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Bug#839894: installation-report: Jessie installer fails to install GRUB on a large JBOD system

On Thu, Oct 06, 2016 at 07:45:36AM +0000, Jonathan Quick wrote:
> Package: installation-reports
> Version: 2.58
> Severity: important
> Dear Maintainer,
> Whilst installing from a (Jessie) 8.6 netboot installer the GRUB installation step failed, leaving the system unbootable.
> -- Package-specific info:
> Boot method: network
> Image version: 20150422+deb8u4+b1/images/netboot/debian-installer/amd64/linux
> Date: 6 October 2016 08:30 SAST
> Machine: SuperMicro SuperServer
> Partitions: <df -Tl will do; the raw partition table is preferred>
> Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors  Size Id Type
> /dev/sdak1           2048 119883775 119881728 57.2G 83 Linux
> /dev/sdak2      119885822 125044735   5158914  2.5G  5 Extended
> /dev/sdak5      119885824 125044735   5158912  2.5G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
> Base System Installation Checklist:
> [O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it
> Initial boot:           [O]
> Detect network card:    [O]
> Configure network:      [O]
> Detect CD:              [ ]
> Load installer modules: [O]
> Clock/timezone setup:   [O]
> User/password setup:    [O]
> Detect hard drives:     [O]
> Partition hard drives:  [O]
> Install base system:    [O]
> Install tasks:          [O]
> Install boot loader:    [E]
> Overall install:        [O]    after recovery via rescue mode
> Comments/Problems:
> This was an installation of only the standard system plus a SSH server - no desktop.
> Generally the installation went smoothly apart from the boot-loader step which failed with no information on why.
> Trying a full desktop install gave the same problem (after a longer wait of course).
> Using the rescue mode (once I realised out that shells in the text mode intaller didn't work and switched to the graphical
> one) I discovered that the grub2 package and its dependencies had not been installed.  Once I had installed those packages,
> I was then able to use 'grub-install sdak' and 'update-grub' to get things going.  Only after doing this did the option to
> reinstall GRUB appear in the rescue menu.  Now that GRUB is installed, the machine boots fine into a working system.
> Note this system has 36 4TB hard disk drives attached via a HBA (mpt3sas) and one 64GB SSD attached to the motherboard SATA
> controller to which I was actually installing, hence the '/dev/sdak' disk designation.
> A test installation using a (Wheezy) 7.11 installer ran just fine without showing this problem, but didn't see the HBA
> and its attached disks.

Sounds like the regex for matching valid disks in the installer handling
grub install isn't expecting 2 letter names, which is certainly an unusual
case, and if your system had put the target disk first rather than last,
you wouldn't have had a problem either.  Of course if wheezy didn't see
the other disks that would have solved the problem for it.

Probably this part of grub-installer is the problem:

case $prefix in
	disc_offered_devfs=$(echo "$bootfs_nodevfs" | sed "s:\(.*\)/.*:\1/disc:")

/dev/[hsv]d[a-z0-9] will match /dev/sda through /dev/sdz, but NOT /dev/sdak.

If it added /dev/sd[a-z][a-z] as well, it should work for you.

So maybe:

Not sure if other places need fixing too.

Len Sorensen

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