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  1. #1

    Booting Ubuntu 64-bit from Grub shell on 32-bit UEFI tablet.


    I want to use a Ubuntu live USB on my Cherry Trail tablet. I don't want to install Ubuntu, just get a live instance up and running.

    I've written Ubuntu onto a flashdrive. I've used Etcher, Rufus (written with DD), and UUI (written with DD). All of which produce the same partition structure on my flash drive.

    1. 1.79GB unallocated partition (presumably the partition where Ubuntu is installed)
    2. 2MB FAT12 partition (contains /EFI/BOOT/*.efi)
    3. The rest is unallocated, empty space.

    Image of Partition structure

    I replaced the grubx64.efi and bootx64.efi files with a bootia32.efi file. I deleted the two 64-bit efi files, since all three files would not fit in the partition, and a 2MB FAT12 partition is too small for Gparted to resize.

    I've tried selecting the flashdrive from the boot menu, and manually navigating to bootia32.efi from the uefi shell. Both just drop me to the GRUB shell.

    Image of UEFI boot menu

    Image of Grub shell

    Secure boot is not enabled in the Tablet's uefi, it does not support legacy boot.

    I've tried three different bootia32.efi files, they all produce the same result.

    I've tried Ubuntu 16.10, 18.04, and 18.10 nightly. Same result.

    I'm not familiar with the GRUB shell, I think it was the "help" command that listed all of the available commands, but I couldn't figure out how to list them by page, so I couldn't catch most of them.

    I did some Googling, and it seems pretty cryptic to actually boot using these Grub commands, so that's why i'm here.

    The kernel is in that 1.79GB unallocated partition, right? So would grub even be able to read any data from that? I'm not too sure.
    Last edited by codyw1996; 1 Week Ago at 02:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie CarterCox's Avatar
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    Is there a reason why you are writing it using DD? If you use the normal modes (in Rufus) you'll get a more flexible structure with well-defined partitions and directories. Maybe then you'll get better results when modifying your files.

    Now, why are you replacing files? I assume because of the difference in architectures, but where did you get this information? Where did you get the files? Do you even know if this is possible? This all seems rather experimental, and if you can't deal with the GRUB rescue shell, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.
    "My common sense is tingling."

  3. #3
    I replaced the files because they would not all fit in the 2 megabyte FAT12 partition and the two 64-bit efi files are useless, since my UEFI is 32-bit.

    Rufus produces exactly the same partition structure as UUI and Etcher. I've tried two different flash drives.

    There are dozens of guides revolving around installing 64-bit Ubuntu and other debian based distros on Bay trail, and Cherry trail tablets with 32-bit UEFIs. Here are two of them.

    https://medium.com/@tomac/installing...et-727747a376b

    https://medium.com/@realzedgoat/a-so...s-d39b1d1961ec

    They all follow the same basic steps:

    1. Format a flash drive as FAT32 with a GUID partition scheme
    2. copy bootia32.efi to /BOOT/EFI/
    3. Select the flash drive as the boot device in the UEFI, making sure that secure boot is disabled


    There are no guides specific to my tablet (RCA Cambio 10.1), but it's just a generic cherry trail tablet.

    Fedora (which is supposed to support 32-bit UEFIs after version 27) will attempt to boot, but almost immediately fail, printing "Invalid parameter" about 10 times to the screen before the tablet just reboots.

    There are also many guides and manuals on the Grub shell. But I don't know how to address this problem. Obviously grub can't find a kernel to boot, I can't figure out how to tell grub where the kernel is.

    if you can't deal with the GRUB rescue shell, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.
    Thanks for the help, Gatekeeper.
    Last edited by codyw1996; 1 Week Ago at 05:38 AM.

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  5. #4
    Linux Newbie CarterCox's Avatar
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    Since there are guides out there, why don't you follow them?
    Quote Originally Posted by That fabulous site
    Open Rufus, select Ubuntu image, USB drive letter, Fat32, GPT for EUFI and click Start.
    Quote Originally Posted by codyw1996 View Post
    I've written Ubuntu onto a flashdrive. I've used Etcher, Rufus (written with DD), and UUI (written with DD). All of which produce the same partition structure on my flash drive.
    Oh, I almost forget, h4x0r.
    "My common sense is tingling."

  6. #5
    I used Rufus, dude. It produces the same partition structure. Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

    Download a 64-bit copy of Ubuntu, then write it to a flashdrive using Rufus with the settings you listed, then use UUI selecting the option "Try via DD".

    Followed this guide to get a bootable copy of 32-bit linux mint.
    Solved.

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