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Trying to install Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon (64bit) on Dell Latitude 7480 (on internal M.2)

WollfieHB

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Alright, so since Debian distributions are seemingly useless on NVMe Dell motherboards, I am now trying another Linux branch (Manjaro xfce 21.2rc1, which is an Arch based distribution). The USB live stick not only booted faster than Mint and Ubuntu but it also installed flawlessly in just under 4 minutes. So I guess if anybody has trouble with Dell NVMe controllers, then go for Arch?

Problem solved.
Manjaro worked for me as well. Very quick install ZERO hiccups.
 


KGIII

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I'm on the Ubuntu team, but I'm actually more active with the Lubuntu team.

If you ever get bored and want to try it again while taking notes, a bug report may help.
 
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marc.tremblay

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But, it's not a Dell...
Yes, DELL was the most important keyword in this thread. It's why it fails with Debian. Debian does not seem to have decent NMVe controller drivers FOR THAT DELL motherboard. I'm not saying Debian (or Ubuntu or Mint or PopOS or any other Debian distribution) sucks. I currently use Ubuntu on 2 other computers and also on a mission critical file server and it works fine, plus the community help is tremendous, so it's all good and I'm not giving up on Ubuntu either.

But as you saw here, Debian lacks hardware drivers that Arch really nailed down. I forgot to mention earlier in this thread, but I've already had a VERY OLD AMD motherboard on which Ubuntu 18.0 would freeze while booting from the USB stick HALF THE TIME (not always!) and so I've used Arch instead and that too solved the issue back 4 years ago (it was not Manjaro back then, I forgot the distribution name, but it was Arch based and also with XFCE4 desktop environment just like Manjaro).

I'm on the Ubuntu team, but I'm actually more active with the Lubuntu team.

If you ever get bored and want to try it again while taking notes, a bug report may help.

IMO, Ubuntu and Lubuntu will suffer the same disastrous DELL NVMe controller failures, since they're both Debian based, just like Mint does exactly the same as Ubuntu (I tried both and they both fail exactly the same, plus the installer is exactly identical too, giving a hint it's both Debian with a different skin).

I don't mind trying it again for science. Believe or not, I've got multiple copies of that stupid DELL laptop with the NVMe M.2 drive in it, so I can just take one out of a box and try again if you want me to. I'll be honest, I never bought a single DELL computer in my whole life but I obtained a couple of those identical DELL laptops for free. Guess nobody wants them.

I guess Debian and/or Ubuntu developers never cared to make properly working drivers for that controller, because I would imagine 99% of DELL owners will not even bother to install Linux on it, since DELL computers all come with W10 pre-installed and pre-activated, plus DELL customers are not your typical advanced users either, so to me, it's not surprising Debian does not focus on making those work.
 
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KGIII

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I don't mind trying it again for science. Believe or not, I've got multiple copies of that stupid DELL laptop with the NVMe M.2 drive in it, so I can just take one out of a box and try again if you want me to. I'll be honest, I never bought a single DELL computer in my whole life but I obtained a couple of those identical DELL laptops for free. Guess nobody wants them.

That is my concern. I'll keep an eye on it and maybe be able to collect enough information to put it out there for the devs to consider. If you feel like testing and reporting the error, then this is the page I recommend:


After it fails, I'd do the bug report in the terminal, per the above page. I think I'd raise it against the installer (Calamares, for Lubuntu at least). It shouldn't require much effort. Run an "lsb_release -a" to include that information along with a plain old "I tried to install on an NVMe and it refuses to install, other distros install just fine."

The bug reporting process will gather hardware data and then give you a URL where you can finish the report (adding the above data). So, at the very least it won't take a whole lot of time and it may resolve this bug for future users. So, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Filing bugs can be a pain in the butt, but it's how we make the distro better.
 
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marc.tremblay

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Your link is for Ubuntu. What I have is linuxmint-20.2-cinnamon-64bit.iso so can I still follow those instructions or will it cause a problem down the road?

