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pjp
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to interject when there are already a lot of people offering help, but I haven't seen it verified that grub was set up correctly (what used to be the MBR if that has changed).

Also, I'm using legacy BIOS with GPT (per Handbook "strong suggestion" to do so) and I don't see a boot flag):
Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 5FEF3F1C-573E-4839-A29F-1E855BC1480A

Device       Start       End   Sectors  Size Type
/dev/sda1     2048      6143      4096    2M BIOS boot
/dev/sda2     6144    268287    262144  128M EFI System
/dev/sda3   268288   1316863   1048576  512M Linux filesystem
/dev/sda4  1316864 104857599 103540736 49.4G Linux filesystem

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly..

There are snippets of info to questions but not a definitive statement

What is clearly known is: legacy BIOS booting and GPT layout


Some BIOS still need the bootable flag set and the type needs to be EF02



https://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html


Your bios-grub is ef02 (good) but your /boot is ef00 indicating it is efi partition. I wonder if your bios is funky and sees that and the tries todo efi even though you disabled ., It fails then finally does legacy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,

Quote:
I just tried to set the bootable flag via fdisk, but a reboot showed no improvement.

You need to be careful here. That may not do what you think as fdisk is gpt aware.

You need to set the bootable flag on the protective MSDOS partition, not on anything in the real GPT partition table.
Your BIOS can only read the MSDOS partition table.
Code:

Eccles_2 ~ # fdisk -t gpt -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 3.7 TiB, 4000787030016 bytes, 7814037168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 0DE44267-8564-A24B-B2FF-23A7FDA9C02B

Device         Start        End    Sectors  Size Type
/dev/sda1       2048     124927     122880   60M Linux filesystem
/dev/sda2     124928   27342847   27217920   13G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda3   27342848  175781887  148439040 70.8G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda4  175781888 7814035455 7638253568  3.6T Linux filesystem

Eccles_2 ~ # fdisk -t dos -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 3.7 TiB, 4000787030016 bytes, 7814037168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device     Boot Start        End    Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *        1 4294967295 4294967295   2T ee GPT

Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary.
Eccles_2 ~ #


That's both partition tables on the same disk using a mix of BIOS and GPT.
On this system, without the boot flag being set, it won't boot at all.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop it with the bootable flag. GPT partition tables do not have one. At all. You can't set it.

Things we know:


  1. Your bios is not EFI-aware.
  2. You have a GPT partition table.
  3. You have an EF02 partition of 2MB.
  4. You have an EF00 partition of 512MB.
  5. You have SWAP and / partitions.


I would suggest changing your EF00 partition over to Linux (same as /) because back in the lilo days that's what you did.

That /boot partition should be formatted ext3 because none of the features of ext4 make any difference on this partition and you don't need the extra overhead.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, NeddySeagoon,

NeddySeagoon wrote:
You need to be careful here. That may not do what you think as fdisk is gpt aware.


so what is gptfdisk ("gdisk") for? I thought that was the recommendation by Naib.

1clue wrote:
Stop it with the bootable flag. GPT partition tables do not have one. At all. You can't set it.


But I did...? At least it claims to have it.

1clue wrote:
That /boot partition should be formatted ext3 because none of the features of ext4 make any difference on this partition and you don't need the extra overhead.


That would enable me to remove one more kernel flag, but can I just format the partition without having to reinstall just anything?
(I'll be home in five hours or so - can't really test things before then.)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
Stop it with the bootable flag. GPT partition tables do not have one. At all. You can't set it.

Chill...
While GPT partitions don't, some BIOS's do ... we don't know either way
https://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html
Quote:
Some BIOSes and EFIs require that at least one hard disk have at least one MBR partition that's marked as bootable/active to boot in BIOS mode. Since the protective MBR's single EFI GPT (0xEE) partition is not normally flagged in this way, the affected firmware won't boot from GPT disks.


1clue wrote:

Things we know:


  1. Your bios is not EFI-aware.
  2. You have a GPT partition table.
  3. You have an EF02 partition of 2MB.
  4. You have an EF00 partition of 512MB.
  5. You have SWAP and / partitions.


I would suggest changing your EF00 partition over to Linux (same as /) because back in the lilo days that's what you did.

