Installer tries to put bootloader on install medium when installing from SD card

Bug #1809163 reported by Scott on 2018-12-19
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When installing ubuntu-18.10-desktop-amd64.iso FROM an SD card ONTO an empty SSD using automatic partitioning, the installer chooses the *SD card installation medium* as the device to put the bootloader on. It should choose the SSD where the rest of the OS is being installed.

To reproduce:

On another Ubuntu system:
1. Download ubuntu-18.10-desktop-amd64.iso.
2. Use Startup Disk Creator (usb-creator-common/bionic,now 0.3.5 amd64) to load the installation ISO onto the SD card.
3. Write-lock the SD card using the slide-switch on the side.

On the empty computer onto which Ubuntu will be installed:
4. Boot from the SD card.
5. Select "Install Ubuntu".
6. Select "Normal installation".
7. Select automatic partitioning with encryption: "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" + "Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security".
8. Respond to key, timezone, username, hostname, etc. prompts. Installation churns for awhile, saying "Copying files...", "Installing system", "Configuring hardware...", etc.

This is where things go awry.
* Installation says "Running 'grub-install /dev/mmcblk0'..."
* An error box comes up:
     Unable to install GRUB in /dev/mmcblk0
     Executing 'grub-install /dev/mmcblk0' failed.
     This is a fatal error.
* After pressing OK, this dialog appears:
    Bootloader install failed
    (X) Sorry, an error occurred and it was not possible to install the bootloader at the specified location.
    How would you like to proceed?
      (o) Choose a different device to install the bootloader on:
      ( ) Continue without a bootloader.
      ( ) Cancel the installation.

The device selection drop-down has eight choices (including two apparent duplicates):
  /dev/mapper/sda5_crypt Linux device-mapper (crypt) (255.3 GB)
  /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root Linux device-mapper (linear) (254.3 GB)
  /dev/sda ATA SAMSUNG SSD XXXX (256.1 GB)

Interestingly, /dev/mmcblk0 does *not* appear as a drop-down option. After selecting one of the other options, /dev/mmcblk0 disappears and is not presented as an option.

Installation cannot continue from here because the "Bootloader install failed" recovery dialog gets stuck, but that is a separate bug. This bug tracks the problem where automatic partitioning choose the SD card (mmcblk0) as the target for bootloader install when it should have chosen the SSD onto which Ubuntu was being installed (sda).

Revision history for this message
Scott (sworley) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Scott (sworley) wrote :

(Other bug that tracks the "Bootloader install failed" recovery dialog getting stuck: bug 1809164)

tags: added: ubiquity-18.10.12
tags: added: cosmic
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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