Installation fails, getting grub2 shell

I have been trying to install UCS on a Z83 mini-computer from an ISO file for days. It always fails.

Here is what I am doing:

  1. Disabled UFI secure boot on the machine (the machine came with Win10 preinstalled I have scrubbed it)
  2. Burn the latest ISO on a USB drive using Rufus
  3. Boot from the USB.

Then the screen shows:

Booting in insecure mode
*Booting in insecure mode *
Loading step1
error no such device: /.desk/info.

Then I get the Grub2 shell. If type ls at the prompt, I only see the (proc) drive but none of the hard drives or USB drives.

By contrast, I have been able to install the latest Debian distro using the exact same method and everything works well. If I select the Grub2 shell at the beginning of the installation, the ls command shows all the drives as expected. Similarly, I have successfully installed Unbuntu.

I found a workaround and was able to install UCS. I am not 100% sure what the problem was but it clearly comes from the ISO file since I was able to install Debian and Ubuntu. Most likely, the issue is because this mini-computer can only boot in UFI mode and is not able to simulate the old BIOS mode. However, it appears that the UCS ISO might not be properly configured to load in UFI mode. They might have included the wrong version of the bootloader GRUB2. Fortunately, most large computer firmwares are designed to simulate the BIOS mode and can install UCS in this old mode.

Here is the solution I found:

First, check that GRUB2 has a problem seeing all the drives. For that try to boot and when you get to the GRUB shell, type ls if all you get is

GRUB>ls
(proc)

then the start from step 1
if you get something like

 GRUB>ls
 (proc),  (hd0), (hd0,gpot1), (hd1)

go directly to step 2

STEP1:

  1. Burn the UCS ISO on a USB stick.
  2. Download a Debian distribution ISO and mount it as a drive (or burn it to a USB stick).
  3. Copy the file EFI/boot/grubx64.efi from the Debian ISO to EFI/boot/ on the USC ISO
  4. Erase the file EFI/boot/grub.efi on the USC ISO
  5. Change the name of EFI/boot/grubx64.efi to EFI/boot/grub.efi

Boot the computer from the UCS ISO stick. It will still go to the GRUB shell but now GRUB should see all the drives on the computer

STEP2:

You need to identify the partition containing your installation data.
At the GRUB prompt type ls, you will see the list of available drives/partitions.

GRUB>ls
(proc),  (hd0), (hd0,gpt1), (hd1), (hd1, gpt1)

(hd0) is a drive, (hd0,gpt1) is a partition

type ls (x,y) -a where (x,y) is each of the partition until you see the one containing the installation data (You should see a file named .univention_install)

then type the following:

 GRUB>set root=(x,y)
 GRUB>linux /install.amd/vmlinuz
 GRUB>initrd /install.amd/initrd.gz
 GRUB boot

… and the computer should be booting on the installation drive.

Thank’s so much for this @CABrouwers!
It really helped a lot, I was able to install UCS on My asus PN40 but I had to add something more for my boot to work properly and the installer to launch namely:
linuxefi /install.amd/vmlinuz preseed/file=/cdrom/preseed.cfg vga=788 dpms=false quiet —
initrdefi /install.amd/gtk/initrd.gz

these were my grub lines:

 GRUB>set root=(hd0,msdos1)
 GRUB>linuxefi    /install.amd/vmlinuz preseed/file=/cdrom/preseed.cfg vga=788 dpms=false quiet ---
 GRUB>initrdefi   /install.amd/gtk/initrd.gz
 GRUB boot

I found the lines in the original grub.cfg file.
Also, my PN40 mounted my usb-stick on /cdrom so the line works with a usb also :wink:

Thanks for your contribution. I finally succeeded to install UCS on a new primergy RX1330M4 using the exchanged EFI/boot/grub.efi from a USB stick.

Then I entered:

GRUB>set root=(hd0) 
GRUB>linuxefi    /install.amd/vmlinuz preseed/file=/cdrom/preseed.cfg
GRUB>initrdefi   /install.amd/gtk/initrd.gz
GRUB boot

I checked the option “Force UEFI - Installation” when the installer offered it.

I do not have any idea why this worked but it did …

Most of the primergy servers do not support CSM anymore so I would expect that Univention fixes the UEFI issues real soon now.

Just my two cents - Martin

Would you happen to have similar instructions for a VPS?