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Debian 12 Q4OS on Alienware M18 r1

Notes on attempting to get Debian 12 and Q4OS 5.2 working on an Alienware M18 r1.

F12 to get One Time Boot screen and select the bootable USB thumb drive image for the OS install:




Debian 12 bookworm install USB: Attempt to boot full boot USB fails after selecting graphical installer (hangs).





Q4OS 5.2 TDE Install USB: Attempt to boot fails after selecting Classic Installer (hangs).





















I am trying to get Debian 12 to install on an Alienware M18 r1.
It is hanging with a hard freeze during first steps of install menu.
Completely unresponsive, have to hold down the power button for 5 seconds to kick it in the teeth to power off.

I created the full installation .iso to bootable usb with Rufus, tried both the iso mode and the dd mode, neither made a difference.
I hit F12 at boot, and select the usb.
It loads the menu with the different installation options.
No matter which option I select, with 2-5 sections after selecting the system hard locks, caps lock doesn't respond, nothing.
It is still showing the initial menu selection, I never see any console text.
System specs:
    Killer Wi-Fi 1675i
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 12GB G DDR6
    1TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
    Added additional 2TB NVMe
    18" QHD+ (2560 x 1600) 165Hz, 3ms, ComfortView Plus, NVIDIA G-SYNC + DDS, 100% DCI-P3
    FHD IR Camera
    32GB, 2x16GB, DDR5, 4800MHz
    13th Gen Intel Core i9 13900HX (24-Core, 36MB L3 Cache, up t o 5.4GHz Max Turbo)

I was able to easily install and use Ubuntu 22.04 to test, but I really, really, really do not want to have to use Ubuntu.
There is a currently working Q4OS Debian 11 install on this system, and I want to replace with Debian 12 (and then I'll upgrade to Q4OS 5.2 once I get the upstream working, I get the same boot problem with Q4OS install usb as well).

I expected this new a machine was going to be challenging, and I appreciate any suggestions to try getting at least far enough to get some error messages or progress message to track down the hang.

I have tried changing the default UEFI boot device from RAID to regular ACHI (even though it is working with RAID mode for both Ubuntu and Windows 11), but that made no difference.
I have tried adding nomodeset via editing of the bootup, but no difference in result
I have tried adding nouveu,nomodese=0, with not difference in results

What are some other things I could try to get this further along?
Thanks kindly!


Photos attached of the two boot screens. Also of existing grub for currently working Q4OS Debian 11 and Ubuntu 22.04 installs on the same system.










14:41 PST

Somehow I did eventually get Q4OS Debian 12 and Trinity Desktop Working on my Alienware m18, but it was very painful for a very long time.

And I was running on it full time for months, though a number of things didn't quite work (like power management).

Then the m18 blew up.

And I picked up a refurbished m16 during the interim.

Then I just swapped drives around.

Then today, I needed to turn off the SecureBoot so I could actually make full use of the Nvidia 4080 and cuda drivers the Artificial Inteligence work projects I'm doing, and that blew up the Debian install unfortunately.

I wasted half a day trying to get back in before giving up and creating a new Q4OS Live Trinity Installer USB.

But that kept hanging during grub init, just like before.

And I unfortunately can't find any notes on how I resolved that before, other than noticing I used Ubuntu temporarily, and I ran manual grub commands, set root, set boot, etc. But that didn't work either due to the certificate checking embedded into the install, since it was installe dwith Secreboot on.

Turning it back on didn't give me back access.

So, in desperation, I downloaded, created install live usb of Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 LTS. and I am now writing this from the installed version on the m18. I installed it in the small 20 GB partition I had left over from temporarily using Ubuntu last year trying to get this system to work.

So, unfortunately, unlike how "everything just worked" with Q4OS Debian 12 on my m16, nothing has worked on my m18 out of the box with Debian, only with Ubuntu <sad emoji>.

I will try to do a better job capturing what I did to get back up and running on the m18 when I get a chance, and post more updates here. No one at Debian was able to help last year, but it was slightly different issue, though same symptoms (hanging at grub boo).

Will post more when I have more to report.

Well done Ubuntu, you're leading the way on the hardware compatibility. I just wish I could use Trinity seamlessly instead, I really don't like Gnome, Plasma, or any of the other Desktop Environments, and I have my maximium efficiency with the TDE setup once I have it all dialed in.

Now I can mount and access the /boot/grub dir from the Q4oS install, in the hopes I can make it stop trying to check for verified certificates, and allow it to boot without SecureBoot on.

More to come when time allows...

End log entry: 20220422 15:46