April 8, 2018, 4:13 p.m.

Custom Install on Linode

If you want to perform a custom Linux installation, such as would be needed for SNG7, on a Linode, there is a very good guide that one can follow to help you through the process.

However, if you try to follow the second phase of that document in order to make the Linode compatible with the Linode Manager, you may get unlucky as I did and stare at a black screen with a grub2> prompt after trying to boot it, after completing steps "Configure Group" and "Transfer your Root Filesystem to your Ext4 Disk".

The solution for me was to NOT follow step "Transfer your Root Filesystem to your Ext4 Disk", but instead do the following:

  1. Boot the Linode into Rescue mode as per the instructions with the mentioned disk assignments
  2. In rescue mode, connect with Lish and perform the following commands:

    mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb
    mkdir /tmp/sda1
    mkdir /tmp/sdb
    mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/sda1
    mount /dev/sdb /tmp/sdb
    rsync -aHAX /tmp/sda1/ /tmp/sdb/
    umount /tmp/sdb

  3. Reboot into Installer-New profile as per the instructions. You may run into some warnings and errors, but this can be fixed by issuing a new:

    grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

once booted in to the new environment.

Clearly I made some assumptions as to the OS distribution, but the general idea still applies. The dd command did not work for me. It rendered a partition that grub2 could not read - it complained about an unknown filesystem.