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miloofcroton
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Not understanding UEFI and need help after failed install Reply with quote

Device: Spectre x360 15t 2016 edition

I just did an install from a stage 3 live USB. I am typing on my phone now because I missed something and do not have a bootable system, although I can still load the live USB in compatibility mode. I followed all the directions in the wiki, at least all the non-optional ones and at least until the bootloader section.

I did not want to install grub2 or any legacy bootloader if possible. I installed efibootmgr. I made sure all the efi components of the kernel were checked (unless I missed one? I can verify everything that I enabled here in a minute...) before I compiled the kernel in the earlier section too.

Now, I actually booted into the live USB using compatibility mode, not UEFI boot. There was no other way it seemed. I think I read that this may prevent efibootmgr from being configured. I got an error message at the very end when I tried to complete the install, saying "efi variables are not supported on this system".

I wasn't totally sure how to partition if I didn't want separate blocks for root, home, swap, etc. My partition table was GPT format. First block was vfat (with -F 32 to make it fat32) and it was about 500MiB. Second and final block was ext4 with primary flag. sda1 got defaults and noatime options and a boot flag.

According to someone else on here, I mostly followed what they did, but I didn't copy my kernel to /boot/efi/boot/bootx64.efi. (Thread: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1038246.html)

I also didn't edit the menuconfig of the kernel to include any partuuid, as recommended here: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1037298.html

Another user writes:

"I've just become convinced, after reading a blog post by one of the main kernel developers at http://kroah.com/log/blog/2013/09/02/booting-a-self-signed-linux-kernel/ , that no boot loader is needed when one uses the UEFI firmware. As the author of that entry states under the section "We don't need to stinkin bootloaders!," "As no bootloader is going to be involved in the boot process, you need to ensure that the kernel knows where the root partition is, what init is going to be run, and anything else that the bootloader normally passes to the kernel image. The option listed above, CONFIG_CMDLINE should be set to whatever you want the kernel to use as the command line." If the kernel is compiled right (i.e., with all the necessary modules), the machine will boot without any bootloader, once the compiled kernel has been placed in the appropriate directory under the fat32 filesystem and the machine gets rebooted.

So all the discussion of boot loaders I'm encountering, while certainly appropriate to some (most?) systems, is not relevant to all scenarios. I wish those who write about this would be clearer, characterizing the step of adding a boot loader as an additional, optional one. It would make things less confusing."

This is exactly what I experienced. I concluded from my reading that we don't need a bootloader if booting in UEFI mode. So.... what exactly do we need? Can you just have a single partition?

PS- I am currently waiting for system rescue cd to download, and I will then try to boot that, chroot in, and see If I can't recompile the kernel and copy the image to sda1. I'm not sure if that will fix it, but we'll see. For the meantime, in order to download this iso and create the USB, I found another live USB that has to be close to 2 years old that I managed to boot into fine! It's a good idea to keep extras of those handy.

Any ideas on what I might have done wrong and how to fix it? The goal is a pure UEFI system, but I will settle for a legacy bootloader if I have to.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:46 am    Post subject: Re: Not understanding UEFI and need help after failed instal Reply with quote

No you don't need a separate bootloader, the bootloader "EFI stub" is embedded in your kernel.
Yes a bootloader is still helpful and I'd recommend it unless you have EFIShell in firmware (most UEFI do not have this).
You probably don't have all the needed EFI config options set in your kernel.
No you can't have just one partition (ESP and root, so that's 2 minimum, unlike MBR boot you can have just one as bootblocks have been able to be incorporated into your root partition).
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zwede
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Not understanding UEFI and need help after failed instal Reply with quote

Booting UEFI confused me too at first, but once I understood it, it's actually quite simple.

UEFI will check all attached storage for a partition of type ESP (EFI System Partition). This is EF00 on GPT, and EF on MBR disks.

If it finds an ESP it will try to read it. The ESP must be FAT32 (or rather, the independent format UEFI supports that happens to be closely related to FAT32) for UEFI to be able to read it.

UEFI will then look for efi/boot/bootx64.efi on the ESP filesystem. If it finds this file it will run it.

So for all of this to work you must copy a stub-kernel enabled kernel to efi/boot/bootx64.efi. You also must compile your kernel command line into your kernel as there is no way for UEFI to provide kernel params. At the minimum this is your root partition.

Efibootmgr can be used to add additional boot options (other kernels, or OS'). However; efibootmgr only works if the kernel was booted via UEFI. So for your first boot you must do it as described above. You can then use efibootmgr to make the boot menu entries whatever you like.

