Linux error message ´No root file system defined´

Hi everyone!

I´ve decided to start adventuring with Linux. I´ve chosen Ubuntu to start with for its big community and overall good performance.
I´m following online guides and I´ve already bumped into a few obstacles :sweat_smile: which I was able to troubleshoot and solve.
However, this last obstacle I have not found any suitable answer for. Not on youtube nor on the official ubuntu forums :roll_eyes: (which have a few people complaining from the specific issue I’m facing, which seems to be a variant of the easier to solve standard ´no root file system defined´)

In a nutshell, the standard issue most people face with this error message is easily solved with the partitioner. There seems to be a variant however, where some people report (myself included) not being able to interact with the partinioner at all (no pop up options, or the application simply crashes). :cry:
I have posted a full description of this issue as a reply to a youtuber´s guide I was following. You can find it here, under Pedro Esgueira feedback

My reply on youtube also links another youtuber facing the exact same issue, and he films it which will give you a correct idea of what I´m mentioning (I´m confused with the replies to his issue, as they seem to disregard the fact he mentions he cannot interact with the partitioner in any way). Here is the link

Does anyone have an idea? :smiley: :sweat_smile:

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It’s been at least a couple days now. Have you had any progress or found a solution to your problem yet?


Not really, i spent several hours trying, not really knowing what I was trying but trying nonetheless :slight_smile: (fiddling with the options on rufus, iso immage vs dd image / fat vs …) hours watching videos on difference between linux file systems, etc etc, and changing values here and there. No luck.

I do have one overall idea: I still believe that the underlying solution is still being able to access the partitioner. Since the added issue myself and some people report is not being able to do that via the GUI, my only idea is I’d have to do it solely via the command line :sweat_smile:

For now I’m on a break of all that and just go back to learning programming. As for Linux, I will start with Windows Subsystem for Linux. Maybe in some weeks I’ll try the real thing again or other distros.

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Oh :frowning: makes sense to take a break, or else it becomes too overwhelming. I assume you followed every step in the video precisely (?).

Doing that via command line isn’t fun, I wouldn’t want to get to that point, but from what I’ve seen in the video (the one that had the exact same problem as you did), you cant do anything at all, right? Odd… So maybe re-install a clean fresh iso of Ubuntu, create a fresh bootable USB and etc and try it again when you’re up to it. I wonder if something didn’t get downloaded/formatted properly to make it non-accessible… so that’s why I’m saying this.

We all run into problems, so dont worry, Im sure you’ll be able to get Ubuntu on your computer :slight_smile: . Take these troubles as learning moments. Spending lots of time experimenting and researching. That’s all good :slight_smile:


I did that several times :rofl: I believe a total of 10 times, about 8 for ubuntu 18.4, and twice for ubuntu 19. That’s what I meant with fiddling with the options in Rufus. Each time I formated the usb, and redid the iso, or dd, on different settings and for different versions of ubuntu :slight_smile:

Exactly. I did find one explanation that did target the issue of seeing a blank partitioner: the person explained:
“Usually that happens if the disk has been used in raid before. Meta data remains are left on the disk which windows ignores but ubuntu doesn’t.
If you ARE NOT running raid, boot into live mode with the ubuntu cd, open terminal and try:
sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda”
I did that, but it also didn’t work :sweat_smile:

Totally :slight_smile: for now!


Odd… Very possible you’ll have to do it via command line like you mentioned, shouldn’t be too too hard after doing a bit of research. I know Ubuntu should be mounted as /, so hopefully it is. Anyway, yes, take a break, then come back and you could try that. But if it seems like too much, just try a different distro like you’ve said before. :slight_smile:


Thanks Ria :slight_smile:
It will be a learning process anyways ahah. I´m not even sure what mounted means, but I know the solutions to the standard problem do always mention that and a few other aspects. It’s just the fact the GUI is unusable in my case that make it harder.
Thanks for your follow-up!