That /boot partition should be formatted ext3 because none of the features of ext4 make any difference on this partition and you don't need the extra overhead.


I agree that /boot should not be EF00 (stated above). It might not fix things but equally...
I disagree with /boot being ext3 over ext4.... makes more sense to be ext2 and iirc the ext4 driver can load ext2 just fine


Quote:
Sticking with the BIOS
There are several possible remedies when booting a GPT disk on a BIOS-based computer. If your computer is completely unresponsive, you'll have to disconnect your hard disk from the computer and connect it in some other way or to another computer. I've heard of people successfully hot-plugging SATA drives after booting without the affected disk, but this is very risky with PATA drives. External enclosures or "naked" adapters to plug PATA or SATA disks into USB ports are good options. I recommend you try the following, in more-or-less the listed order, should you encounter such problems (but see below for an entirely different type of possible solution):


  1. Set the boot flag on the type-0xEE partition in the protective MBR. You can do this with several different programs:
    You can use version 2.22 or earlier of Linux fdisk, but do not use fdisk version 2.23 or later, since this version adds GPT support and so won't change MBR data structures on a GPT disk. In fdisk, type a followed by the partition number (probably 1), then type p to view the partition table. An asterisk (*) should appear in the Boot column for the relevant partition. You can then type w to save your changes.
    Recent versions of parted enable you to type disk_toggle pmbr_boot on GPT disks to toggle the MBR boot flag on and off. (It will be on when you type print and the Disk Flags line reads pmbr_boot.) Do not attempt to set the "boot flag" on any GPT partition in parted or GParted; this will adjust the GPT partition, not the protective MBR.
    In theory, you can use other GPT-unaware tools to make this change, too; but you must use a tool that will alter the MBR data structures, not the GPT data structures!
  2. Use the h option on the gdisk experts' menu, or the equivalent -C or --recompute-chs option to sgdisk, to recompute the CHS values for the entries in the protective MBR. This approach works around a bug I've encountered in at least one BIOS, as described earlier. This gdisk option recomputes these values to be more to the BIOS's liking, although it violates the GPT specification.
  3. Ensure that your GPT disk does not have an EFI System Partition (ESP), which is where an EFI stores its boot loaders. Some EFIs use the presence of an ESP as a clue to favor EFI-mode booting, and so such a partition can interfere with BIOS/CSM/legacy-mode booting. Of course, removing the ESP is not an option if you must dual-boot, with one OS in EFI mode and another in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode. Such configurations are inadvisable in most cases. If you really must boot in this way, look into my rEFInd boot manager, which is an EFI boot loader that supports chainloading to BIOS/CSM/legacy boot loaders.
  4. Install a second disk that uses an MBR partition table, preferably with a partition marked as active/bootable. Even a USB flash drive might do the trick.
  5. Use Linux fdisk or a similar tool to delete the EFI GPT protective partition and re-create it. If you use Linux fdisk for this, you should first type c and u to enable entry of sector values as low as 1. Unfortunately, fdisk versions after 2.17 set the minimum sector value to 2048, so you'll need to use an older version of fdisk. This procedure creates a protective MBR that should be identical to the one created by approach #2; however, you can tweak it in various ways if necessary.
  6. Create a hybrid MBR configuration. I recommend creating a hybrid MBR with a large 0xEE (EFI GPT) partition at the start, with just the last GPT partition in the MBR—unless of course you need a hybrid MBR with which to boot Windows or some other GPT-unfriendly OS. Note that hybrid MBRs, at least as generated by GPT fdisk, contain CHS values that a BIOS may find more acceptable than the ones used in technically correct protective partitions, so this option can be very similar to option #2 in many ways.
  7. If the problem occurred on a non-boot disk or on a disk that you've just converted from MBR format, try blanking out the boot loader code at the start of the MBR. You can do this in Linux with dd, as in dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=440 count=1 to blank out the boot loader on /dev/sda. Note the unusual 440 block size (bs) option; this is the length of the boot loader code in the MBR. Using a larger value (particularly anything larger than 446) will begin intruding on MBR data structures. Be sure to include both the bs and count options! If you omit them, and especially the count option, you'll erase data well beyond your MBR!
  8. If the problem occurred on a boot disk that you've just converted from MBR to GPT format, re-install your boot loader, or install a new boot loader. This may entail two installations, or a wipe and a re-installation, since the computer may need to boot with the disk in its normal position before you'll be able to install the boot loader normally.
  9. If you've just converted from MBR to GPT, reverse that process. You can do this with gdisk, as described here.
  10. Disconnect the disk, enter the firmware setup utility, and adjust any options that seem relevant to the boot process. For instance, you might change the boot order. It's conceivable that this will at least enable you to boot an emergency CD with your hard disk connected. You may be able to boot from GRUB placed on a USB flash drive, too.
  11. Upgrade your firmware (BIOS or EFI). Most of these problem are caused by firmware bugs, and an updated firmware might conceivably fix the problem. In fact, I found one reference (for a Tyan Tomcat K8E-SLI motherboard) to a BIOS upgrade that fixes a GPT incompatibility bug. (Note that most manufacturers refer to their EFIs as BIOSes, so you may need to look for a "BIOS upgrade" even if you know you've got an EFI.)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,

