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How to Pass a Parameter to Start Linux on a Baytrail Processor

While the Intel Baytrail microprocessor is popular in a variety of physically light machines, it unfortunately suffers from poor Linux compatibility. Certain Baytrail devices can run Google Android and Chrome OS distributions well, but they seldom boot well into a pure Linux distribution. Many of these machines rely on 32-bit UEFI boot loading solutions, which purely open-source Linux distributions seldom support.

There is a work around if you use an Asus Aspire or any other machine with a similar configuration and have been suffering from this issue. This fix will allow you to boot by CPU power saving. This is not ideal by any means, but currently it might be your own option short of actually compiling a 32-bit version of the GNU Grub boot system.

Method 1: Temporarily Passing a Boot Parameter

Assuming you’re using a distribution that’s not based on a legacy boot system, hold down shift while you start your machine. If your machine boots like normal when you do this, then properly restart it and hold down escape instead. It might sometimes take a couple of times to figure out the right key to get one of these extremely lightweight systems to enter the boot prompt.

Asus and some other manufacturers sometimes set the escape key to select the boot device, so you could start your machine from an SDHC card. Eventually, though, you should be able to enter an extremely basic monochrome screen entitled GNU GRUB or something similar.

If your machine hangs when you try this, release the shift key when the vendor logo screen appears before holding it down again. Once you’re at the prompt, release the key and press e to enter the editor mode. Scroll the cursor down to a line that begins with the word linux and push the end key to position the cursor at the end of the line. In most cases you’ll see the words quiet splash right in front of the cursor.

Push space and then add in the parameter 2016-11-25_014622 at the end of the line, then hold down CTRL and push X to boot the system with these parameters. If it hangs again, you can merely restart the system again with no issue since this was a temporary setting.

Method 2: Setting a Baytrail Parameter Permanently

If this works for you, then please keep in mind it’s not the best fix. it prevents your CPU from correctly entering the power saving mode in order to start the system properly. Assuming you understand the reservations an engineer might have about this kind of fix, make sure that the steps in Method 1 worked for you before going any further. Once you’re inside a working system, access a command prompt from the Applications menu or hold down CTRL, ALT and T together to open one up.

At the $ prompt, type 2016-11-25_014727 and then scroll to a line that starts with 2016-11-25_014814, then position your cursor after the words quiet splash inside of the double quotes. Use a single space after splash before adding 2016-11-25_014840 in the line. Save it and then exit by holding down CTRL and pushing X. Type 2016-11-25_014923 when you’re back at the $ and then reboot your machine.

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How to Pass a Parameter to Start Linux on a Baytrail Processor

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