Unable to boot Ubuntu Budgie on older laptops?

I have several older laptops (~12 years old) that I’d like to install Linux. The laptops don’t have support for EFI/UEFI. They only have support for BIOS or Legacy mode. The laptops have a 64 bit CPU.

I’ve attempted to install Ubuntu Budgie and after successfully completing POST, the laptops stall and display GRUB on the screen. It doesn’t progress any further.

I’ve ruled out the following:

  • USB flash drive or USB port failures by booting with different USB flash drives and USB ports.
  • ISO corruption as the hashes match.
  • Problems with the laptops as they successfully boot Ubuntu.
  • LiveUSB issues as it makes no difference if I use dd, cat, Startup Disk Creator, UnetBootin or balenaEtcher.

I’ve noticed that Ubuntu Budgie ships with GRUB 2.04 but Ubuntu uses an ISOLinux bootloader.

As the laptops fail to get past GRUB, my only guess at this point in time is that GRUB 2.04 is incompatible with certain BIOS models.

Does Ubuntu Budgie offer alternative bootloaders? If not, what other options are there?

UB and Ubuntu et al all ship the same packages and boot stuff. They are all built the same way by Canonical.

I am aware that after 20.04 canonical changed the boot process to move away from isolinux.

So are you trying 21.10 and comparing with 20.04 Ubuntu?

Yes, I’ve tried Ubuntu Budgie 21.10 and Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS

Checking the package versions, 22.04 uses a later grub version. So you could try that.

But you say 20.04 ubuntu works … so logically 20.04 ubuntu budgie will work.

Other than that, its not an area i am particularly familiar with. Others may chip in.

Other support forums should be consulted as well … askubuntu.com and ubuntuforums.org

That’s correct. Version 20.04.4 of Ubuntu Budgie does work. Version 22.04 doesn’t either which strongly suggests it’s a GRUB limitation and/or issue. Is there a way to raise this as an issue that could be explored within Canonical?

You will need to file a bug report on launchpad. Tag the bug report jammy and explain that you could not raise the bug report via the live USB session since you could not boot the image. Also explain (do not link) that the same issue occurs on 21.10 - but does not occur on 20.04

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+filebug

Thanks for the suggestion.

I’ve had boot problems before… (my primary desktop is a 2009 dell, so my test hardware is mostly older than this box is!) and I’ll offer the following.

Are you sure you waited long enough for the boot to occur? As hirsute (21.04) and later can take >10 minutes to boot on certain hardware; and most bugs filed state it failed to boot, when it was just slow to boot, eg. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/casper/+bug/1922342

If I have issues booting a thumb-drive on a box; I tend to test the thumb-drive on other boxes; one of a different type (ie. if the box I’m trying to boot on is BIOS, I’d boot media on a uEFI/Secure-uEFI box then boot the media on another box of the same type (another BIOS only box). I’d watch it and if it boots correctly, and media check completes without issue on those other boxes - then I cross of media writes as my possible faulty part. I’m writing hundreds of ISOs to media per year & find 5-8% of writes fail on sandisk media (it’s cheap media made to cost) & higher failure rates on other brands even when written on newer devices using USB3.

FYI: If it’s just slow to boot, that’s an issue with the installation media itself only not being handled well by your devices firmware; ie. once booted & installed; there will be no slowness in boots of the installed system. Boots can take up to ~15 mins.

FYI: I’ve chosen to reply fully here so as to not lengthen the bug report.

Are you sure you waited long enough for the boot to occur? As hirsute (21.04) and later can take >10 minutes to boot on certain hardware; and most bugs filed state it failed to boot, when it was just slow to boot, eg. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/casper/+bug/1922342

Yes. I allowed it to boot for >45 min. It did not progress further than the GRUB screen.

If I have issues booting a thumb-drive on a box; I tend to test the thumb-drive on other boxes; one of a different type (ie. if the box I’m trying to boot on is BIOS, I’d boot media on a uEFI/Secure-uEFI box then boot the media on another box of the same type (another BIOS only box). I’d watch it and if it boots correctly, and media check completes without issue on those other boxes - then I cross of media writes as my possible faulty part. I’m writing hundreds of ISOs to media per year & find 5-8% of writes fail on sandisk media ( it’s cheap media made to cost ) & higher failure rates on other brands even when written on newer devices using USB3.

The flash drive has been tested with other devices and there has been no issue booting. Ubuntu 20.04.4. successfully boots with no delays with the same flash drive.

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It’s not the bug I was thinking of, so thank you.

Booting on other devices isn’t to test the flash drive as being capable of storing an image; it’s confirming the write of the ISO to thumb-drive; ie. if I write today’s daily ISO to thumb-drive & it fails to boot; I assume nothing at that point, but will boot it on another like system (same make/model if I have one, or something somewhat close in vintage/type) then another rather different box; if it fails in all three that’s when I assume it’s a bad write to ISO. It’s then I return to the re-check of the ISO checksum, & re-write to media.

It could be this is what you did… and all you’ve done is re-affirm what you’d already done with @fossfreedom in highlighting a potential bug, where by the already submitted bug report is the correct step.

I didn’t know about what had been done on this site before you mentioned it in a comment on the filed bug report (the bug report is what I saw first)

Thank you again for taking the time to report this bug, and answering our questions, so we can help to make Ubuntu (and flavors) better.

Thanks @guiverc. I did rule out ISO corruptions early in the process by checking and validating the ISO checksums including rewriting the image using different tools as well as testing across similar devices.

If there’s anything else I can do to help other than the details I’ve already shared here and the bug report, please let me know. In the meanwhile, I’ll use version 20.04.4.

I’ll mark this as solved as there is now a bug report - Bug #1968147 “Unable to boot Ubuntu and Ubuntu flavors on older ...” : Bugs : grub2 package : Ubuntu

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