Maybe some history will aid understanding. Hard drives started out as miniaturised floppies and were controlled the same way.
They used the Cylinder/Head/Sector addressing mechanism, which is still in the BIOS today.
The sector is the smallest region oh a hard drive that can be addressed. Also known as a block.
A Head reads/writes one surface of a platter and was moved in and out with a stepper motor.
The heads all move together, which defines a vertical annular piece of the drive known as a cylinder.

Vendors designed HDD with wildly different C/H/S counts but the access software needed to know it. At one time, you read the CHS counts off the drive label and entered it into a BIOS table. That was a long time ago.
Out of all these wildly different designs, the convention was that partition 1 always started on Cylinder 0, Head 1 Sector 0. That means that after the MBR, in Cylinder 0, Head 0 Sector 0 that was always some unallocated space. Almost a whole track. Hang on to that thought.

As drives grew, the Logical Block Addressing scheme was introduced and the physical 'Geometry' became hidden in the drive ... almost.
While both systems were in use, a track came to mean 63 sectors, so partition 1 started at sector 63, with the MBR at sector 0 and unallocated space in between.
Lots of things have used this over the years. Grub still does on a BIOS install with a MSDOS partition table.

The MBR allows 446B for the boot loader, which is not nearly enough. Grub cheats. These 446B load some more blocks that were written to the unallocated space when grub was installed. Even that's not enough but its enough for grub to read the rest of itself from a filesystem.

With a GPT disk label, it gets more complex. The partition table starts in sector 1, so the unallocated space is gone. BIOS can't read that partition table, so GPT writes a fake, protective partition table in the MBR too. Its no more than a warning to users and a flag to tools that GPT is in use.
The start of the first partition is now 1MB, as that's at the end of the GPT partition table.

With grub on a GPT labelled drive, it needs somewhere to put the code that would have gone into the unallocated space on a MSDOS drive. That's the 2Mb partition.
Its not yours, you don't mount it or make filesystems there.

Booting a GPT drive can get quite messy. You need to be aware that the BIOS will not read the partition table that the tools show you by default.
If you need to see the fake protective partition table, you need to ask for it. Setting the bootable flag is the only thing that should be changed here.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe one key piece of information we would want:

@pun_guin,

Did you reformat this disk after you installed Void? Or is it the same partitions overwritten?

We already know your BIOS is not EFI-aware, but what we don't know is if it's GPT-aware. GPT was created a long time ago but not universally adopted.

That said, the system IS booting so I'm 99% sure the system can understand a GPT partition table.

@Naib,

The info the OP posted showed a pure GPT partition table, not a combination. There is no bootable flag.

Also, those of us who are using UEFI boot can stop showing our partitions. The only useful print at this point, besides what pun_guin might post, would be a similar BIOS-only system (EFI not supported) booting correctly from a GPT disk. It seems like a dozen of us (me included) have shown essentially the same partition layout which is irrelevant because we're booting EFI.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, once I said it I realized I have a system like this:

Code:

$ efibootmgr
efibootmgr: EFI variables are not supported on this system.

$ sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda
[sudo] password for 1clue:
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1

Partition table scan:
  MBR: protective
  BSD: not present
  APM: not present
  GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sda: 1465149168 sectors, 698.6 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 736B3181-5AB6-416B-B5C8-96D2C7B7B267
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 1465149134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2014 sectors (1007.0 KiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048            6143   2.0 MiB     EF02  bios
   2            6144         1054719   512.0 MiB   EF00  /boot
   3         1054720        22026239   10.0 GiB    8300  /
   4        22026240      1465149134   688.1 GiB   8E00  Linux LVM
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

Show the dos partition table too please.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
1clue,

Show the dos partition table too please.


Umm...I'm not sure how?

I hadn't realized it was protective MBR until you said it. That means, IMO, that this system is messed up and I need to fix it by wiping out the MBR part.

I tried fdisk -l and gdisk -l, and gdisk option r option o, and none of that prints a useful mbr partition table.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

Code:
fdisk -t dos ...
Other tools probably have similar options.

Your system is not messed up ... you need both bits or it won't boot.
The kernel reads the MSDOS partition table to know that it needs to read the GPT partition table.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
Did you reformat this disk after you installed Void? Or is it the same partitions overwritten?


I deleted all partitions as described in the Handbook and I made new ones. There should not be any Void left.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,

Please post
Code:
fdisk -t dos -l /dev/sda

and
Code:
fdisk -t gpt -l /dev/sda

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure - sorry, I'm later than expected:

Code:
# fdisk -t dos -l /dev/sda

Festplatte /dev/sda: 238,5 GiB, 256060514304 Bytes, 500118192 Sektoren
Einheiten: Sektoren von 1 * 512 = 512 Bytes
Sektorgröße (logisch/physikalisch): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
E/A-Größe (minimal/optimal): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
Festplattenbezeichnungstyp: dos
Festplattenbezeichner: 0x00000000

Gerät      Boot Anfang      Ende  Sektoren  Größe Kn Typ
/dev/sda1            1 500118191 500118191 238,5G ee GPT


Code:
Festplatte /dev/sda: 238,5 GiB, 256060514304 Bytes, 500118192 Sektoren
Einheiten: Sektoren von 1 * 512 = 512 Bytes
Sektorgröße (logisch/physikalisch): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
E/A-Größe (minimal/optimal): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
Festplattenbezeichnungstyp: gpt
Festplattenbezeichner: DB852F98-B31C-4CBF-B8ED-8B0B7D4BF301

Gerät       Anfang      Ende  Sektoren  Größe Typ
/dev/sda1     2048      6143      4096     2M BIOS boot
/dev/sda2     6144   1023999   1017856   497M EFI-System
/dev/sda3  1024000   2047999   1024000   500M Linux-Dateisystem
/dev/sda4  2048000 500116143 498068144 237,5G Linux-Dateisystem


Why it claims to have an "EFI system" is not quite clear to me - gdisk doesn't do that. I also find the all-zero disk label confusing, but maybe that's expected here.
However, I see the missing asterisk. (Thank you for the way there.) As I have fdisk 2.30.2, I assume that I can't use it as described by Naib.

So the thing seems to be that /dev/sda1 lacks the flag? (Whyever it even boots then.)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shot into the blue:

Code:
# parted
disk_toggle pmbr_boot
q
# reboot


Well:

Code:
# fdisk -t dos -l /dev/sda

Festplatte /dev/sda: 238,5 GiB, 256060514304 Bytes, 500118192 Sektoren
Einheiten: Sektoren von 1 * 512 = 512 Bytes
Sektorgröße (logisch/physikalisch): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
E/A-Größe (minimal/optimal): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
Festplattenbezeichnungstyp: dos
Festplattenbezeichner: 0x00000000

Gerät      Boot Anfang      Ende  Sektoren  Größe Kn Typ
/dev/sda1  *         1 500118191 500118191 238,5G ee GPT


Still PXE first - so it was not the boot flag.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,

Bummer. That's the correct setting in the msdos partition table.

You don't have an EFI-System. The partition tool is looking up the partition type word in a look up table and telling what it means.
The very few partition types are actually used.

If you did have an EFI-System the UEFI firmware would expect to read that partition to find something to boot and it would have to be VFAT.
You have BIOS, it doesn't care about the EFI-System partition.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,
What's your mobo make model number and revision?
Also the BIOS version?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where can I see the mainboard data?