The above is all assuming you don't want GRUB. If you do use it, GRUB will actually be your efi/boot/bootx64.efi.
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IncredibleMrT
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Thank god it isn't just me having issues getting installed wit UEFI.

I'm getting the following kernel panic :

http://imgur.com/IzD4ZHs

I've been using gentoo as my main os for a good many years - 12, maybe longer - so i'm quite used to finding my way around issues, but the move to UEFI, and the seemingly missing step from the handbook has found me flummoxed.

I'm installing on an ASUS G752 notebook, on an PCIe NVMe SSD drive (it's one of the tiny ones that plugs direct into the mboard on an M.2 connector).
I've pretty much followed the handbook to the letter, even down to the partition layouts and filesystem choices. Even following the 'if it's UEFI then the boot partition wants to be FAT32, so the UEFI loader in the bios will be able to find the bootx84.efi file.

I'm at a loss, not sure where i've gone wrong, and was hoping one of you fine people might be able to point out where I went wrong.

Here's some info incase it helps.

emerge --info
Code:
emerge --info
Portage 2.2.26 (python 2.7.10-final-0, default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/plasma, gcc-4.9.3, glibc-2.21-r1, 3.18.25-std471-amd64 x86_64)
=================================================================
System uname: Linux-3.18.25-std471-amd64-x86_64-Intel-R-_Core-TM-_i7-6700HQ_CPU_@_2.60GHz-with-gentoo-2.2
KiB Mem:    16367096 total,  15871648 free
KiB Swap:          0 total,         0 free
Timestamp of repository gentoo: Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:00:01 +0000
sh bash 4.3_p42-r1
ld GNU ld (Gentoo 2.25.1 p1.1) 2.25.1
app-shells/bash:          4.3_p42-r1::gentoo
dev-lang/perl:            5.20.2::gentoo
dev-lang/python:          2.7.10-r1::gentoo, 3.4.3-r1::gentoo
dev-util/cmake:           3.3.1-r1::gentoo
dev-util/pkgconfig:       0.28-r2::gentoo
sys-apps/baselayout:      2.2::gentoo
sys-apps/openrc:          0.19.1::gentoo
sys-apps/sandbox:         2.10-r1::gentoo
sys-devel/autoconf:       2.13::gentoo, 2.69::gentoo
sys-devel/automake:       1.14.1::gentoo, 1.15::gentoo
sys-devel/binutils:       2.25.1-r1::gentoo
sys-devel/gcc:            4.9.3::gentoo
sys-devel/gcc-config:     1.7.3::gentoo
sys-devel/libtool:        2.4.6::gentoo
sys-devel/make:           4.1-r1::gentoo
sys-kernel/linux-headers: 4.3::gentoo (virtual/os-headers)
sys-libs/glibc:           2.21-r1::gentoo
Repositories:

gentoo
    location: /usr/portage
    sync-type: rsync
    sync-uri: rsync://rsync.gentoo.org/gentoo-portage
    priority: -1000

sakaki-tools
    location: /usr/local/portage/sakaki-tools
    sync-type: git
    sync-uri: https://github.com/sakaki-/sakaki-tools.git
    masters: gentoo
    priority: 50

ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="amd64"
ACCEPT_LICENSE="@FREE CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0"
CBUILD="x86_64-pc-linux-gnu"
CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe"
CHOST="x86_64-pc-linux-gnu"
CONFIG_PROTECT="/etc /usr/share/config /usr/share/gnupg/qualified.txt"
CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK="/etc/ca-certificates.conf /etc/dconf /etc/env.d /etc/fonts/fonts.conf /etc/gconf /etc/gentoo-release /etc/revdep-rebuild /etc/sandbox.d /etc/terminfo"
CXXFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe"
DISTDIR="/usr/portage/distfiles"
EMERGE_DEFAULT_OPTS="--jobs=9 --load-average=8"
FCFLAGS="-O2 -pipe"
FEATURES="assume-digests binpkg-logs config-protect-if-modified distlocks ebuild-locks fixlafiles merge-sync news parallel-fetch preserve-libs protect-owned sandbox sfperms strict unknown-features-warn unmerge-logs unmerge-orphans userfetch userpriv usersandbox usersync xattr"
FFLAGS="-O2 -pipe"
GENTOO_MIRRORS="ftp://mirror.bytemark.co.uk/gentoo/ http://mirror.bytemark.co.uk/gentoo/ rsync://mirror.bytemark.co.uk/gentoo/ http://mirror.qubenet.net/mirror/gentoo/ ftp://ftp.mirrorservice.org/sites/distfiles.gentoo.org/ http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/distfiles.gentoo.org/ rsync://rsync.mirrorservice.org/distfiles.gentoo.org/"
LANG="C"
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-O1 -Wl,--as-needed"
MAKEOPTS="-j9 -l8"
PKGDIR="/usr/portage/packages"
PORTAGE_CONFIGROOT="/"
PORTAGE_RSYNC_OPTS="--recursive --links --safe-links --perms --times --omit-dir-times --compress --force --whole-file --delete --stats --human-readable --timeout=180 --exclude=/distfiles --exclude=/local --exclude=/packages"
PORTAGE_TMPDIR="/var/tmp"
USE="X a52 aac acl acpi aes alsa amd64 avx avx2 berkdb bluetooth branding bzip2 cairo cdda cdr cli consolekit cracklib crypt cups cxx dbus declarative dri dts dvd dvdr emboss encode exif fam firefox flac fma3 fortran gdbm gif glamor gpm gtk iconv ipv6 jpeg kde kipi lcms ldap libnotify mad mmx mmxext mng modules mp3 mp4 mpeg multilib ncurses nls nptl ogg opengl openmp pam pango pcre pdf phonon plasma png policykit popcnt ppds qml qt3support qt4 qt5 readline sdl seccomp semantic-desktop session spell sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssl ssse3 startup-notification svg tcpd tiff truetype udev udisks unicode upower usb vorbis widgets wxwidgets x264 xattr xcb xcomposite xinerama xml xscreensaver xv xvid zlib" ABI_X86="64" ALSA_CARDS="ali5451 als4000 atiixp atiixp-modem bt87x ca0106 cmipci emu10k1x ens1370 ens1371 es1938 es1968 fm801 hda-intel intel8x0 intel8x0m maestro3 trident usb-audio via82xx via82xx-modem ymfpci" APACHE2_MODULES="authn_core authz_core socache_shmcb unixd actions alias auth_basic authn_alias authn_anon authn_dbm authn_default authn_file authz_dbm authz_default authz_groupfile authz_host authz_owner authz_user autoindex cache cgi cgid dav dav_fs dav_lock deflate dir disk_cache env expires ext_filter file_cache filter headers include info log_config logio mem_cache mime mime_magic negotiation rewrite setenvif speling status unique_id userdir usertrack vhost_alias" CALLIGRA_FEATURES="kexi words flow plan sheets stage tables krita karbon braindump author" CAMERAS="ptp2" COLLECTD_PLUGINS="df interface irq load memory rrdtool swap syslog" CPU_FLAGS_X86="aes avx avx2 fma3 mmx mmxext popcnt sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3" ELIBC="glibc" GPSD_PROTOCOLS="ashtech aivdm earthmate evermore fv18 garmin garmintxt gpsclock itrax mtk3301 nmea ntrip navcom oceanserver oldstyle oncore rtcm104v2 rtcm104v3 sirf superstar2 timing tsip tripmate tnt ublox ubx" INPUT_DEVICES="evdev synaptics" KERNEL="linux" LCD_DEVICES="bayrad cfontz cfontz633 glk hd44780 lb216 lcdm001 mtxorb ncurses text" LIBREOFFICE_EXTENSIONS="presenter-console presenter-minimizer" OFFICE_IMPLEMENTATION="libreoffice" PHP_TARGETS="php5-5" PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET="python2_7" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_4" RUBY_TARGETS="ruby20 ruby21" USERLAND="GNU" VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia" XTABLES_ADDONS="quota2 psd pknock lscan length2 ipv4options ipset ipp2p iface geoip fuzzy condition tee tarpit sysrq steal rawnat logmark ipmark dhcpmac delude chaos account"
Unset:  CC, CPPFLAGS, CTARGET, CXX, INSTALL_MASK, LC_ALL, PORTAGE_BUNZIP2_COMMAND, PORTAGE_COMPRESS, PORTAGE_COMPRESS_FLAGS, PORTAGE_RSYNC_EXTRA_OPTS, USE_PYTHON


