calamares wants to install to 3.5" 1.44MB floppy (& boot loader will get written to /dev/fd0 if sda selected)

Bug #1873128 reported by Chris Guiver on 2020-04-16
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
calamares (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Lubuntu 20.04 QA-test install on
dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)
testcase: install with existing partition (sda8 is existing /home, sda9 will be used for /)

Expected :

System has only a single HDD, so I'd expect to select my partitions from hdd, and not have any options for /dev/fd0

Actual :

The systems seems to want to install to my 3.5" floppy ??
It's a 3.5" 1.44MB one too, but it's reporting ~1920GB??

If I select HDD partitions, the install will fail because boot loader will be attempted to be written to /dev/fd0 (maybe that would work if floppy is in drive & box actually booted floppy)


This issue ONLY occurs if a floppy is in the drive during boot. If no floppy is in drive install works flawlessly (#3, #10), but as noted in comment #8 if floppy is in drive during boot, even if selected partition is /dev/sda it seems to want to install boot loader to /dev/fd0 (see also

The floppy was only recently enabled in BIOS because of an ask.ubuntu support request, so prior installs on this box wouldn't have seen the FDD

I'll look at this when I can.. I'll provide pic & calamares log (haven't exited or run install yet). The floppy could be corrupted & creating the issue (it contains some word perfect files from 1994 only; and happened to be left in drive from ask.ubu support use).

(( Also all play I did with floppy was in 18.04 system as that was what OP on ask.ubu was using ))

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: calamares 3.2.20-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-21.25-generic 5.4.27
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-21-generic x86_64
 restartNowMode: user-checked
 restartNowCommand: "systemctl -i reboot"
 efiSystemPartition: "/boot/efi"
 enableLuksAutomatedPartitioning: true
 userSwapChoices: none
 drawNestedPartitions: true
 defaultFileSystemType: "ext4"
 dontChroot: true
 timeout: 30
     - calamares-logs-helper @@ROOT@@
     - source: "/cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs"
         sourcefs: "squashfs"
         destination: ""
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu26
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: pass
CasperVersion: 1.445
CurrentDesktop: LXQt
Date: Thu Apr 16 14:11:01 2020
LiveMediaBuild: Lubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" - Beta amd64 (20200415)
 calamares-settings-ubuntu-common 1:20.04.2
 calamares-settings-lubuntu 1:20.04.2
 xfsprogs 5.3.0-1ubuntu2
 btrfs-progs 5.4.1-2
SourcePackage: calamares
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

no install was completed
I switched from FDD to HDD & back a few times..

description: updated
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I booted 2020-04-02 Ubuntu 20.04 ISO & started installer, it didn't allow me to select /dev/fd0, I didn't install but it's behavior was as I expected.

Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

When Lubuntu is booted on same box without floppy in drive, calamares does NOT list the /dev/fd0, it cannot be selected and it operates as expected (letting me select only hdd partitions)

Inserted floppy again & restarting Lubuntu daily..
it seemed to be endlessly looping (>680 seconds at front screen in counter when I noted debug option bottom left of calamares & started exploring there.. the end crash was likely caused by me pressing crash option

`sudo -E calamares` -d will be uploaded in next comment from box

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

see comment #5; ~/.cache/calamares/session.log

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I had to reboot to get installer to re-start, again it wanted to install to "fd0 - /dev/fd0" matching original post.

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I've restarted test again... Floppy was inserted so it provided the /dev/fd0 option, however I selected /dev/sda...

At final calamares install summary screen, it's reported "Install boot loader on /dev/fd0" even though that was NOT selected. I've ejected floppy but will let install run

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

refer comment #8

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Re-started another boot & completed install without issue.

Just as in comment #3 (which could have been clearer), if there is no floppy in the drive on boot, the installer works perfectly.

