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Ok, I'm on phone but will add as much detail as possible:

17.10, just upgraded, everything upgraded fine except shim-signed which failed. I presumed it would be ok, it wasn't.

/boot filled during upgrade despite having enough space according to the measurement at the start.

Hardware is MacBook air. Bought three years ago, have been updating version to version fine.

HD has encrypted /

/boot would constantly fill bc 200MB, I think I might have moved /boot/efi to /opt/boot/efi to make room, and symlinked back.

After upgrade to 17.10 reported a fail with msg to x or r, I made space probably by moving something else to /opt/boot. I can't remember.

Never occurred to me that this was an issue until now that I can't reboot and I realise that / is encrypted.

Anyway. Nothing is booting. I get grub rescue prompt.

On new boot set tells me: Cmdpath=(hd1,gpt1)/EFI/Ubuntu Prefix=(hd1,gpt2)/grub Root=hd1,gpt2

Only ls (hd1,gpt2) returns results, including grub (not a dir), and efi/ which is empty :( otherwise it's all vmlinuz, config, initrd, abi, a couple of System and memtest bin files.

insmod normal tells me: error: file /grub/x86_64-efi/normal.mod not found.

I guess I'm fubar'd, right?

I can reinstall, but I'd like to get data off. Except bloody encrypted drive. F

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/boot/efi/ is just a mount point for the EFI system partition, simlinking it has not effect on space. and may be what caused the failure of updating shim. Check available space in (hd1,gpt1).

Assuming that (hd1,gpt1)/EFI/Ubuntu/grubx64.efi or (hd1,gpt1)/EFI/Ubuntu/shimx64.efi still exists, try copying the contents of /boot/grub/ from your install CD to (hd1,gpt2)/grub/. and see if it will boot.

  • ah, ok. Now I'm seeing things. I've booted into liveusb and in /dev/sda1 I have EFI. /dev/sda2 is the rest of /boot. So I guess I need to rebuild EFI so that it sees and mounts /boot? – datakid Oct 24 '17 at 0:55
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OK. I got it. I needed to do a lot of reading around the edges - here is a list of pages that didn't quite work. Having said that, reading them was what got me enough information to know what to google for and gave me a quick and dirty understanding of what actually happened when I said yes to encrypting my HD all those moons ago.

This is the system that worked for me: mount -t ecryptfs

For the record, I've backed up both the encrypted / and the encrypted /home/$USER (yes /home/$USER was encrypted on the encrypted / - double encryption for the pain) and will reinstall Ubuntu instead of trying to rescue my current system.

Take aways:

  • back whole system, not just /home (I had some dbs with lots of work in them)
  • back up all of /home and/or use a password manager - I realised that I had so many not-in-password-manager passwords that it was worth going to get the Firefox stuff, because like losing a real wallet, you can never remember what you have lost until later when it's annoying.
  • encryption is good, but make sure you know what you are doing and remember the passphrases
  • /boot should be 500MB these days.

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