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I have an Asus EeeBook X205TA which proves very difficult to install Linux on due to obscure new hardware and 32-bit EFI on 64-bit hardware. I have seen and read a lot of material and I am almost finished. The problem I have now is as follows:

When I boot the system I always get the grub> prompt where I can enter what is written in /boot/grub/grub.conf which will work:

insmod gzio
insmod part_gpt
insmod btrfs
linux  (hd0,gpt5)/@/boot/vmlinuz-3.19.0-18-generic.efi.signed root=LABEL=UNIXROOT rootflags=subvol=@
initrd (hd0,gpt5)/@/boot/initrd.img-3.19.0-18-generic

How do I fix the problem that grub (2.02~beta2) apparently does not find /boot in the subvol @ of the btrfs partition LABEL=UNIXROOT? I have played with efiboot, which has 2 relevant entries now, ubuntu and Linux, one of which gets me to grub>, the other to grub rescue>. How can I get information from grub2 why it fails? grub-update does not change a thing.

The problem is that I do not know how booting works with EFI ->?-> GRUB ->?-> FS->/boot/grub/grub.cfg, so all my efforts are blind.

What do you need to know? Ubutu 15.04 64-bit, 32-bit UEFI, 32GB eMMC, Z3735 baytrail CPU, Win 8.1 still alive, Secure Boot disabled, Legacy Boot not a BIOS option, what else?

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  • I'd rather not start with complicating every bit I can -- that is, wouldn't stick btrfs (or lvm, or whatever) under /boot at the very least on an EeePC... have you read rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/principles.html already? May 30, 2015 at 7:31
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    Dear Michael, You are probably right. I knew that btrfs has advantages over ext4 for SSDs, and I wanted to enable compression because of the small disk (7GB Linux partition including home!). What I did not know was how badly the Ubuntu installaller can handle btrfs - it has created subvolumes without asking me, and is has no option to enable compression. openSUSE's installer is much better in this respect.
    – Ned64
    May 30, 2015 at 12:37
  • I have shrunk the btrfs and created a separate ext4 boot partition. It has not helped.
    – Ned64
    May 30, 2015 at 22:30
  • Well then Rod's books on EFI are the way to go -- sorry but I've dropped 64-on-32fw experiments last year due to availability of optional 64-bit firmware for my device so no experience-based hints came my way so far... May 31, 2015 at 13:12

1 Answer 1

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I've been working with a similar issue all day. I just installed lubuntu on a Quantum Byte QS-1043-QB. It uses the same processor and chipset you are working with. I got the to same point you are.

Basically, you need to install a 32 bit EFI file for grub and 32 bit grub version.

First, install 32-bit support for grub

sudo apt-get install grub-efi-ia32 grub-efi-ia32-bin

By default, grub is installing a 64 bit EFI, which will not work with the UEFI system on our PCs. I compiled as 32 bit grub EFI on my laptop, then copied it over to the Quantum Byte. I uploaded that EFI file here: grubia32.efi

I then copied that EFI file over the default grub 64 bit version (do as root):

mkdir /boot/efi/EFI
mkdir /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu
cp grubia32.efi /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu/grubx64.efi

Update the grub configuration (again, do as root):

update-grub
update-grub2

At this point, you can reboot and see if it works. You may get lucky. I rebooted, then got dumped to the grub command line. I entered this to tell grub where the config file is:

configfile (hd0,gpt2)/boot/grub/grub.cfg

And the system entered the grub boot menu, but it was all gibberish. After starting up, I updated the grub config file to enable the text based menu and then reinstalled grub to fix the configfile location issue:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Uncomment: GRUB_TERMINAL="console" Type Ctl-X and hit Y to save.

Reinstall grub:

sudo grub-install

I rebooted and now everything seems swell! Hope it works for you, good luck.

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    Thanks very much for this. This is indeed useful information for the installation of Linux on Baytrail-based computers. However, it does not quite answer the question I had (which I have since solved, I will enter the reply here for others when I have the time).
    – Ned64
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:41
  • Ned64, you are right, I did not address your original question, apologies.
    – toomuchtv
    Jul 14, 2015 at 22:53
  • Also, I just installed linux mint on this same machine. The process was much easier. After the initial install, I simply ran the commands to install grub 32 bit, updated grub, and did the reinstall. Machine seems to work no problem. Maybe the original was over complicated.
    – toomuchtv
    Jul 14, 2015 at 22:54
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    @Ned64 please share your knowledge Nov 16, 2015 at 14:01

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