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I have an SSD with Win10 and a new NVMe SSD that I want to use for Ubuntu. Therefore, I did the Ubuntu expert installation and created three partitions: the primary one for Ubuntu, a logical partition that I want to use for DropBox, OwnCloud and other shared data, and finally a swap partition. Then the installer asked for the install target for the boot loader. Here I selected /dev/nvme1 (the new disk, but no specific partition).

Problem: After the installation the layout of the disks looks somewhat like this:

/dev/nvme1 (Ubuntu)
-------------------------------------------------------------
|     extJournaled        |   FAT32              |   SWAP   |
|     (Ubuntu)            |   (shared storage)   |          |
|     /dev/nvme1p1        |   /dev/nvme1p2       |          |
|     mount: /            |   mount: /cloud      |          |
-------------------------------------------------------------

/dev/ssd1 (Windows)
-------------------------------------------------------------
|  Win Boot     |  /boot/EFI    |  NTFS                     |
|  Loader       |               |  (Windows 10)             |
|  /dev/ssd1p1  |  /dev/ssd1p2  |  /dev/ssd1p3              |
-------------------------------------------------------------

I can not find the Ubuntu boot loader there. Within the BIOS of the main board neither Ubuntu boot loader nor the NVM SSD are available as boot options. But if I start with the main board's (MSI M350b Mortar Arctic) boot menu (F11) then I see Windows and the Ubuntu boot loader where the Ubuntu boot loader is shown to be on /dev/ssd1 and not on the NVM SSD. I can manually select Ubuntu here. This brings up the Ubuntu boot loader where I then need to start Ubuntu.

So my problems are a) I don't see the the Ubuntu boot loader in the partition layout and b) I cannot add Ubuntu to the Windows boot loader and c) I cannot select Ubuntu in the boot order of the BIOS.

What I'd like to have is just one boot loader coming up asking me to either start Windows or Ubuntu or using the F11 key of the BIOS and then start either Windows or Ubuntu without having the boot loader asking me again.

Any idea how to fix that?

3
  • Try booting into Ubuntu and then following the instructions [here]How can I fix/install/reinstall grub?). In your case, since the system can be booted, you can skip the first steps and just do steps 4-7, changing /dev/sdb to /dev/nvme1. Let me know if that works and I'll mark as a duplicate.
    – terdon
    Oct 18, 2017 at 10:39
  • Would this remove the boot loader from the SDD as well?
    – Matthias
    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:12
  • Didn`t work. Same situation as before. I can access the Ubuntu Bootloader via the F11 key of the main board. But cant see it in the BIOS boot ordering. If I dont press any key, Windows will start by default.
    – Matthias
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:22

1 Answer 1

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I don't see the the Ubuntu boot loader in the partition layout

You have an EFI system, which means that more likely than not the Ubuntu installer put the Linux kernel EFI stub, and perhaps other files, into your EFI partition which is /dev/ssd1p2. Hence, there's no need to install GRUB to /dev/nvme. Check the contents of /boot/EFI.

I cannot add Ubuntu to the Windows boot loader

There's no need to do this. What you need is a boot manager to allow you to select which of the EFI stubs to boot. For this you can use rEFInd. If I'm not mistaking, you can install rEFInd from Ubuntu.

I cannot select Ubuntu in the boot order of the BIOS.

Once you have rEFInd installed this won't matter because it will act as your boot menu; detecting which EFI stubs you have installed (Windows and Ubuntu) and presenting a menu to boot them. The only caveat is that sometimes an OS update will change the default boot manager to something else. In that case, you'll just need to change it back to rEFInd. The installation instructions cover this process.

Example EFI partition

/boot
/boot/EFI
/boot/EFI/APPLE
/boot/EFI/APPLE/EXTENSIONS
/boot/EFI/APPLE/EXTENSIONS/Firmware.scap
/boot/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE
/boot/EFI/APPLE/FIRMWARE/MM61_0106_B0B_LOCKED.scap
/boot/EFI/systemd
/boot/EFI/systemd/systemd-bootx64.efi
/boot/EFI/BOOT
/boot/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI
/boot/EFI/nixos
/boot/EFI/nixos/cvh39057xaz7wlxyllc2xsshfjz1cw1y-linux-4.9.53-bzImage.efi
/boot/EFI/nixos/8fyh1aijvkrzrsmkxifvjmvhkh9zhnr1-initrd-initrd.efi
/boot/EFI/nixos/xjlwbp1gf874jvyhqn7fkvi8mbsyaspa-linux-4.9.56-bzImage.efi
/boot/EFI/nixos/m01j5hf4hxqj0bg83k2ph0s8rarlpp5d-initrd-initrd.efi
/boot/loader
/boot/loader/entries
/boot/loader/entries/nixos-generation-79.conf
/boot/loader/entries/nixos-generation-80.conf
/boot/loader/loader.conf
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  • This would override the Windows Bootmanager? Or not - since the EFI is another partition?
    – Matthias
    Oct 18, 2017 at 14:28
  • Yes, but not at the filesystem level, but rather an EFI setting. The Windows bootmanager would still exist but it won't be launched as the default. But since it's such a critical component it's working making a backup of the EFI partition first. Oct 18, 2017 at 14:58
  • how to check the contents of /boot/efi? anyway, not sure if I wanna install a new boot manager to EFI
    – Matthias
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:23
  • PS: tried installing rEFInd and installation worked. but still no different boot behaviour
    – Matthias
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:33
  • The efibootmgr step may not have worked; the step which sets the boot manager. Consider posting the output of efibootmgr As for listing the contents of /boot/efi, use your work-around to boot Ubuntu and then run export MNTDIR=$(mktemp -d) && mount -o ro /dev/ssd1p2 $MNTDIR && find $MNTDIR && umount $MNTDIR Oct 18, 2017 at 20:44

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