Disk partition info (again, i'm installing on the NVMe drive, so it's /dev/nvme0n1, and it's partitions)
Code:

root@sysresccd /root % blkid
/dev/loop0: TYPE="squashfs"
/dev/sda: PTUUID="75d96bba-3a88-4fb2-ad62-d1a3d2f6652a" PTTYPE="gpt"
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="SYSRESC" UUID="944B-FC0C" TYPE="vfat" PARTUUID="00090f44-01"
/dev/nvme0n1: PTUUID="83ea6fbf-5ac5-4089-9539-de86d33cd5ac" PTTYPE="gpt"
/dev/nvme0n1p1: SEC_TYPE="msdos" UUID="9E4B-0FF1" TYPE="vfat" PARTLABEL="grub" PARTUUID="8269c63e-df74-4d1e-a355-7b31f05780d0"
/dev/nvme0n1p2: LABEL="GENTOO EFI" UUID="66E2-CCBF" TYPE="vfat" PARTLABEL="boot" PARTUUID="fd5b8447-7186-4705-ac95-fadaa6fa0e70"
/dev/nvme0n1p3: LABEL="SWAP" UUID="c73d8e46-d142-4872-bc74-4563014eda63" TYPE="swap" PARTLABEL="swap" PARTUUID="45c66e30-b7e9-4781-8016-90c35f78d285"
/dev/nvme0n1p4: LABEL="ROOTFS" UUID="a06eaa1a-5cb6-46a9-907f-21f2599dd7d6" TYPE="ext4" PARTLABEL="rootfs" PARTUUID="58114374-fb08-4a82-810f-117a1a1b7fd5"

Code:
root@sysresccd /root % lsblk
NAME        MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda           8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk
sdb           8:16   1   7.3G  0 disk
└─sdb1        8:17   1   7.3G  0 part /livemnt/boot
sr0          11:0    1  1024M  0 rom 
loop0         7:0    0 337.6M  1 loop /livemnt/squashfs
nvme0n1     259:0    0 119.2G  0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0     2M  0 part
├─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0   128M  0 part
├─nvme0n1p3 259:3    0   512M  0 part
└─nvme0n1p4 259:4    0 118.6G  0 part


Kernel config file (gentoo-sources 4.1.15-gentoo-r1)
http://pastebin.com/apaFBBFz

Not sure what else I can tell you. If you need anything more, then please ask.

I will say; I originally did an install following https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Sakaki's_EFI_Install_Guide and everything went swimmingly - the only issue was that his setup relied on a USB being inserted before boot to decrypt the filesystem. It was a bit more than I needed, so I started again.

I've had numerous stabs at it, and I expect it's something really stupid i'm missing, but any help is appreciated.


Apologies for hijackig your thread.
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zwede
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IncredibleMrT: Well, your kernel cmd line looks weird to me. What's that point of the multiple roots? Have you tried:

root=/dev/nvme0n1p4 keymap=uk
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As mentioned earlier, having a bootloader installed is helpful even if you have UEFI.

In this case you have to embed your root partition command line at kernel build time during config.

It works but very clunky IMHO; having Grub2 helps quite a bit - you can just edit your root= option and try again, instead of having to resort to your rescue boot media.

Though in this case it seems your initramfs isn't being found, if you're using one?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I've installed my system, I've followed https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel

It worked without any problem. Very important part is about Built-in kernel command line. I've used root=PARTUUID=xxxx variant. The PARTUID is obtained using gdisk's "i" command for partition number containing root filesystem. The line named "Partition unique GUID" contains the number.

Then I've just copied my kernel to the location reported by efibootmgr -v command. In my case it is \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI on the EFI partition.

Unfortunately, my attempts to change the path (or add more alternatives) using efibootmgr failed completely, even when I've booted in EFI mode. It looks like my version of UEFI does not support changing of nvram variables. In fact, it didn't work with my home computer neither. There I've even tried "EasyUEFI" under windows. All changes are simply lost on reboot. So, I simply put my bootloader (or kernel) at the path where UEFI expects to find it.
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Roman_Gruber
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just follow the handbook. i did an installation in september 2015 and it worked flawless, was correct.

only drawback for uefi boxes are. regarding asus g75vw notebook with uefi. when you swap out the discs, even to test another disc, you ahve to reinstall grub bootlaoder, as mentioned in the gentoo handbook, else uefi will not find grub on your disc. that is a flaw of uefi.

i managed successful to loose several times the entry in the uefi for grub, which i am unable to do myself by hand.

so keeping a livecd around with the gentoo handbook for the section reinstalling grub bootloader is essential.

uefi has no benefits for myself, sadly there is no way to choose.

