NewPenguin: Gecko Calamares will not show auto partition options


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Apr 25, 2021
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Hello to the forum from a new penguin:

Have previously used dual boot Win7 into OpenSuse with success.
Recent hardware "issues" mean I am starting again ...
Laptop Intel i5 with win10pro as efi gpt without secure boot, W10p on nvme primary drive, no second fixed drive just a microSD in slot.

Windows shutdown not hibernated.
Used Rufus as "DD" type to create usb stick for Gecko Static. (failed to boot with "iso" type).
Gecko boots (F12) as expected into working environment and functions seemingly as expected.

So went for Calamares installer and all was fine until volumes stage.
No option to auto partition was available as per this Calamares page ..
Auto partition
(I spent a considerable time on a previous dual boot Leap 15.2 install to a second drive and got manual partitions wrong first go ... so not going there again).
Happy to mess under instruction but not prepared to drop Windows into the fire through my lack of understanding.

We actually have the developer here on this site. I'll ping them for you.

Oops, sorry for the late reply, I just now saw this. @KGIII Thanks for the ping.

Yes, there are quite a few factors that Calamares takes into account to offer you different installation options. The most automatic/easy options that could appear (apart from nuke'n'pave the disk) are "Install alongside" and "Replace a partition". The former allows for easily shrinking a partition to make room for GeckoLinux, but it will only appear if there is a partition with enough free space to be resized, and I believe that if there are any extended partitions (which is common for OEM Window installs) then by design they can't be shrunk. So that's probably what's happening on your system. But if you still think Calamares should be offering you one of those options you could ask the Calamares folks, they're very helpful.
In the current 21.04 Lubuntu release, there were a few Calamares bugs. Looking in that direction *may* also be of benefit.
Thank you "GeckoLinux"
I have been seeing some comments elsewhere about nvme ssd as the primary drive with Win OS on it as being an issue for some people.
As far as I am aware this is a 'standard' Win 10 p install without any partition messing (Macrium sees 4x partitions ... 1x Fat and 3x NTFS).
Anyway ... will do as you suggest and ask over at Calamares.
So I went to Calamares on Github and read the notes before posting (yes, that sort of person).
And the first lines are ....
"> Hi! Thank you for helping improve Calamares. If you are seeing a problem in installing a specific distribution, you should **probably** report the problem in the distribution's bug tracker, first. That helps filter out issues with packaging, mis-configuration, etc. that Calamares has no control over...."
So now going to GeckoLinux on Github ....
By the way ... 40% free on C: drive.
Hi there @pavl , if you could open Gparted and post a screenshot that would help. The nvme SSD shouldn't post any problems (although sometimes the disk mode needs to be changed in the BIOS or else Linux can't see the disk at all). But if it's a standard OEM Windows installation it probably has an extended partition that can't be changed. So let's see what partition layout you currently have.
UPDATE and success.
Following advice from GeckoLinux and others on "TenForums" I have success.
From a number of sources it seems that many Dell laptops have RAID as the default setting.
"TenForums" have a detailed method to change from RAID to AHCI.
Sadly that does not always work (failed with mine).
But further advice gave success.
Using MSCONFIG to enable safe boot (minimal) and then changing form RAID to AHCI in bios during boot to safe mode.
Returning to normal boot (msconfig) from within safe mode ... reboot.
Apart from this machine ignoring my own password repeatedly ... had to use the previously enabled alternative Admin account to get into safe mode windows.
Tested Gecko usb and it now 'sees' and allows access to the primary drive (nvme) with w10p on it, allows access to users and docs etc.
Thanks for pointers and help.
Not "your" problem though ... just Dell being obtuse.
Hi Paul, thanks for reporting back. Glad you figured it out! And yes, I recently ran into a similar issue on a friend's Dell Latitude. Surprisingly bad Linux support out of the box.

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