i3 wm distros are not booting as live usb

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
Hello everybody,

I just realized that my laptop would not boot any live usb with i3 wm.
I have checked already Manjaro i3 and Arcolinux i3.
Images have been checked against sha and also normally booted on other machines.
I am just asking if I should do something in my BIOS or something, I don't know.

Thanks a lot.
 


JulienCC

Active Member
Hello,

Few questions :

  • Did you try to install any "regular" distro on this machine ?
  • Did you try with a regular install, like not "live usb" ?
  • What is you laptop model number/brand ?
  • What is the actual error message/behavior that you describe as "would not boot" ?

Random wild guesses festival :
  • boot on USB is disabled in your BIOS
  • boot order is not set properly in your BIOS
  • your system is not UEFI-able and your USB stick was not formatted to allow legacy boot methods
  • the USB stick is not formatted properly and the uefi boot image is not on a FAT partition
  • it actually boots, but for video driver reasons only a black screen is displayed
 
Last edited:

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
nope sir, everything working perfect in my laptop.
Linux Mint have been installed and Ubuntu have been installed in an external hard disk and booting fluently.
Also this distros booting perfectly as Live USB.

USB is enable in BIOS
boot order have been set properly.
bootable USB has UEFI file in it.

Is not coming any error msg, just a BIOS page that checking the hardware and is never finishing this check.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Hey Captain! I just burned Manjaro-i3 to USB using the dd command, and it booted up okay on my 10-year old desktop (non-UEFI). How are you burning the .iso file? Maybe dd would work for you too?


[EDIT: ]
Images have been checked against sha and also normally booted on other machines.
Oops, I missed that part. Never mind. o_O:D

Cheers
 
Last edited:

JulienCC

Active Member
To sum it up, according to your saying :

Can we blame the BIOS config : NO (porperly configured, other systems boot)
Can we blame the distro itself : NO (boot on other machine, here we dont even reach boot stage)

Can we blame the USB key : Maybe => when you tried other distros, was is with the same key ? Maybe this particular key has something that bother your BIOS
Can we blame the USB formatting : Maybe => Are other systems where you tried the key operating in legacy mode or UEFI mode ? How did you format/setup the key ? GPT partition table or MBR ?
 

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
Yes, sir is exactly the same USB key and is formatted as Fat32 before burn the .iso file.

For sure is something wrong with UEFI.
Desktop that both distros, Manjaro & Arcolinux were booted was on legacy mode and NOT in UEFI.

I am just thinking that both distros are Arch based but I don't think that is a problem. What do you think?
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
As older the machine as easier the installation :). This stupid new laptops make my days difficult. :p:p:p
Yes, I agree. I did try a bit more with the Manjaro-i3 USB that I made.... using a UEFI laptop (HP brand). It booted okay in both Legacy Mode and UEFI mode as long as Secure Boot was disabled. But it was not able to authenticate for Secure Boot and failed when I turned that on. I think that is probably true of Manjaro with a desktop environment too, not just the WM.

I don't know if burning the USB with dd would make any difference. Some distros will tell you that some burning software will not work, but dd seems to always be okay. If you have the time to try it, I guess it can't hurt anything.

But the UEFI can also be different from one computer company to another. That is another thing to cause a lot of problems when trying to figure something out and your computer may not behave the same as my computers. We run into this a lot. :mad:

Good luck, Captain!
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day Capta (& Hi :))

pos eísai fíle mou

Mate what's the exact names of the .iso's and I'll take a Captain (Captain Cook = look)

Chris
 

JulienCC

Active Member
Yes, sir is exactly the same USB key and is formatted as Fat32 before burn the .iso file.
Then we can say it's not related to the key itself.

You said "formatted as FAT32", but FAT32 partitions can be set on MBR partition tables. You need a GUID partition table in order to use UEFI. Maybe your key has a MBR partition table.

Also, "burn the .iso" could mean many things :
  • it copies the files from the ISO to the FAT32 partition, using file copy
  • it writes over the FAT32 partition using block copy
  • it write over the whole key, using block copy and erasing partition table
This is why we need to know how you operated. In the end you need a GUID partition table on your key with a FAT32 partition that contains a bootloader (in a standard folder, like /EFI/boot/ or /boot/ or /UEFI/, or whatever the UEFI specifications allow).
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
You need a GUID partition table in order to use UEFI. Maybe your key has a MBR partition table.
I think my fdisk output below indicates a MBR partition table with the "dos" Disklabel type. Right? Other USB drives I have show gpt Disklabel types. This USB boots Manjaro in UEFI mode, but not with Secure Boot. Gparted shows sdf1 as iso9660 filesystem, with partition table = none. Gparted does not see the EFI partition at all.

