No option to mount /boot in installer in EFI boot mode

Using Manjaro 21.1.6 (GNOME) in EFI boot mode, I cannot select /boot as a mountpoint when partitioning manually. The option simply does not exist in the drop-down list, and I can’t enter it manually either (gets reset to no mount point). Only /boot/efi is listed.
If I boot in legacy boot mode, the /boot option exists (and /boot/efi is gone, obviously). I do want to use EFI boot mode with separate EFI system partition and boot partition though, for the following reasons:

  • Windows is already installed on the disk, I want to install Manjaro next to it
  • Therefore, an EFI system partition already exists, but it is only 99 MiB in size (no, I cannot resize it).

How do I create a /boot partition?

[On a related note, I cannot use LVM, since the installer just closes when attempting to create a logical volume]

If this is true, then that’s a serious regression. Are you using encryption, by any chance? :thinking:

Not sure if it’s by design, but there’s no reason to dedicate a separate partition to /boot, unless you’re using encryption and wish to leave /boot non-encrypted for faster unlocks at boot time. (Grub’s EFI loader vs the actual kernel decrypting the root partition.)

There’s also no valid reason as to why you should not be able to do that if you so desire. :arrow_down:

sda       8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1    8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2    8:2    0   512M  0 part /boot
├─sda3    8:3    0     1G  0 part /
├─sda4    8:4    0    22G  0 part /usr
├─sda5    8:5    0   512M  0 part /usr/local
├─sda6    8:6    0     2G  0 part /opt
├─sda7    8:7    0   1.5G  0 part 
├─sda8    8:8    0   400G  0 part /srv
├─sda9    8:9    0   450G  0 part /home
├─sda10   8:10   0    10G  0 part 
└─sda11   8:11   0    20G  0 part /var

Agreed. That’s why I’m questioning if it’s a design decision. The way it was described sounds like it’s intentional by the Calamares team, and I presume it might be for the above reason (i.e, no need to spare extra allocated space for a separate /boot partition).

Even using the default “Erase everything + encryption” method in Calamares, it does not create a separate /boot partition.

Not with the automatic partitioning, no, but OP has indicated that they are attempting a manual partitioning. And then it should be possible to create as many partitions as possible and mount them wherever one sees fit ─ except for /etc of course, because that one needs to live on the root filesystem.

I do want to use encryption, yes. (Ideally LVM > LUKS > ext4, but due to the installer closing when attempting to create a logical volume I settled for just LUKS > ext4 instead).

The missing /boot problem is orthogonal though - it also appears when attempting to create the boot partition first.

If possible, I would also be happy with leaving /boot on the encrypted root partition, but it seems like the installer wants to store the boot partition’s content in the EFI system partition instead, for which I simply do not have enough space. (Also I was not sure how well systems with an encrypted boot partition are supported)

It works. You’ll notice a delay for unlocking the root partition because there is no hardware acceleration for AES when Grub’s EFI loader tries to decrypt the Master Key of your LUKS-encrypted root partition.

Did you by any chance select rEFInd as the boot loader? In that case, the kernels will indeed be added to the EFI partition, and then the EFI partition must itself be mounted as /boot. But with GRUB as the boot loader, the kernels and the main portion of GRUB will be installed under /boot, which is separate from the EFI partition.

No, I did not get to a boot loader selection. I tried to continue without setting the /boot mountpoint, but then the installer complained that the EFI system partition should be at least 300 MiB large - and the only explanation for that, in my mind, is that it tries to store the kernels etc. on the EFI system partition directly. I mean, the EFI boot entry should only occupy a few KiB, so the size recommendation would not make any sense.

I can confirm with 21.1.6 that Calamares will refuse to let you enter /boot manually, nor is there a drop-down option to select /boot.

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You can ignore that warning. The 300 MiB warning is indeed for when you use rEFInd. In practice, with GRUB as the boot loader, your EFI partition will be nearly empty.

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My own EFI system partition is only 100MiB, with no issues. They really need to clarify that “warning”. There’s already a bug report against it.

EDIT: Not just rEFIind, but also systemd-boot requires the kernels and initramfs’es to be housed in the EFI system partition if using an encrypted root and/or boot partition(s).


Then that’s a regression that needs to be reverted ASAP. I’ll ping @philm ─ he’s the maintainer for calamares.

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Okay, then I will try again with a fully encrypted system. Thank you very much @Aragorn and @winnie!

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Wait! I found a temporary workaround.

First select /boot/efi from the drop-down list, and then Backspace until you remove the /efi portion, then hit Enter.

It works, for some reason! :crazy_face:

Make sure to do it as the last step for creating that partition. Select your size and filesystem first, and then do the above steps.

EDIT: I didn’t actually try to commit to an installation, so I’m not sure if it will crash Calamares during the stages when it actually commits to partitioning and installing the packages.

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@philm has requested to open a bug report at… :arrow_down:

GitHub? Now to scrummage through my accounts. I made a GitLab account which I used to report bugs here:

EDIT: Oh hey, whaddya know…

EDIT 2: I need to find my GitHub account, I’m sure I have one, or just create a new one.

Hmm… Phil says it’s an upstream issue. :thinking: