A friend of mine who wants to learn about Linux has a stronger will than me, as I think installing Linux in 2020 is gonna break me but he's still stoked as shit. I'm fucking serious. He asked me to install several distros, in order of interest (because they all fucking failed, because of fucking course they did) on a USB HDD he was using just for this.

We tried, in order:

Arch: initramfs wiped his Windows HDD when it crashed. IDFK how, but it zeroed the top 32KB of the drive. It wasn't even the right HDD...

Linux Mint: nvidia drivers refused to see his GPU after install. No matter what we did. Live media saw it fine until it was installed on the external drive, too.

Debian: Installer couldn't see the external HDD, ever. No matter what we did. It had a /dev entry, lsblk and fdisk saw it, I could format and mount it, but the installer crashed when it refreshed the device list when it was present. Every goddamn time.

Fedora: Installer broke halfway through as an executable (or 70) were corrupted, but the disc matched the ISO and the ISO sums correctly, so this is apparently how it was packed and shipped.

CentOS: Refused to boot. Just entirely. GRUB would go to load the kernel and it'd hang.

All ISOs and discs were verified as matching provided sums using MD5 and SHA256. How the fuck is Linux so fucking hard to get working on older hardware in 2020? Worked great in 2008, worked great in 2018, why is 2020 such a goddamn issue?

  • 7
    The one with Arch kinda impresses me.
    That's not bad luck, that's skill.
  • 2
    The Fedora one - was that release 32? Also why not try netinstall for them ... I haven't had problems with Fedora installs since the Fedora 31 beta. I have a feeling there might be a problem with the USB thumb drive.
  • 1
    The beginning of your post said nothing about older hardware. What older hardware?

    Also, did you do the same as now back in 2018 and 2008, i.e. install several Linux distros on an external disk with the internal one occupied by Windows?

    I'd recommend disabling the internal drive in BIOS/UEFI, then trying all over again.
  • 2
    All the distros i installed in the past 10 years worked out of the box with next next install, how the fuck do people mess it up?
  • 1
    I for myself would probably fuck it up by not following the installer's suggested default. I like my Linux installed 'just so.'
  • 1
    @theKarlisK Yes, it was 32, and if you re-read the bottom of the post, I used discs, specifically 4x DVDs, and they were verified against verified ISOs.
  • 1
    @SomeNone A Dell PC from around 2012, idr the model but it's been upgraded since. And yes, as external HDD linux is rather popular amongst beginners, from what I see. (Well, 2008 was me getting into it at first, but it was still an external HDD. Also, if you re-read the top of the post, you'd see it was in order of preference, so if Arch had worked, that would've been it, which is how all 3 went.)

    Also, other than using a drive that wasn't the first one, it's pretty much default.
  • 1
    @yellow-dog Outside the last 2 for me personally and the last one for others, same.
  • 1
    @Parzi somehow it went over my head that you were using CD's ... I'd suggest giving bootable USB thumb drives a go (Rufus on Windows works like a charm).

    Also something that I've noticed when dealing with multiboot setups - if you have multiple HDDs connected during windows install, windows may decide to put the boot stuff on completely different HDD for no fucking reason whatsoever (may be related to actual HDD order plugged into the board). Also a really weird thing that happened to me during Manjaro setup was that Manjaro decided to put /boot/efi stuff into windows boot and windows kept spazzing out on me by doing disk checks every boot after I've put on a new kernel update on Manjaro.
  • 1
    @theKarlisK The BIOS forced the external HDD to be the only bootable USB device because it was largest (thanks Dell for simultaneously the most 2004 and the most 2014 BIOS ever), so we used a 4x DVD-RW, and after Arch, the Windows drive was disconnected before Linux installation began.
  • 1
    Have you checked the hardware compatibility beforehand?
  • 0
    @linuxxx Aside from individual RAM sticks, I checked it all, yes. Everything should work.
  • 2
    @Parzi Then I have no clue too badly.
Add Comment