Also, in the instructions you linked, it says "If an application crashes, what typically happens is Apport will display a window noting it is collecting information about the crash" but I've never seen any app crash at all. That's not what happens in my case. All it does is the install fails because it cannot write the file system because the NVMe controller times out or error out. There is no such thing as an Apport window in this case.
 
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KGIII

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I'm a bit confused:

just like Mint does exactly the same as Ubuntu (I tried both and they both fail exactly the same,

If you're testing just to post the bug, use an Ubuntu live USB. The closer you can report to the source is generally better. If you don't want to wade through Debian's bug reporting, and it goes upstream, the Ubuntu folks will know what to do with it.
 
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marc.tremblay

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I'm a bit confused

Ah, yes, it's because I had tried Ubuntu 20.04 a few weeks ago before making this post, but I've deleted the live USB disk image when I saw that after multiple tries it didn't work, but it's OK, I'll redownload it and follow the bug report procedure through Ubuntu.
 

WollfieHB

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Manjaro worked for me as well. Very quick install ZERO hiccups.
Update: Manjaro went well. But I decided to make everything even more complicated for myself by taking a crack at Arch. Didnt go so well at first, second and third attempt. I finally did it, its without a doubt a challenge in every way. im still customizing and doing my best not to screw everything up.
 

KGIII

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Update: Manjaro went well. But I decided to make everything even more complicated for myself by taking a crack at Arch. Didnt go so well at first, second and third attempt. I finally did it, its without a doubt a challenge in every way. im still customizing and doing my best not to screw everything up.

Learn to, and be fastidious about, backups. When you first get it working, make a backup. When you get the next set of goals accomplished, make a backup.

This will save you potentially hours of frustration.
 

WollfieHB

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Learn to, and be fastidious about, backups. When you first get it working, make a backup. When you get the next set of goals accomplished, make a backup.

This will save you potentially hours of frustration.
Oh wow!!! Of all things…im so glad I checked my notifications. Im backing up right now!! Completely slipped my mind
 

Lord Boltar

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marc.tremblay

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change "RAID On" to "Disabled"

SATA Operation category in the BIOS and select the RAID On option.

Uhmmm... OK? I'm now curious to see if it works. BRB.

EDIT: Welp, now Ubuntu installer asks me to DISABLE INTEL RST, which in turn, means that it's back to square one as RST is disabled via turning off RAID SATA :p So it seems that installing Ubuntu on that DELL laptop is IMPOSSIBLE after all. I don't mind, since I really enjoy Manjaro. I truly believe Arch based Linux distributions are far superior compared to Debian when it comes to dealing with hardware and thanks to Manjaro, they really made it easy to use Arch. I'm sticking with Manjaro for those laptops.
 
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Lord Boltar

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nvme-cli for Debian-Ubuntu

to install -
Code:
sudo apt install nvme-cli

some basic commands
to get help -
Code:
nvme help
to list all drives -
Code:
sudo nvme list
to check your drives health -
Code:
sudo nvme smart-log /dev/nvme0nX
- where X is your drive number from the list command above
to format a nvme drive -
Code:
sudo nvme format /dev/nvme0nX
- where X is your drive number from the list command above
to securely erase a nvme drive -
Code:
sudo nvme sanitize /dev/nvme0nX
- where X is your drive number from the list command above
to see all your drive features -
Code:
sudo nvme id-ctrl /dev/nvme0nX -H | more
- where X is your drive number from the list command above
to check for errors -
Code:
sudo nvme error-log /dev/nvme2n1 | grep -i error
Hope this Helps
 

forester

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Debian is historically a step behind for new innovations and/or different drivers. It took them, Debian, a long time to get wireless straight compared to others, for example.

Also, if one wants to use Dell laptops with Linux, go with the Latitudes and not the Inspirons or others -- less trouble, IME.

So, now, one can begin to see differences between Debian and Ubuntu that have been there protractedly.
 

Brickwizard

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Also, if one wants to use Dell laptops with Linux, go with the Latitudes and not the Inspirons or others
I am on my second Insperon, neither have been any problem, most components are the same, this one is also used for distro testing and never failed to load.
 
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