Linux Mint 19 on an HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Mini

I picked up a couple of these second-hand recently, to use in the observatory. They came with Windows 10 installed, but I don’t care about that. I want to run Linux Mint on them.

I tried a couple of times to install from my Mint 19 DVD, but just kept getting the error:

The 'grub-efi-amd64-signed' package failed to install into /target/

Something about UEFI seems to mess things up. It made no difference if I removed the Windows boot entry using efibootmgr from the live desktop, or even if I deleted the entire partition table from the disk. I always got the same error. It took me quite a while to find a solution. What finally worked was this:

Once the above error occurs, allow the install process to stop and then open a terminal window. In the window, use sudo to get a root shell (“sudo -s”). The first thing I needed to do was to edit /etc/hosts to add some of the hostnames that would be used later by apt-get. I don’t know if this is a problem specific to my setup or will generally be the case, but I added entries for, and to the file, using another machine to look up the IP addresses (and just picking one where there were several). At the time of writing, I added:

There’s a Canonical host used too, but I just ignored the errors about that in apt-get.

The next step is to run the following commands (all as root)

# mkdir -p /mnt/boot/efi
# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi
# for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys; do mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
# chroot /mnt
# apt-get update
# apt-get install ubuntu-system-adjustments
# apt install --reinstall grub-efi-amd64-signed
# os-prober
# update-grub
# ^D

At that point I was able to restart the machine and it booted straight into Mint 19.

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3 Responses to Linux Mint 19 on an HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Mini

  1. nocontact says:

    For someone who is not fluent in Linux, this is not very helpful.
    My conclusion: beginners cannot (easily) install Linux on this machine. – do not buy

    • james says:

      Yes, that’s probably not an unreasonable comment as far as Mint 19 is concerned. Mint 20 may be easier, but I haven’t tried to upgrade yet.

    • null says:

      This reminds me of when I had the unfortunate, albeit laughable, experience of providing official Caldera OpenLinux email support in the late 1990s. “Dear user, GNU/Linux is an operating system. RTFM.”

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