Moving /boot/efi to usb key

I installed Manjaro last night but forgot to make my laptop unbootable without a particular USB key plugged in. In kubuntu, I did this simply by having /boot/efi on the key.

I really don’t want to re-install if I don’t need to so I’m wondering if it’s as simple as booting to the live environment, setting up the USB key, and updating fstab, then after a successful reboot, removing the original partition. Maybe updating grub also?

Are there any gotchas here?


Hi and welcome to the forum :+1:

You might take a look at:

It also has some info regarding files needed by the Grub-bootloader which might be needed depending on your setup :wink:

Thanks for the welcome.

That didn’t go too well but I have working laptop again, sort of, and it’s a weird one.

What I did - and undid

  1. Boot live
  2. Prepare key
  3. Mount key and hard disk
  4. Copy files over
  5. Modify fstab to mount .boot/efi as the usb key.

Having put the fstab back, if I boot the laptop to the graphical target I get a black screen and it locks. I can’t switch to a tty or do anything except press the power button.

If I boot to a non-graphical target by adding 3 to the Linux line in the grub menu and manually run startx, everything is fine.

Now for the weird bit. If I boot to run level 5 with the Live USB plugged in to a particular port, everything works. This is the one that’s throwing me, I don’t even know what to search for!

There is no reference to the usb key in fstab, crypttab, and it’s definitely not mounted anywhere. Looking at the journal for a failed boot just shows that it stops until I press the power button.

Have you heard of anything like that?

It may have been having this issue before I fiddled but some boots working, I may have been lucky and not noticed. Oh, and the Live USB still works as a live USB!

That is a different issue as topic title, you can start a new thread for that :wink:

I got round it by blacklisting the AMD. Now back to my original quest :smiley: