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Re: Can GRUB ever get the boot? + boot menu for common maintenance tasks



Fernando Cassia wrote:
> Hi there,
> 
> [A first short intro is mandatory, so people do not assume I´m a total
> newbie: from the early 1990s to the late 90s I was an IBM OS/2 zealot.
> With Linux, I started back in ´99/2000 with Caldera OpenLinux, before it
> was engulfed by SCO. Then I had a brief love affair with SuSE 8.x / 9.0,
> then I got attracted by LindowsOS, then disilussioned with KDE, jumped
> ship to Sun JDS Linux. When Sun dropped its linux distro I got really
> mad and jumped to Blag, a Fedora derivative, at the time based on FC6.]
> 
> That gets me to today when I have settled on Fedora 10 / 11.
> 
> QUESTION: what stops Fedora / RedHat from "giving the boot" to GRUB?.
> 
> I mean... I´ve run into GRUB annoyances several times over the years. In
> private, most people whom I speak to hate it. It could be more user
> friendly, but isn´t. In the case of a system which dual-boots Linux and
> Windows, if you erase the Linux partition (say, to install a new Linux
> version or resize partitions), you lose the ability to use Grub to load
> Windows! -because it can no longer find the kernel and panics-
> hillarious for a boot manager to depend on a given OS files).
> 
It does not really depend on a given OS, but it does need to know
where its files are. When you wipe out /boot, you usually wipe out
the files Grub needs. (The menu and stage 2.) Now, there files do
not have to be stored on a Linux file system. You could store them
on a separate file system. I know there is a stage 1.5 for FAT file
systems, but I don't think there is one for NTFS. (I could be wrong
there.)

> Also, I think two common operations which were quite simple in OS/2 are
> user-hostile in Linux, and that could be improved with a little boot
> menu option. Those are: 1) reset graphics adapter to VGA mode
> (640x480x16/256) or Vesa framebuffer drivers, and 2) boot to a command
> line as root (yes, I know about editing the boot line in GRUB and typing
> "single" at the end for single user mode.
> 
It is fairly simple to add a Grub menu entry for that. You just add
vga=<mode> or vga=ask to a normal menu entry.

> I think Linux could use some inspiration to the way IBM OS/2 did things.
> Basically upon boot, you had a few seconds (4-5 seconds after boot
> started) to press Ctrl-Alt-F1, if you did, a menu would come up, of
> which the two main options were:
> 
> 1. Boot to command line
> 2. Reset video mode to VGA (so you could later fiddle with drivers, but
> from a functional GUI).
> 
> Any hope of ever getting this kind of functionality in Linux used by
> mainstream distro?.
> 
> Thoughts? Comments? Expletives? <VBG>
> FC
> 
Right now, you can hit any key to get to the menu in Grub when you
see the booting message. The delay is configurable, or you can have
it always show you then menu. You can have the menu entries titled
what ever you want. In the long run, you are probably going to want
to modify the template used to generate /boot/grub/grub.conf when
you add a new kernel, but I don't remember what file it is offhand.

Mikkel
-- 

  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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