Encouraged by my success, I figured I'd try installing LINUX Mint in the same box. As you know from previous posts and your own personal experience, Linux Mint identifies itself as Ubuntu - exactly the same name as the original OS. Well, just wipe the disk clean and reinstall everything. That will fix it.
Along comes LINUX Peppermint. Assume that I created a Virtual Machine for this OS and that it was duly impressive. So ... why not install it in that Windows/Mageia/Ubuntu computer? Guess what!!! LINUX Peppermint identifies itself as ... UBUNTU.
All of the above is happening in a machine that boots UEFI. There are a lot of details I won't mention here (because I already bored you with them elsewhere), but the UEFI scheme requires a separate ESP (Extensible firmware Interface System Partition) wherein all the bootloaders for all the OS's must reside. They can reside elsewhere, but the classic approach is to put them into the ESP.
In addition to the bootloaders, such as Grub, reFINd, and the Windows bootloader, there are other ESP directories for backups and various other purposes. Each bootloader, however, has a directory of it's own at the root level. Thus, when you have two or three LINUX OS's that identify themselves by the same name, an already confusing situation becomes chaotic.
Been there. Done that.
So now that the derivatives of LINUX Ubuntu have corrupted the critical ESP partition, it would be time to wipe the disk clean and start over. Well, let's just erase Ubuntu's ESP information and delete the partition on which the OS is installed. OK, that sounds reasonable. Unfortunately, now the original Ubuntu will not install giving the error message that its Grub bootloader cannot be installed. Ubuntu will not be able to boot. Tough luck for you.
Going to the Ask Ubuntu or the Ubuntu Forums websites should get some answers. Apparently a lot of folks have the same problem in one form or another. The consensus is that the Ubuntu installer program (used in all three versions mentioned above) has a bug. Too bad, because there is no fix. The developers have to come up with something for that. Well, the bug has been around for six years and still no fix. So, maybe trying a different approach will get better results. Ask how to install Ubuntu's Grub into the ESP partition? Take my advice. Don't ask. There are some good suggestions if you sift through the garbage and get past the folks who blame it on Windows. But there is nobody with a solution.
So now let's assume that you spend 3-4 months learning about UEFI and how to implement Linux on a stick. Yes, it takes that long to figure it out even if you are a dedicated Linux fanboy. Well Linux on a stick isn't the same as Linux in a multi-boot Windows based computer, but it's close. It's close enough to use as a guide for installing Ubuntu alongside other operating systems. Here is what you need to do.
1 -- Make sure the target drive is partitioned correctly, i.e. GPT formatted and a vfat partition for the ESP information. You can also make a partition for the Ubuntu OS ahead of time, but it is usually done during installation. You DO know how to do that, right?
2-- Download the UEFI version of Ubuntu and make a live USB version. A DVD can be used too, but who actually uses DVD's these days? And, of course, you will use the proper software to create that live USB lest you risk the possibility of creating something that will not boot or will not function correctly during installation. Like the prerequisite of having knowledge about partitioning, you should have the required knowledge for putting Linux on a stick. And dammit, it better be a GPT stick, not an MBR one.
3-- Since we already know that Grub won't install anymore, the Ubuntu installer must be run without installing Grub. Like the above two items, it's assumed you intuitively know the CLI instruction ubiquity -b will do that for you.
4-- Now you have Ubuntu installed without its bootloader. The trick is to start up the installed Ubuntu somehow so that you can use it to install it's Grub. You can't just install Grub into the ESP partition willy nilly. It has to be done from inside the target OS so that permissions are set correctly. Hmm ...
5-- The Windows Boot Device Manager won't call up Ubuntu even though it's listed as an option. Of course not. There is no Grub for it to call. Why the entry is there to begin with is a mystery of the ages, but for now we will reboot the machine and call up reFINd instead of Grub or Windows bootloader. reFINd is kind of cool in that it bypasses all the crap Grub throws at you and calls up the Linux kernel of interest directly from the installed OS. Well, Grub does that too, but we don't have Grub yet. Oh, and of course, you do know all about reFINd and how to use it, right?
5a- A slight quirk is apt to show up at this point. Missing nVidia drivers may prevent Ubuntu from getting past the login screen. No problem. Before logging in start up a shell session (ctrl+alt+F2), log in, and install the drivers from the repository. Should you not need nVidia you still may not be able to log in. Start up that shell session and do a full distribution upgrade to get all the latest packages out of the repository. Things should work fine after that.
6-- Once Ubuntu is finally running, it's time to install Grub to the ESP:
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$ sudo apt-get install grub-efi-amd64-bin $ sudo mkdir -p /mnt/esp $ sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/esp $ sudo grub-install /dev/sdb --efi-directory=/mnt/esp --boot-directory=/boot --target=x86_64-efi Installing for x86_64-efi platform. Installation finished. No error reported. $ sudo umount /mnt/esp $ sudo rm -r /mnt/esp
7-- If luck smiles upon you favorably, Ubuntu will appear in your Windows Boot Device Manager menu. That assumes your Windows bootloader was not displaced by Grub. If it was - and the last OS in generally takes charge - then you must go into UEFI BIOS and set the BBS priorities for the hard drive on which Ubuntu is installed. Then, and only then, you will see all the OS's available to boot, including a choice to use reFINd instead.
And that's all there is to it.