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Fedora install from hell - any ideas on what to try?

asked 2017-06-23 17:16:14 -0500

KarenRei gravatar image

updated 2017-06-24 08:40:50 -0500

(Crossposted on ServerFault)

I'm upgrading an old server to become a new server / compute node.

System description: six SATA disks, each partitioned with a ~200MB boot partition, ~4GB swap partition, a ~200GB RAID1 across all six, a ~2.5TB RAID6 partition across all six, and a ~7.5TB RAID6 partition across all six (all raids software / mdadm). The root partition is fully backed up and wiped, but I don't want to have to wipe the RAID6s. I'm looking to keep roughly the same config (ext4), although might prefer to get rid of the boot partitions (they're getting to be too small for modern installs anyway) for more swap.

"Progress" thusfar:

  • First attempted just to boot the old Linux (something like Fedora 13). Got to the Grub boot screen, tried to boot the kernel, but only got through one line before locking up.

  • Decided that the old system couldn't deal with modern hardware and that it was time to upgrade to Fedora 25 or 26B (my Linux experience is with Fedora, I prefer not to switch distros). Both 25 and 26B behave basically the same. When it boots into the GUI mouse and keyboard performance are terrible. Hugely laggy and jumpy. 1 in 3 keypresses are interpreted as about 20 keypresses. Typing almost anything of length (such as "/boot/efi") takes 5-10 minutes. The lag doesn't occur in console mode.

  • When trying to install in legacy boot mode, half the time the install segfaults. The other half of the time, grub fails with a generic message ("boot loader install failed"). Running grub2-install from the command line yields "warning: this GPT partition label contains no BIOS Root Partition" and "error: embedding is not possible, but this is required for cross-disk install". The failed grub install occurs whether I choose to include a boot partition or just the RAID1 root partition.

  • When trying to install in UEFI boot mode (thus including a /boot/efi partition), installation completes, but the system does not boot. I just get a grub prompt on one of the drives, perhaps even from the old grub install of the previous system. I can't find a way to get anything to boot from it, no matter what combination of "root (hdX,Y)" I choose for all values of X and Y.

  • When trying to use anaconda in text mode to avoid the mouse/keyboard lag hell, the installation source always yields "Error setting up software source" - even if I point it straight to an ISO, or choose the DVD that it's installing from. Strangely the GUI never complaints about this.

  • It'd be nice to be able to try to do this remotely or to do a net install, except that the network driver doesn't work - it says no link. I tested the ethernet cable with my laptop and it's fine. The motherboard lights up when it's connected, and there are occasional flashes from it on the router side ...

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answered 2017-06-25 06:03:09 -0500

KarenRei gravatar image

Well, while I never got it to work in UEFI, I got it to work in legacy, and thatðs good enough. I had to pass the "inst.gpt" option to anaconda on boot. add 2MB grub boot partitions as sdX1 within anaconda (not after). Anaconda still crashed three times during the install, but on the fourth it went through.

I still don't have net access (been working on that), but whatever.... if I can't resolve it I can use an addon card.

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Asked: 2017-06-23 17:16:14 -0500

Seen: 237 times

Last updated: Jun 25 '17