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Trying to install Guix SD - grub-install fails

From: David Lecompte
Subject: Trying to install Guix SD - grub-install fails
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 12:48:01 +0000

Hello all,

I never used Guix SD, only Guix on a foreign distro.

I want to install a system on an external SSD so that I can boot my PC in case 
my default boot disk would have problems (I have my data on other disks in this 
PC) and I decided to try with Guix SD.

With the guided installation in graphic mode, when I get to the point where I 
say to install Guix on a whole disk and I have selected it, the installer goes 
back to the first step, asking whether I want to install Guix SD with the 
graphic installer or shell commands, so the graphic install seems not to work.

Then I decided to try the installation with shell commands.

My desktop is a D8 with a blobless coreboot + seabios.

On my external SSD connected via USB and recognized as /dev/sdf (I have 6 
internal disks, /dev/sda is the boot disk, then I have /dev/sdb to /dev/sde and 
/dev/sdg, not sure why the external SSD got put in the middle):

I created the following partitions and fs (DOS partition table):
/dev/sdf1: 1G formatted as ext4, for /boot, marked as bootable
/dev/sdf2: extended partition
/dev/sdf5: 922G formatted as btrfs, for /
/dev/sdf6: 8G, for swap

I have put labels on /dev/sdf1 and /dev/sdf5, I mounted /dev/sdf5 at /mnt, 
created /mnt/boot and mounted /dev/sdf1 at /mnt/boot, did swapon for /dev/sdf6. 
Then I launched herd, copied config.scm, edited it, and launched guix system 
init, using the commands advised in the manual.

After a while (lots of things were worked on), I have:
---quote start---
guix system: error: '/gnu/store/xxx-grub-2.04/sbin/grub-install --no-floppy 
target=i386-pc --bot-directory /mnt/boot /dev/sdf1' exited with status 1; 
output follows:

Installing of i386-pc platform.
/gnu/store/xxx-grub-2.04/sbin/grub-install: warning: File system 'ext2' doesn't 
support embedding.
/gnu/store/xxx-grub-2.04/sbin/grub-install: warning: Embedding is not possible. 
GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists. However, 
blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged...
/gnu/store/xxx-grub-2.04/sbin/grub-install: error: will not proceed with 
--- quote end ---

And then I get a shell prompt again.

My config.scm is:

(use-modules (gnu) (gnu system nss))
(use-service-modules desktop xorg)
(use-package-modules certs gnome)

  (host-name "albert")
  (timezone "Europe/Paris")
  (locale "fr_FR.utf8")

  (keyboard-layout (keyboard-layout "fr"))
  (bootloader (bootloader-configuration
                (bootloader grub-bootloader)
                (target "/dev/sdf1")
                (keyboard-layout keyboard-layout)))

  (file-systems (append
                  (list (file-system
                          (device (file-system-label "guix-root"))
                          (mount-point "/")
                          (type "btrfs"))
                          (device (file-system-label "guix-boot"))
                          (mount-point "/boot")
                          (type "ext4")))

  (users (cons (user-account
                 (name "david")
                 (comment "David")
                 (group "users")
                 (supplementary-groups '("wheel" "netdev"
                                         "audio" "video")))

  (packages (append (list

  (services (append (list (service mate-desktop-service-type)
                             (keyboard-layout keyboard-layout))))

  (name-service-switch %mdns-host-lookup-nss))

I manually copied the file so there could be typos.

Did I do something wrong in the partition/filesystem choices, in the 
installation procedure or in the config.scm?


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