I use uefi => grub2
others use other ways, there are many ways to boot a linux

grub2 has some benefits. i stickec to the gentoo hadnbook and grub2, you can edit on the fly the boot option and test it out .

and i doubt the statement we do not need any bootloaders is incorrect.
than the bootloader is in the kernel itself, but without it nothing works.

i looked in september in the other "software junk" available but nothing really convinced me or was easier to set up as grub2. grub2 + kernel had many issues but that was of my special setup and a broken ASUS UEFI BIOS which is definitely not grub or the kernel.org guys fault.
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IncredibleMrT
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zwede,
It does look a little long winded - I backed up the config from the previous working install using 'Sakaki's EFI method' from the URL I posted. I saved this kernel config because I knew it had all the drivers I might need for everything to work. Seemed a reasonable start.
I noticed the kernel cmd line was incorrect for this new install, so hacked to make it seem more sensible
Code:

CONFIG_CMDLINE="root=/dev/nvme0n1p2 dolvm real_root=/dev/nvme0n1p4 rootfstype=ext4 real_resume=/dev/nvme0n1p3 keymap=uk quiet splash video.use_native_backlight=0"


I thought the root was to point to the boot device, and the realroot to where the actual linux was. sort of mirroring how I had set up grub on previous machines e.g.
Code:

root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda3 dolvm video=uvesafb:1920x1080-32,mtrr:3,ywrap quiet


Maybe i've got that wrong, i'll try your suggestion when i'm home later. Thanks.

eccerr0r,
I'll look into using grub2 as well, though it was my understanding that I didn't need anything additional.
I have compiled a initramfs - do i need to add that to the kernel cmd line setting?
Currently, it's in /boot/initramfs-linux-4.15.whatever_its_called_im_typing_from_memory
Thanks

v_andal,
I'll look into your suggestion also.

tw04l124,
I have followed the handbook - 3 times! Each time I assume i've missed something and so trash and start again.
Bit of a masochist I think.

--

Did anyone see any issue with my disk partitions? The first one confused me - i haven't done anything to that beyond creating the partition initially. No filesystem, etc.
The second is FAT32, and contains my boot stuff.


I think overall, my main issue might be the initramfs as suggested by eccerr0r. I'll need that to be able to see the NVMe drive in the first place. Just need to figure out how to sort that.

Thanks all
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zwede
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IncredibleMrT wrote:
I thought the root was to point to the boot device, and the realroot to where the actual linux was.


I haven't even heard of "realroot". My boot partition is sda1, root is sda2 and home is sda4. My kernel command line is this:

Code:
root=/dev/sda2 init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd


I don't have to tell the kernel where boot (sda1) is, nor home (sda4).
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again you do not "NEED" Grub2. It helps immensely if you do not have EFI shell in firmware and want to play with different kernels, kernel options, or initramfs.

I guess the people who don't want to run grub2 are the same ones who want to eliminate everything that's unnecessary. However it does help trying to debug systems. As I have not tried boot without a secondary bootloader like Grub2, I thought for those direct kernel booters require (A) the command line needs to be built into the kernel in menuconfig/xconfig/config/... and (B) if you need initramfs, that too needs to be built into the kernel - I recall a kernel option to specify initramfs contents. This will result in a fairly huge EFI binary that you can use efibootmgr to point to.

To make it more clear, you can also use efibootmgr to point to Grub2, and you can use grub2's command line or menu system to point to your kernel, command lines, or initramfs that the built in UEFI menu can't deal with.

I guess the notion of UEFI sort of makes it more complicated than it needs to be, technically MBR boot is more complicated but abstracted away with GRUB, lilo, etc.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also rEFInd, which is not in portage, but easy to find, install, and use.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With your help, I got it sorted.
I hadn't copied my initramfs across to /efi/boot/ nor had I configured to kernel to know where the initram was (although, not sure if this step was actually needed or not)

I changed the kernel command line to

Code:

~ # grep -i config_cmdline= /usr/src/linux/.config
CONFIG_CMDLINE="root=/dev/nvme0n1p4 keymap=uk"


So, up and running. Thanks to each that helped.

Just need to decide on which DE to use now - i'm KDE through and through but in a quandary whether to stick at 4 or give 5 a whirl. Usually i'd take a gamble, but this is my work machine, and I need to NOT have random blowups.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! Don't forget to mark the thread [SOLVED].

As for DE, I'm on Plasma (Kde) 5 and it is quite stable for me.
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