My Tumbleweed install for August
I’ve been doing an install of the month, in order to test Tumbleweed installation. For August, I installed in an alternate partition on my main desktop system.
The Tumbleweed install media have been broken for the last two weeks. If used from a USB flash drive, the installer cannot be booted in UEFI mode. Apparently it can still be booted with UEFI if it is actually burned to a DVD. However, I prefer to install with a USB, so I decided to give it a try in spite of the problems. I had actually wanted to test whether a UEFI install can be done when the install media is not UEFI bootable. So this was a good time to test that.
I downloaded the install DVD iso for the 20150802 snapshot. As usual, I used “aria2c” to download. That went well. I also used “wget” to download the file containing the sha256 checksum. I verified the gpg signature on that checksum file. Then I compared the checksum in that file with the checksum that I could compute from the downloaded iso. And all was fine.
I then “burned” the iso to a USB drive, with
# dd_rescue openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20150802-Media.iso /dev/sdd
I was now ready to try an install.
My desktop uses UEFI. And I was aware of the problems with UEFI booting the install image on USB. But I tried anyway. I hit F12 during boot, go give me a boot menu from the firmware. The USB device did not show up in that menu
Next I went into the BIOS (firmware) settings. I disabled secure-boot, and I made sure that CSM (compatibility support module) was enabled for legacy booting.
I then tried booting again, hitting F12 during boot. This time the BIOS displayed a UEFI boot menu and a legacy boot menu. The USB device showed up only in the legacy boot menu. I selected that, and was shortly seeing the opening screen (the “syslinux” boot screen). There, I added “efi=1” (without the quotes) to the kernel command line, and booted into the installer. I’m not quite sure what that “efi=1” does, but I think it only makes grub2-efi the default for booting. That could also be set manually during install.
I was soon seeing a familiar installer screen.
The recommended partitioning did not include mounting the EFI partition as “/boot/efi”. I selected “create partitioning” followed by “custom partitioning” so that I could specify my own partitioning choices. I made sure that my choices included mounting the EFI partition as “/boot/efi”.
Everything continued to look normal for configuring users and timezone. Then we got to the summary screen. It was there, that I saw the first error message:
Unsupported combination of hardware platform x86_64 and bootloader grub2-efi
I was expecting a warning. The installer allowed me to continue anyway.
I configured the software selection, then proceeded with install. All went well until the very end where it installs the bootloader. That’s where I saw an error message indicating that the bootloader install had failed. I was offered the opportunity to change the boot configuration. I declined, and proceeded to the reboot following install.
The system failed to boot. This was expected, given the circumstances.
I next went into rescue mode. For that, I booted the opensuse 13.2 rescue CD (but written to a different USB flash drive). I booted that in UEFI mode, which I would need to repair the broken install.
It turned out that I needed to run three commands in rescue mode:
# grub2-install # shim-install # grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
Those commands fixed the problem, and I was then able to UEFI boot the newly installed Tumbleweed system. I turned UEFI and secure-boot back on in the BIOS settings to test whether secure-boot worked properly. It did.
It is possible to do a UEFI install, even when the install media is booted to legacy mode. However, the installed system will be broken and will need to be rescued with a UEFI boot to correct boot problems.