After spending almost a day trying boot my newly installed Ubuntu 12.04 server edition I finally figured out what was the problem. So I am posting this maybe someone is in the same situation as me and it will find this helpful. I don’t know if my method is the best/recommended one, but it works.
After installing Ubuntu and rebooting you are presented with black screen asking to insert bootable media. Not even GRUB. You probably have a newer PC and when entering BIOS you notice that it has a better looking menu (compared to old text modes we had for so many years) and some options about (U)EFI.
Insert the USB stick into the new PC and boot. Press the key to chose Boot menu. In my case it was F12. From the menu select “EFI: USB harddrive” (this may look different for you, but make sure you select the EFI entry). After the live CD/USB loads everything you are presented with GParted interface. I had two harddisks since I was trying to make RAID. I made the following partitions:
- 128 MB vfat32 partition for EFIboot, select “boot” flag for it (right click on partition, Make flags)
- rest of the space as another partition, unformatted , select “raid” flag
- 128 MB xfs partition for /boot (you can use anything you want for file system)
- rest of the space as another partition, unformatted, select “raid” flag
Write the partition changes to HDD and reboot.
Insert Ubuntu 12.04 Server edition USB stick (or CD). Press Boot menu key (F12 for me) and again select “EFI: USB Harddrive” (or whatever is called for you). When you get to the partition scheme chose “Manual” and do the following:
- Select the vfat32 partition and make sure “Boot flag” is “on” and select “Use this -> EFIBoot partition” (where you normally select file system for a partition). Done with this.
- Select the other 128 MB partition from 2nd HDD and use it to mount /boot
- Configure software RAID (Create MD device, RAID1, 2 devices, 0 spare, use /dev/sda2 and /dev/sdb2)
- Configure the LVM using /dev/md0 as Physical Volume and create a Volume Group on it (I named mine VolGroup00). Now create as many Logical Volumes as you need. I created 4, but feel free to use as many as you need.
- 10 GB LogVolRoot for /
- 10 GB LogVolTmp for /tmp
- 16 GB LogVolSwap for swap space
- rest of the space as LogVolVar for /var (I was going to install ISPConfig on this server and most of the files are located in /var in this case).
You can go without /var and /tmp separated volumes if you want. The recommended swap is space is 2x RAM if you are under 2GB RAM, and RAM+2 if you have over 2GB RAM.
At this point you should be done, write everything to disk and continue with normal install. When you get to boot loader part you will notice that GRUB won’t ask anything about MBR or other things. It will simply install “grub-efi-amd64” (or something like that, was too fast). If it asks you about MBR or where to install itself then you did something wrong.
Things to note:
I know I should/could have tried to put /boot on RAID/LVM. I’ll try this next time.