If a floppy is in the drive during boot, it'll try and install boot loader to floppy drive. System needs to boot without floppy in drive.

description: updated
Chris Guiver (guiverc) on 2020-04-16
summary: - calamares seems to want to install to ~1920GB 3.5" 1.44MB floppy
+ calamares wants to install to 3.5" 1.44MB floppy (& boot loader will
+ get written to /dev/fd0 if sda selected)
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

re-try, same (d755-5) box using 2020-04-16 daily focal ISO

Install / to sda9 (no format), /home to sda8 (no format). Calamares at first wanted me to select partitions on /dev/fd0, I changed to sda.. however I noted in Overview it stated

"Install Lubuntu on ext4 system partition /dev/sda9
Set up ext4 partition /dev/sda8 with mount point /home.
Install boot loader on /dev/fd0"

I've done 3 installs before today on this box; no issues with /dev/fd0; the difference in this install was floppy was inserted in the drive. In prior tests reported here I ejected floppy after boot or before clicking install. This time I did not.

When installer got to boot loader step, floppy LED came on & I could hear the floppy drive write data & skip to next track, and click-click as it moved between tracks.

Eventually it came to error message

"Boost.Python error in job "bootloader".
Command 'grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck --force /dev/fd0' returned non-zero exit status 1.
Installing for i386-pc platform. grub-install: warning: File system `fat' doesn't support embedding. grub-install: error: embedding is not possible, but this is required for cross-disk install.

File "/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/calamares/modules/bootloader/", line 457, in run

  File "/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/calamares/modules/bootloader/", line 429, in prepare_bootloader
    install_grub(efi_directory, fw_type)

  File "/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/calamares/modules/bootloader/", line 336, in install_grub

  File "<string>", line 6, in <module>"

(FYI: I looked at floppy in `pcmanfm-qt` and it appears to still have only 1994 wp files on it)

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I booted up Lubuntu 19.04 (alpha x86) oon hp dx6120mt (pentium 4 dual-core, 3gb, nvidia 7600gt clone)

and by default it's selected storage device is "Unknown /dev/fd0"

Booted without the floppy in the drive it's default is "/dev/sda", it only offers the /dev/fd0 when floppy is inserted on machine boot (just like d755-5 in original post)

It's the same floppy used to test on d755-5, but on this box (and this older `calamares`) it's not detecting partitions totalling ~1920GB on the 1.44mb floppy

lubuntu@lubuntu:~$ apt-cache policy calamares calamares-settings-lubuntu calamares-settings-ubuntu-common
  Installed: 3.2.2-0ubuntu6
  Candidate: 3.2.2-0ubuntu6
  Version table:
 *** 3.2.2-0ubuntu6 500
        500 disco/universe i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
  Installed: 31
  Candidate: 31
  Version table:
 *** 31 500
        500 disco/universe i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
  Installed: 31
  Candidate: 31
  Version table:
 *** 31 500
        500 disco/universe i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I should have added 19.04 image used was (comment #12)
[Lubuntu 19.04 _Disco Dingo_ - Alpha i386 (20181220)]

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

I just booted Lubuntu 20.04 (amd64; last pre-release daily) and 19.04 (i386) boxes without floppy inserted during the boot cycle, but inserted floppy before calamares is started to install system, and both wanted to install to /dev/fd0 as my storage device.

The amd64 (20.04) box shows the ~1920gb space map as current partitioning, where as the i386 (much older calamares) shows a dark partitioned space in the current map (same floppy used for both tests).

Changed in calamares:
status: Unknown → New
Changed in calamares:
status: New → Fix Released
Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Lubuntu groovy (daily) QA-test (simulated) install

dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)

I didn't complete install; the purpose is to look for which doesn't require the install to complete..

(floppy is readable, containing & associated files; if floppy is unreadable the bug doesn't appear to occur)

Install is going to sda9, but boot loaded to /dev/fd0 (despite selecting /dev/sda for boot loader)

Chris Guiver (guiverc) wrote :

Lubuntu hirsute (daily) QA-test (simulated) install on

- dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)

3.5" floppy was inserted into box before boot; it remained in

starting calamares & I hear floppy spin up & seek home :(

selected partitions (sda8 & sda9 for / & /home, no format in case I made a mistake)

MBR was going to be written to SDA (or hdd), no floppy mentioned in summary screen so no issues detected at all (hirsute anyway)

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