I am trying to install Ubuntu on a ARM64 based server that has limited IO capabilities. In summary:

  • No CDROM
  • No removable media
  • An eMMC used for the existing Yocto based install.
  • Many NVMe SSDs (yes its a NVMe SSD storage system).
  • No integrated NIC (there are high speed PCIe NICs but they require special drivers).

One approach I am trying is to place the install.iso image onto one of the NVMe SSDs (using dd) and then booting off that SSD (NVMe is supported in the UEFI firmware).

Amazingly this works and gets me into the install GRUB2 menu where I can set the console (console=ttyAMA1 for me) and continue install. However things fail on the "Cannot mount CD ROM step" because the installer kernel and initrd lack the NVMe driver (I assume). I can drop from this step into the ash shell and I see no /targets mounted and no nvme.ko.

Now since the installer does support placing the install on a NVMe SSD there is a NVMe driver someone on the install ISO (just not in memory at the time of failure). Does anyone know how one can edit the install ISO to add the nvme.ko module and if any other edits are needed to make this work?

Failing that does anyone have any other approaches? I could use Ubuntu base and build the entire rootfs from scratch and install the kernel in it and reboot too. But it would be nice to get the installer to work like it does for USB sticks, SD cards and other block devices...



  • Did you look at debootstrap to build the ARM system on your host? – ubfan1 May 31 '18 at 15:10
  • Hi @ubfan1. Yes I have looked at using bootstrapping and chroot methods via ubuntu-base. I have not had success with that approach yet due to some grub issues but it is a viable alternative to the approach discussed above. I think having the installer support NVMe makes sense (it supports SCSI) so it might make a nice feature addtiion to the installer ISO... – Stephen Bates May 31 '18 at 15:54

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