Disk /dev/sdf: 7.8 GiB, 8371830784 bytes, 16351232 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: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sdf1 * 64 4000187 4000124 1.9G 0 Empty
/dev/sdf2 4000188 4008379 8192 4M ef EFI (FAT-12/16/32)
 

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
G'day Capta (& Hi :))

pos eísai fíle mou

Mate what's the exact names of the .iso's and I'll take a Captain (Captain Cook = look)

Chris
Hello Chris,

manjaro-i3 18.1.0-stable-x85_64.iso
arcolinuxb-i3-min-v19.01.4.iso

Thanks for your help
 

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen, problem solved.

First of all, I would like to thank you for your interest and your help.

Problem was safety boot. Once I switched it off, manjaro i3 wm booted normally.
I haven't check Arcolinux .iso yet but I don't think would be a problem.

Just for your info, I faced the same issue with Manjaro xfce Desktop manager.iso and this also solved once I switched off safety boot. That's why I believe that is a Arch based distros issue.

P.S is there a problem if I let my BIOS on this settings? ( safety boot off)
 

JulienCC

Active Member
I think my fdisk output below indicates a MBR partition table with the "dos" Disklabel type. Right? Other USB drives I have show gpt Disklabel types. This USB boots Manjaro in UEFI mode, but not with Secure Boot.
Interesting ! After some reading it seems that MBR partition tables handling is required by the UEFI specs, which means you can theorically boot from MBR devices in UEFI mode. But some lazy manufacturer go directly to compatiblity mode when facing a MBR disk.
I was wrong, thanks for pointing it out !

Gparted shows sdf1 as iso9660 filesystem, with partition table = none. Gparted does not see the EFI partition at all.
The rEFInd drivers page states that there are some UEFI drivers for ISO9660 out there but its quite uncommon. Are you sure the key is booted in UEFI mode ? Having an installer booting in legacy mode won't prevent it from installing a system for UEFI style boot (only asking for the sake of improving my knowledge).

Gparted does not see the EFI partition at all
EFI partitions are FAT partitions at this time. They forked the specs from FAT to have more freedom on what they can change about it. Basically an UEFI system can boot from any partition he can read. EFI partitions are guaranted to be handled by UEFI, the rest is optionnal.
An UEFI system will check partitions it can read an look for an OS loader at a fixed path (/EFI/BOOT/BOOT<MACHINE_TYPE_SHORT_NAME>.EFI ).
But you can, on properly designed systems, set another path manually.

BTW don't hesitate to point out if I'm wrong. I didn't take the time to read the gigantic full UEFI specs at that time, I'm trying to solve the puzzle with small parts grabbed arround.

Gentlemen, problem solved.
\o/
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Are you sure the key is booted in UEFI mode ?
Yes. The BIOS setting was first set to "Legacy support" enabled, and booting the Manjaro-i3 USB showed both UEFI and Legacy boot options in the BIOS Boot Menu. I booted in UEFI mode there successfully. To check further, I disabled Legacy Support so only UEFI would boot, and Manjaro was again successful. (But not with Secure Boot enabled.)


EFI partitions are FAT partitions at this time. They forked the specs from FAT to have more freedom on what they can change about it. Basically an UEFI system can boot from any partition he can read.
fdisk showed the EFI partition as Partition Type "ef" and I am only guessing that is what kept Gparted from seeing it, even though it is FAT32 and would normally be visible to Gparted. Maybe this Type is also the trigger for UEFI to successfully recognize it and boot it.


BTW don't hesitate to point out if I'm wrong.
That's not going to happen often! :cool::D I think all of us regulars here have recognized your knowledge and skills with Linux, and with programming, since you've joined us. We're very glad to have you here and welcome all the help that you are providing. :cool::D

Cheers
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Yes sir, it's secure boot and not safety boot.
Okay, thanks Captain! A few distros can work with Secure Boot left enabled, but many still cannot. Another BIOS/UEFI setting that can cause trouble is TPM (Trusted Platform Module)... but I don't have that on any of my old junk, and I've only learned about it here on these forums.

Cheers
 

CptCharis

Well-Known Member
Speaking about booting, I have just read for multi booting - up to 3 or 4 distros - with one common /home file and/or partition. Do you have any idea. It sounds like a nice project, specially for learning purposes.

Multibooting is @wizardfromoz's field.
 

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