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Bug#834974: Installation Report: Stretch Alpha 7 on Cubox-i4pro

On Sep 2, 2016, at 6:30 PM, Rick Thomas <rbthomas@pobox.com> wrote:

On Sep 2, 2016, at 5:12 PM, Vagrant Cascadian <vagrant@debian.org> wrote:

I'd be curious if you re-install and delete each partition individually
and re-create manually vs. using one of the auto-partitioning methods.

I’ll give this a try over the weekend and report back what I find.

Is it possible that the auto-partitioning process during installation has somehow clobbered the u-boot image on the SD card?  How would I test for that?


I did the experiment — manual partitioning did not help. But I sorta fumbled it in an interesting way that sheds some light on the question I asked in the quoted section above.

Here’s what I did:

1) Retrieved the installer and put it on a uSD card as described in

2) Halted the CuBox-i4 and removed all external peripherals from it (including the uSD it boots from) and inserted the installer uSD.

3) Connected to the serial console and re-applied power.

4) Answered questions until it got to partitioning.

5) Chose “manual” partitioning.  Since there was no other storage peripherals it only offered me the uSD, which (as a result of 1, above) had a large free space.  I told it to use the free space for / and format that as ext2.  I failed to delete the installer partition.  (This is the sorta-fumble I mentioned earlier.)  

6) I did not create a /boot or swap partition.

I have attached a screen shot of the screen at the end of the process…

After proceeding and answering questions, I ended up with an uSD card with two partitions.  The second partition contains the installed system; the first partition still contains the installer.

When it got to the end of the installation, it tried to reboot — presumably into the newly installed system in partition 2, but did not succeed in rebooting.

It’s last words were:

Sent SIGKILL to all processes
Requesting system reboot
[   39.132949] reboot: Restarting system

Then nothing.

This is what we were expecting.  The interesting part comes next.

I pulled the power plug and re-plugged.  It ran u-boot and booted — but not into the installed system.  Rather it booted into the installer — which, remember, was still present in partition 1.

From this I conclude that the u-boot environment is not getting updated by the installer.  And u-boot itself in not getting clobbered by anything in the installation process.

Bottom line — the problem is verifiably in the late stages of the installer when it’s trying to make the system bootable.  It’s not a problem with the auto-partitioning, and it’s not a problem with u-boot.

Hope it helps!

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