PSA: do not rely on the live rescue system

I was trying to get some help in here about a broken Qubes install but then I edited the message too many times and that piece of shit “Akismet spam filter” deleted my thread. I’m way too tired and jaded out from this shit to re-type everything or wait for someone to see it and un-delete it AND THEN wait for someone to reply… so I’m just gonna cut my losses and reinstall the fucking OS from scratch even though it’ll probably eat up the rest of tonight and most of tomorrow. Fuck me in the ass, right? I had plans too.

However maybe this’ll help others in the future:

  • Do NOT mess with the disk you installed qubes on. I was playing around with completely non-system partitions that I had played with in the past, and all of a sudden next restart qubes does not boot for no fucking reason (black screen with “GRUB” in the top left corner).

  • Do NOT trust the anaconda live repair system. Assume it won’t detect your qubes install even if the drive and partition are both correctly detected by the subsequent shell or even if you manage to decrypt and mount it yourself. Anaconda doesn’t give a fuck and still won’t see your qubes disk.

  • If you come here for help, do NOT edit your message too many times. I don’t know what the exact threshold is but that Akismet bastard is paranoid as fuck and he is watching your edits waiting to hide your thread from the public.

EDIT: here’s visual proof that this piece of shit is useless:

Maybe this will help others in the future:
If you are trying to get some help don’t swear and curse, no matter how
frustrated you are.
Many readers will just skip past your question.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team.
When I comment in the Forum or in the mailing lists I speak for myself.
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Sorry to hear all that happening to you. Thank you for the recommendations. We’ll be careful and we wish you all the best.

Actually you can manually decrypt and mount the drive, I’ve never had a problem with Qubes live rescue.

Yes so could I, but how do I get the anaconda rescue to detect it? Even if I run anaconda --rescue after mounting it, it says there are no Linux partitions

Anaconda rescue isn’t working because the functionality to find the Linux partition has been recently removed in this patch - 0024-Do-not-mount-pre-existing-partitions-and-do-not-dete.patch
Whilst it is the right thing to do from the security point of view as Marek mentioned:

anaconda installer mounts every single partition it finds on the disk, and analyze various files found there (/etc/os-release, /etc/fstab etc). Something that can easily end up badly. Imagine you’re reinstalling your system over previous compromised one - the amount of parsing of pre-existing disk content here makes it quite likely that it would be possible to plant files that would re-compromise qubes installer…

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examine your drive first, then decrypt with cryptsetup.

mount root device into /mnt
mount boot and efi partition if you have a problem with boot issue, also don’t forget to binds /dev /sys and /proc to /mnt

chroot into /mnt

and do what you need.

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ahh so it IS broken… good to know at least I wasn’t tripping balls alone.

Can you give me a command list? You lost me at mounting boot and efi partition.

  1. I actually kinda nuked the EFI partition, which was what started this whole thing. It’s funny because I had been using it as a RAID device (unaware that this was an important partition), yet that didn’t break my system until I actually deleted the partition. So I need a way to re-create it before I can mount it, if you happen to know how to do that

  2. As for boot, do I mount it at /boot or /mnt/boot?

  3. What exactly is binds and what do I bind everything to?

  4. I assume “do what you need” is just anaconda --rescue because that’s all I got… Hopefully if I can get a new EFI partition set up it’ll finally detect my Qubes install

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@Quben did you fix this issue? I am still facing it. Did your last comment solve it? I am afraid to kick/delete anything that may impact data loss. I guess getting rid of EFI partition won’t impact my main drive which is on sdb3

your help is appreciated since you went through the hassle to figure this out!

@51lieal - can you help?

Here is my thread for context: Emergency Dracut Shell errors. Boot Drive unable to login to Qubes OS - #45 by lovely