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Old 08-12-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
Thyem
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Slackware install, some PEBKAC


After about a decade of using Windows as my OS of choice I am looking into starting to use some Linux again. I was a Slackware user and when I made an inquire about what distro to use I got recommended both Arch Linux and Slackware. As Slackware seems to be updated lately I figured I would give it a go.

Today I loaded the Slackware x64 ISO onto a USB stick using Unetbootin and installed it onto /dev/sdb2 (sdb2 is a partition on Intel 80 GB SSD 2.gen), sdb1 is the 100 MB WinRE partition for my Win 7 install.
During the install lilo failed to write to both / and MBR and when I tried to boot it with a USB pen made by the installer I got an error about the Superblock potential being corrupted. So now I am bit stuck and can not get Slackware to boot.

The PEBKAC is me deleting the USB pen the installed made and its now loaded with the Slackware install media.

So what steps can I take to get Slackware to install and boot? Can I select another boot loader during the install? I recall it being possible, just can't figure out how. My MB is using EFI and I figure I would probably need elilo or another boot loader that supports EFI, what is the best choice?
 
Old 08-12-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
guyonearth
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I would say your first mistake was using Slackware at all, but I'm sure I'll get flamed for that. Arch would be an even worse choice for a non-expert. I'm amazed at how many people get set up to fail by being recommended these expert-level distributions, rather than a simple one that works out-of-the-box. I suspect a lot of it is on purpose. You wouldn't teach someone how to drive by dumping a pile of parts in front of them and making them build the car first, why would you do the same thing to someone trying to find an alternative operating system?

You need to clear out your drive, get rid of ALL partitions, and start over. Windows will sometimes add metadata to SSDs that will make installing Linux difficult at best. You may have to dd the whole thing back to zeros again to get it to work. EFI should not be an issue if you're using an up-to-date distribution.

Last edited by guyonearth; 08-13-2012 at 12:04 AM.
 
Old 08-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
Thyem
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What distro do you suggest? And why not Slackware?
 
Old 08-13-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
guyonearth
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What's wrong with it is an archaic text-based installer and partitioners that are confusing to an inexperienced user to say the least, and rudimentary package management and dependency checking abilities. A model T is a neat car, but I wouldn't want to drive one every day. I don't care how "stable" it is, any mature distro is stable.

You're right that LILO has issues with EFI, but I don't know how to switch bootloaders in the install, if that's even possible. I'd suggest Fedora if you're a nut for free software, otherwise Mint, Debian, OpenSuse, Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Ubuntu, Mageia, they're all better than Slack in my opinion.
 
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
MAGOVIA
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Try Ubuntu, Works out-of-the-box
 
Old 08-13-2012, 12:52 AM   #6
Thyem
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Thanks for the answers. I am a bit hesitant about Ubuntu, even tough I see some benefits in the big community surrounding it I have some aversion for it. Guess Ill try give Debian a try. Thanks for the honest answers.
 
Old 08-13-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
Celyr
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Well, if you want to stick to Slackware wich in enterely up to you I'm going to need some other clarification, for example what have you used to partition your ssd?
 
Old 08-13-2012, 04:44 AM   #8
Thyem
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I used cfdisk, removed the NTFS partition that was there and made a new ext4 partition in its place. Anything else you need to know?
 
Old 08-13-2012, 05:44 AM   #9
TobiSGD
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If you are able to use cfdisk to partition your disks I doubt that you will have problems to use the Slackware installer. I also had several times problems with Unetbootin and Slackware. The solution is rather simple: use the USB image provided by Slackware and read the instructions: http://mirrors.slackware.com/slackwa...xe-installers/

@guyonearth: If you feel that someone on this forum is intentionally giving bad advice to newbies please report that to a moderator. But keep in mind that different people have different needs and just because you feel that Slackware is not for you (for what reasons ever) that does not mean that everybody has to feel the same. The OP stated that he was already a Slackware user, so I doubt that he will have serious difficulties with a newer Slackware version.
 
Old 08-13-2012, 06:14 AM   #10
Thyem
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The installer worked until the Lilo part where Lilo failed to write to the root directory and MBR. I then made a USB boot stick with Lilo and when I tried to use that to get started I got the possibly corrupt Superblock error and could not get past that. So I am thinking the problem might have something to do with either the WinRE partition, Lilo not supporting EFI well enough or both.

About the recommendation about Slackware: I know there are easier distro for new/inexperienced users and that it would probably save me from a few headaches to go for one off them, but I have successfully used Slackware for a desktop environment in the past and I want to try it again to see if there are noticeable changes. But if what guyonearth is saying about Slackware lacking some features that seems to be key to a pleasurable experience I might look elsewhere for a more "modern" distro.

Again, thanks for the responses
 
Old 08-13-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGOVIA View Post
Try Ubuntu, Works out-of-the-box
whoohahahahaha whoohahahahaha

Laugh-of-the-day.

Like any other distro, it works or it does not work and anything in between is also possible. And once it's working, don't touch it as updates can break software. I'm running Ubuntu on my main desktop and have had my fair share of problems with it.

Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; 08-13-2012 at 07:23 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #12
wigry
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Hi,

First I would recommend you to head to the Slackware subforum here as all people competent with Slackware (including Patrick Volkerding) are monitoring that one and you will get expert advice in no time. Nowadays Slackware is considered an obscure ancient and hostile no-no land for majority of modern GUI-oriented linux users horrified by anything involving commandline and manual configuration editing without fancy checkboxes to choose from and hence the possibly negative responses in general forums like this one.

As a slackware user myself I guess that there are two issues here - lilo being the first one (you are unable to install the most recent kernel for example with lilo shipped with 13.37, a thread about it under slackware section) and second I really doubt if Lilo can deal effectively with EFI although there has been people building Z77 systems with Slackware and probably using EFI.

Last edited by wigry; 08-13-2012 at 07:31 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #13
Celyr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thyem View Post
I used cfdisk, removed the NTFS partition that was there and made a new ext4 partition in its place. Anything else you need to know?
I would bet that if you do the install again and use gdisk instead of cfdisk it will work flawlessy.
I also suggest you to clean the winRE partition, I'm pretty sure you can easly find others way to install it back if you need to
 
Old 08-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #14
wigry
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Some possibly good advice here regarding gdisk:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...nk-gpt-872281/
 
Old 08-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
guyonearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
If you are able to use cfdisk to partition your disks I doubt that you will have problems to use the Slackware installer. I also had several times problems with Unetbootin and Slackware. The solution is rather simple: use the USB image provided by Slackware and read the instructions: http://mirrors.slackware.com/slackwa...xe-installers/

@guyonearth: If you feel that someone on this forum is intentionally giving bad advice to newbies please report that to a moderator. But keep in mind that different people have different needs and just because you feel that Slackware is not for you (for what reasons ever) that does not mean that everybody has to feel the same. The OP stated that he was already a Slackware user, so I doubt that he will have serious difficulties with a newer Slackware version.
I have no agenda with any OS version that anyone wants to use, but I do feel that some here do. They encourage very green users to jump into something that I know is going to cause lots of issues. This is one of the reasons so many people who try Linux end up dropping it very quickly, it's unfamiliar territory, and they get hostility and bad advice, so they go back to Windows or whatever. No new user should be pointed at distros like Arch, Slackware, etc., it's just silly, but I see it all the time. New users should be pointed at a distro that has a GUI installer that's easy to use, a Windows/Mac-like desktop environment, and a large enough user base to get adequate support and advice. That's why I point people at Mint, Ubuntu, and Fedora, all distros I have used, and all of which have huge user communities and excellent documentation. I have the feeling some of these people doing the recommending here are indeed setting people up to fail, either so they can swoop in later and try to save the day, looking like gurus in the process, or just because they think it's funny. Linux should be about freedom and finding what works for you, not evangelizing for any particular distro or distro philosophy.
 
  


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