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Skip Ubuntu 'Intel RST' Check

Ran into this when I was installing Linux on an HP Gaming laptop that came with Intel Optane memory. So it had two storage devices, the large HDD and also a smaller NVME drive. Intel Optane and RST together make the NVME invisible and just acts as a RAID shadow of the larger drive. In short, a storage cache fo about 13GB for your 500GB hard drive.

The Problem

That was all fine until the Ubiquity installer for Ubuntu blocked the installation from the Live disk starting from version 20 LTS.

Ubiquity's instructions didn't work because the my Firware, InsydeH20, doesn't allow to switch the RST/RAID/NVME off.

So with no ability to switch that off and no way to change the Firmware myself, my options were:

  1. Install older Ubuntu 18 LTS which didn't have this check, then upgrade from that
  2. Force Ubiquity to skip the RST check

Both work, but both mean that you can't run a dual-boot into Windows where Optane is enabled.

How do you skip Ubuntu RST check?

Warning you should really know what you're doing before trying this, especially if you will keep dual-booting Windows.

This was tested on an HP Pavilion with Firmware 'InsydeH20' version 'F.23' with Intel Optane Memory and 'Rapid Storage Technology' RAID Driver 1. SATA drive - the main hdd or sdd with AHCI controller (this is your 500GB or so drive) 2. PCIe disk with NVMe controller (usually 13GB or so just for cached data)

First step, you have to disable Intel Optane through Windows. This separates the NVME drive from the HDD. After this point, your Firmware should start recognising two separate drives.

Next start your installation as usual by booting from the Live CD. Ubiquity is a Python-based installer, so we're looking for the Python code that checks for Intel RST being enabled. It does this by looking at the EFI variables registerd by the Kernel. So we're going to look for that part and always return that NVMe was not found.

Open a Terminal and run

  find /usr/lib/ubiquity/ -iname ubi-prepare.py
  sudo nano /usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/ubi-prepare.py

That ubi-prepare.py file should have a function called should_show_rst_page() Find it and change the return True line to False

  # return True
  return False

Now save that and run your installer as usual.

© 2023 Ahmad Khalifa. Built using Pelican