[Bug 979971] Re: grub install to partition fails with 12.04 alternate & LUKS multiboot setup

Phillip Susi psusi at ubuntu.com
Thu May 10 13:53:00 UTC 2012

Your description is very meandering and so it is difficult to discern
what bug you are trying to describe.  Let's try to focus it up.  If I
understand you correctly, you had no problem at all without truecrypt,
but with truecrypt, you had difficulty installing grub to a partition
instead of the MBR, and had to disable the vt.handoff boot option in
order to get the luks prompt, and still gnome won't load?

** Changed in: debian-installer (Ubuntu)
       Status: New => Incomplete

You received this bug notification because you are a member of Ubuntu
Foundations Bugs, which is subscribed to debian-installer in Ubuntu.

  grub install to partition fails with 12.04 alternate & LUKS multiboot

Status in “debian-installer” package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  [A lot about this is at
  but I'm now fairly convinced that it's a bug, not something I'm doing

  I'm installing 12.04 alternate onto a Toshiba Satellite L750-170.  I
  want to set things up with a multiboot configuration with a Truecrypt
  encrypted Windows 7 installation and a LUKS/LVM installation of
  Unbuntu that is also encrypted.  That means that I can't let Ubuntu
  write the grub2 menu to the MBR of /dev/sda as it would destroy the
  Truecrypt bootloader there.  It's clear from various pages on the
  internet that earlier versions of Ubuntu (and other Linuces I think)
  have been fine for this.  You installed the grub menu to a separate
  /boot partition (that may no longer be necessary as I think grub2 is
  LUKS/LVM aware but I haven't risked that), you let Truecrypt load but
  don't enter the passphrase to boot to encrypted windoze, just hit Esc
  and the Truecrypt bootloader hands off the booting and my
  understanding is that it should then find the grub entry on /dev/sda5
  (say) and boot fine.  At least, it's clear that that worked for
  several people with earlier versions of Ubuntu.

  What happens now is this:
  1) I know that U12.04 installs fine before I Truecrypt encrypted the windoze system partition: grub2 installed the menu to the MBR and windoze and Unbuntu booted fine so I know that Ubuntu is fairly happy on the Toshiba
  2) HOWEVER, if I ask the U12.04 installation to ask to a 2Gb small partition on either /dev/sda3 or /dev/sda5 (I've tried both) it simply refuses (*** I think this is bug #1 here as I _think_ it may actually have succeeded in doing the installation but is locking on the warnings, alternatively, it may have failed to use the --force option to override the warnings, either is a bug to my mind ***)
  3) IF I use the rescue disc approach and try to force grub to install to /dev/sda5 from a root console I get the warning messages but the grub that gets installed doesn't work (more below)
  4) when I say it doesn't work, what I mean is that the Truecrypt hand over just locks the machine saying:
     "Error: No bootable partition found".  I appreciate that this may be a bug in Truecrypt but there are still bugs in the Ubuntu/grub combination  because ...
  5) One way that I heard I could rescue things was to use Boot Repair it simply won't show me options to move grub.cfg etc. to any partition but only to rewrite the MBR (which will kill the Truecrypt encrypted windoze)
  6) I also found about Super Grub2 Disk (www.supergrubdisk.org) ... this helped me identify a few more things that make me think there are bugs in U12.04/grub since ...
  7) it finds the grub.cfg on /dev/sda5 fine showing me three menu lines: linux, linux rescue and windows 7
  8) linux rescue boots me into single user root OK after prompting correctly for the LUKS passphrase
  9) plain linux just locks with a black screen ... but
  10) if I remove "quiet splash vt.handoff=7" from 
   linux /vmlinuz-3.2.0-20-generic-pae root=/dev/mapper/sda5_crypt-root ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
  I get a nice boot, I get prompted for the passphrase (*** so one definite bug, my bug #2 here, is that "quiet splash vt.handoff=7" is incompatible with LUKS encryption)
  11) BUT I end up with a multiuser mode line/curses login prompt and seem to get in fine as chris, the ordinary user I defined when doing the U12.04 installation, but no Gnome (*** is this bug #3? ***)

  Here's what cfdisk shows from a rescue root terminal:

  Disk drive: /dev/sda
  If I go into that cfdisk shows
  Disk drive: /dev/sda
  Size: 750156374016 bytes, 750.1 GB
  Heads: 255 Sectors per track: 63 Cylinders: 91201

  		Primary	Free Space			1.05*
  sda1	Primary	ntfs		[SYSTEM]	418.39*
  sda2	Boot	Primary HPFS/NTFS/exFAT		191572.74*
  		Pri/Log	Free Space			1.05*
  sda5	NC	Logical	ext2				1998.59*
  sda6	NC	Logical	crypto_LUKS			556163.67*
  		Pri/Log	Free Space			0.91*	

  (sorry for formatting there).

  Here's the whole of grub.cfg from /boot on /dev/sda5

  # It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
  # from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
  if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
    set have_grubenv=true
  set default="0"
  if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
    set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
    save_env saved_entry
    set prev_saved_entry=
    save_env prev_saved_entry
    set boot_once=true

  function savedefault {
    if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
      save_env saved_entry

  function recordfail {
    set recordfail=1
    if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi

  function load_video {
    insmod vbe
    insmod vga
    insmod video_bochs
    insmod video_cirrus

  if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
    set timeout=-1
    set timeout=10
  ### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
  set menu_color_normal=white/black
  set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
  ### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
  if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then
    if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then
      if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then
        if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then
          set linux_gfx_mode=keep
          set linux_gfx_mode=text
        set linux_gfx_mode=text
      set linux_gfx_mode=keep
    set linux_gfx_mode=text
  export linux_gfx_mode
  if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi
  menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.2.0-20-generic-pae' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
  	set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
  	insmod gzio
  	insmod part_msdos
  	insmod ext2
  	set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
  	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root b373189d-0999-47a6-a925-0fe6d2511e49
  	linux	/vmlinuz-3.2.0-20-generic-pae root=/dev/mapper/sda5_crypt-root ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
  	initrd	/initrd.img-3.2.0-20-generic-pae
  menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.2.0-20-generic-pae (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
  	insmod gzio
  	insmod part_msdos
  	insmod ext2
  	set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
  	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root b373189d-0999-47a6-a925-0fe6d2511e49
  	echo	'Loading Linux 3.2.0-20-generic-pae ...'
  	linux	/vmlinuz-3.2.0-20-generic-pae root=/dev/mapper/sda5_crypt-root ro single nomodeset 
  	echo	'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
  	initrd	/initrd.img-3.2.0-20-generic-pae
  ### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
  ### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
  menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)" --class windows --class os {
  	insmod part_msdos
  	insmod ntfs
  	set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
  	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 04FC772AFC771560
  	chainloader +1
  ### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
  # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
  # menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
  # the 'exec tail' line above.
  ### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

  ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###
  if [ -f  $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
    source $prefix/custom.cfg;
  ### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ###

  I'm happy to supply any other information and try anything.  I'd
  really like to get this working and suspect that this multiboot
  combination is one quite a lot of people will want.

To manage notifications about this bug go to:

More information about the foundations-bugs mailing list