9. Mounted the internal 64GB eMMC drive and examined the Ubuntu files. All looked normal.
10. Contacted MINISFORUM regarding the boot problem, and was given access to an image/iso file to try.
11. Tried to write the .iso file to the 64GB eMMC and got an indication the write process was successful.
12. Rebooted the N36 computer, but the result was the same: returned to BIOS and no boot options.
13. Tried a number of configuration changes to the BIOS with no success.
14. Booted with the USB stick and took a look at the 64GB eMMC. It was blank, with no partition.
15. Tried several different ways to write the .iso to the eMMC without success.
16. Finally, thinking the 64GB eMMC may be bad, decided to try to reinstall Ubuntu, using the installation file on the USB stick. This should indicate if the 64GB eMMC was good or bad.
17. Installation went as before, but this time N36 rebooted into the Ubuntu installation on the 64GB eMMC drive. After using the N36 computer for a day, everything appears to be working properly.

I suspect the original problem was that something from the Windows installation was left on the eMMC drive when Ubuntu was installed. The installation warns that all previous data will be lost, but there must have been some remnant still on the drive interfering with the BIOS. Therefore, an Ubuntu installation should probably be performed after the 64GB eMMC drive is wiped clean and reformatted, instead of overwriting Windows 10.

I don’t know the best way to prepare the drive without causing damage to the eMMC. Perhaps MINISFORUM could provide a procedure for those who wish to replace Windows 10 with Ubuntu.
 
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wvreeven

New Member
For what it is worth, last night I installed Ubuntu 18.04 on an N36. When the installation finished I rebooted the N36 with the USB stick with the installation medium on it still connected. The N36 booted into Linux without any problems. Then I unmounted the USB stick and rebooted the N36 which then booted into Linux again without any problems. The N36 has worked very well since.
 

Wen

KODLIX developer
Staff member
N36 Linux installation is a good choice, suitable for enterprise customization, not recommended for personal office, games:D
 

acpkendo

New Member
I am in the same situation here, having installed an Ubuntu 18.04 variant (Univention Corporate Server) on my N36. Only I have re-installed multiple times, dozens probably at this point, without success. Post-installation the eMMC drive isn't recognized by the system at all.

My assumption is that all the BIOS settings need to be in Legacy mode with CSM support on.

I can boot Linux from a flash drive, and the output of fdisk-l shows a healthy partition for boot (ext2) and the main LVM partition.

Hopefully you can help me here, I'm really frustrated over the experience with this machine which I bought specifically because (according to the Amazon listing) it supported Linux.
 

acpkendo

New Member
I'm fine with doing a re-install, but I don't want to use Ubuntu. And even if I did, I wouldn't want to use the desktop version. This is going to be a server appliance, and I don't want the overhead of a GNOME desktop.

So this doesn't answer my actual question of why a correctly-partitioned drive isn't being recognized by the BIOS. Let me ask this: is it required that the partition table be GPT? I did notice the install keeps putting an MBR instead.
 

Wen

KODLIX developer
Staff member
I'm fine with doing a re-install, but I don't want to use Ubuntu. And even if I did, I wouldn't want to use the desktop version. This is going to be a server appliance, and I don't want the overhead of a GNOME desktop.

So this doesn't answer my actual question of why a correctly-partitioned drive isn't being recognized by the BIOS. Let me ask this: is it required that the partition table be GPT? I did notice the install keeps putting an MBR instead.
GPT/MBR Both are supported .
 

acpkendo

New Member
I've since ditched the idea of running Univention Corporate Server (a Debian derivative) on this thing, the installer always sets up the eMMC as MBR, and I'm UTTERLY unable to get this thing to boot any OS installed in legacy mode. I've tried all the BIOS setting combinations available, with the exception of CSM support (which, when set to Disabled, requires that Video be set to UEFI mode).

I've switched to Ubuntu Server, which installs and boots, but the console is flooded with ACPI error messages. Using the "acpi=off" GRUB flag does nothing, and I can't find anywhere in the BIOS to disable ACPI completely. Is there a BIOS update available? If so, where do I get it? There's basically no documentation for this device, and I'm about to give up on Linux and just go back to the pre-installed Windows 10.

Which is a shame, because I selected this model because it says Linux is supported.
 

spikerguy

New Member
I've since ditched the idea of running Univention Corporate Server (a Debian derivative) on this thing, the installer always sets up the eMMC as MBR, and I'm UTTERLY unable to get this thing to boot any OS installed in legacy mode. I've tried all the BIOS setting combinations available, with the exception of CSM support (which, when set to Disabled, requires that Video be set to UEFI mode).

I've switched to Ubuntu Server, which installs and boots, but the console is flooded with ACPI error messages. Using the "acpi=off" GRUB flag does nothing, and I can't find anywhere in the BIOS to disable ACPI completely. Is there a BIOS update available? If so, where do I get it? There's basically no documentation for this device, and I'm about to give up on Linux and just go back to the pre-installed Windows 10.

Which is a shame, because I selected this model because it says Linux is supported.
Wait for some more tries. Maybe i can help.
From this thread what i understand is that you can boot debian from usb stick but once you install it in emmc then bios is not able to read the emmc?
This means that bios have a specific lock to look for a directory or a file which is mostly locked to windows efi directory. This is a known issue as Microsoft tried to lock everything so users can't use any other os so easily.

If you cannot enable legacy mode then its locked on uefi mode and that's a sign which does booting is locked.
You should be able to get ucm to work after tweaking things in grub and efi directory.

If your still interested then we can give it a try.

Cheers
 

acpkendo

New Member
Hi @spikerguy, thanks for the reply. You're correct, the issue was that I could boot from the Univention Corporate Server (Debian-based) install image, but once the install was complete I couldn't boot the system.

I will admit to a bit of user error here, it seems that even though the installer booted with UEFI, it always installed using MBR. Once I figured that out I set all the BIOS settings to Legacy, but for some reason it just wouldn't recognize the eMMC disk. That's the part I don't understand. But anyway...

The solution is probably to make sure it installs as UEFI, which (as you mention) means manually making sure the disklabel is GPT and making sure the required boot files are there.

I've actually got Ubuntu server running pretty nicely right now... so I think I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. In the event I want to try UCS again I'll wake this thread up. But for the time being... thanks again for chiming in!
 

spikerguy

New Member
Hi @spikerguy, thanks for the reply. You're correct, the issue was that I could boot from the Univention Corporate Server (Debian-based) install image, but once the install was complete I couldn't boot the system.

I will admit to a bit of user error here, it seems that even though the installer booted with UEFI, it always installed using MBR. Once I figured that out I set all the BIOS settings to Legacy, but for some reason it just wouldn't recognize the eMMC disk. That's the part I don't understand. But anyway...

The solution is probably to make sure it installs as UEFI, which (as you mention) means manually making sure the disklabel is GPT and making sure the required boot files are there.

I've actually got Ubuntu server running pretty nicely right now... so I think I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. In the event I want to try UCS again I'll wake this thread up. But for the time being... thanks again for chiming in!
It's good to hear that you have Ubuntu/Debian UCS working, UCS is one of the best Distro for Home server management. Would you like to share the application services you will be running on your UCS?
I am trying to gather some information on the uses for Mini PC with linux other than just desktop pc use case.

Thanks.
 
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