According to the BIOS setup (InsydeH2O Setup Utility), this is "v1.02" of the BIOS software, the second-to-latest one available from the website. The BIOS update software requires Windows, so the update to v1.04 (which does not seem to fix anything boot-related) could be hairy, at least. According to user forums on the web, a FreeDOS USB thumbdrive could work here, but I don't know if this is not the entirely wrong place to search.

After all, Void could easily do it. :?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my $holyEntity.

It's fixed! :idea:

Fascinatingly, neither the missing "bootable" flag nor my decision to use Legacy Boot (ok, probably my decision to use Legacy Boot, but why now?) was the culprit.
The BIOS has a separate preference for Network Boot (on a different page...) which could override my boot order without a warning. And I - let me emphasize that - had not changed that preference between my Void installation and my Gentoo installation, because why would I?

Guess what happened when I switched that flag.

I owe everyone of you, especially NeddySeagoon, an apology for wasting three days of your time because I was so focused on that boot order thing. Sorry - please roll your eyes in an adequate manner. Insert an imaginary "whip" emoticon here. Gah!

head -> wall. head -> wall.

On the positive side of things:

  • I learned a lot - willingly or unwillingly ;), about partitioning, GPTs, MBRs and my total lack of knowledge on some IT-related topics. I am seriously disappointed by myself now.
  • The Gentoo community has officially reached #1 in my internal (read: made in my head) ranking of helpful IT communities. You deserve all respect I can give you.
  • Just to close the circle to my opening post from which I admit to have drifted off a lot by now: Looks like you won't get rid of me for another while. Yay! (But I'll better open a new topic for the next time I fail to use something.)


A good start, I guess.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

\o/ Congratulations!

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of why installing Gentoo might take longer, and why it ought to take less time the next go around, or at least be a little easier.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun_guin,

We have all learned something from this thread, thanks to you sharing the fix, so its not wasted time.

Code:
dmidecode
will tell you all about your main board and some of the things attached to it.

I'm glad you decided to stay for a while longer. That's how it goes, just one more emerge ... :)
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Naib
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key is you persevered. Sure the boot flag and the gpt were red herrings but both of these concepts exists to mitigate BIOS inconsistencies (some need it, some dont...). Void may have been a red-herring as well in as far as booting an install liveCD may have been enough for your BIOS to decide PXE has a higher priority.

I was going to suggest a "reset to default" on your BIOS before you came back that all appears good
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Morality124
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read through this thread, and I am encouraged to approach Gentoo again (ironically was heading towards FreeBSD, but then the lack of Spectre/Meltdown mitigation, plus the recent CoC introduced, has soured that desire). However, one core issue remains for me.

I have no problem approaching something difficult and having to learn things - that's my career. What I have a massive issue with is the feeling that no matter how closely I follow the directions, I am being sabotaged behind the scenes by the actions of nefarious individuals. While I get the impression that the majority of Gentoo documentation is written in a non-political, good faith way, I am aware that core pieces reflect political choices of certain developers, regarding OpenRC. Having followed the relevant threads on this forums for years at this point, it seems that a "by-the-book" installation with the recommended packages would be broken by design - meaning I have to go through and redo it, while running against the current of the of said-developers' political pushes.

One reason to leave Windows and other similar OSes is because the excessive diligence in regards to updates. This is needed because Microsoft pushes packages that often impede the machine (I think this is common knowledge) for nefarious reasons. The problem with Gentoo to now is that I now have to contend with a similar situation regarding some developers. I don't mean monitoring the news for potential update troubles - I mean arbitrary changes to standards. This is on top of the fact that great diligence is needed as more and more packages become "systemd-centric" (which to be fair, is wider Linux issue and one of the reasons I was considering FreeBSD).

Are my concerns overblown? Thanks.

EDIT: I should add that the amount of time I can devote to my future OS choices is limited, which makes the feeling of dealing with active sabotage that more apparent.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morality124,

Morality124 wrote:
Are my concerns overblown? Thanks.

In one word -Yes.

Things do change but its up to you if you want to adopt the changes or not.
I'm still using a static /dev and OpenRC-0.17. That works for me.

Be aware that not following the mainstream Gentoo comes with a price.
It will take more of your time.
You may lose some functionality.

That's a price I'm willing to pay.
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