Installing silverblue on uefi (32bit uefi 64bit baytrail processor)

I am failing to install Silverblue on that baytail computer…
Would you have eventually some advises?
I tested:
Direct commands after partitioning, before “Begin installation”: # mkdir /boot-temp # mount /dev/sda1 /boot-temp # rm -r /boot-temp/EFI/fedora # umount /boot-temp

as suggested in:
but that didnt work either…
anyone with experience on this?
I wish to let the automatic partitionning…


I am running into the same problem for some years now.

I found two workarounds, one worked from Atomic/Silverblue 29 until Silverblue 31/32, which would be:

Use an Android-device via USB-Tether to provide a LAN-connection to the Convertible/Tablet/NUC/ComputeStick - the Anaconda Installer then accesses the Internet to download the necessary UEFI32 files for a succesful GRUB2 install. Only problem is that it only works if the drive was completely cleaned - customized partitioning (neither from scratch, nor by replacing the existing EFI System Partition) did not work.

The other option i use nowadays is a quite heavy workaround but works since Fedora Silverblue 32 in most cases and since 33 on all devices, which is:

Do a clean full disk install of Fedora Workstation by booting into the live environment and connnect to the internet (again, it is necessary to have a connection because the UEFI32 specific files for GRUB are not included and for whatever reason Fedora still prefers using a separate boot partition with GRUB2 on it, so it needs those) - Using the “Connect to wireless network”-section in the Anaconda-installer CAN work, but often doesn’t, as well as LAN-connections are somehow not used, although correctly identified, so i recommend ignoring the initial Pop-up offering the install and connect manually to a wifi-network via network-manager in the live-system. I was not able to determine any other reproducible details (sadly).

Once you are connected do the standard automatic install on the fully cleaned disk.

A special case is when your Baytrail/Cherrytrail-device uses an EMMC which would be shown as mmcblk in the installer/partitioning: If this is the case and your device uses a EMMC to boot from and also has low-specs (e.g.: 2GB RAM), then use Fedora Workstation 33 because Workstation 34 and up are enabling btrfs-compression by default, which drives EMMCs to their limits, as they do not handle high io-load all too well.

I prefer to keep Workstation 33 as a base-system but it can be upgraded without a problem if you wish to replace it.

After finishing the install, booting into the actual system and doing either a proper shutdown and do a full restart to be able to use Gnome Software to update the system or alternatively update via the commandline.

When it is fully updated and all works well the next phase is to

  • create a fresh tree via ostree
  • get the fedora keys/signatures
  • select a repo for the ostree, e.g.: fedora/35/silverbue
  • sync the tree
  • fix paths for /etc, /home and so on so they point to the actually installed tree/instance of the chosen Silverblue
  • copy the fstab of your running Fedora Workstation into the instance
  • pray you’ve done it all correct and if so

… reboot and enjoy!

By the way you do not need to create a new ostree if you just want to add newer versions of the selected repo (in our case Silverblue) as you can just pin the actual Silverblue you are running then and add on the next version via Upgrade - and so on until you decide you wish to unpin/merge/cleanup.

If you want to add other ostree-based images though i would recommend to create a separate OSTree (for example for LiriOS, EndlessOS, Debian, etc.). - Adding Spins like Kinoite (Silverblue KDE Plasma, official since Silverblue 35) can be added to your standard Silverblue OSTree and preserved by pinning. Adding it to the exisiting OSTree for your Silverblue Instance can be useful on defrag/merge the tree, to save space due to both relying on a identical subset of files/blobs.

I assume you might be pretty overwhelmed by my response. I was and still am. But it is worth the effort as long as Fedora is using GRUB and a separate Boot partition and does not allow to install Silverblue as an option form the Fedora Workstation Live system (which probably will never come into existence anyway) - the positive thing is: You REALLY do learn a lot about the ways OSTree/Gnome/Flatpak work and ita llows you to have a standard Fedora Workstation always present as a failsafe or where Silverblue/Flatpaks are just not there yet to support a specific use-case.

I will not promise i check constantly what is going on here (i assume it is only email-notification available which i do not use at all only for registrations), but i am building up another CherryTrail- and a SandyBridge- -devicein the following days/weeks, so if someone is interested i might take the time and note the whole procedure down. But be aware you will have to learn the details yourself i will only give a working route.

If anyone knows other workarounds please add them here.

Have fun!