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Old 01-08-2017, 11:21 PM   #1
juju
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Set up SYSLINUX as bootloader on Slackware?




Happy New Year! This is basically a Newbie post. It is in response to the following Slackware docs article: Set up SYSLINUX as boot loader on UEFI based hardware

I'm preparing to build a new Slackware 14.2 machine: Intel I3 6320, Asus Z170-A and Samsung 960 EVO M.2 250GB

I plan on having the Samsung NVMe as the only drive and therefore bootable. I want to use syslinux bootloader ver. 6, as mentioned in the article. I'm doing this because of the "newness" of the technology and the article says, "UEFI support seems to have been added in version 6 of SYSLINUX, while Slackware comes with version 4, which means it can not be set up during Slackware installation, unless one prepares SYSLINUX files on another machine."

This is the newbie part: I'm sure the syslinux setup will be straightforward enough. But, will I have access to the system (root) directory after install, but before reboot? Would setup insist I install a bootloader, thereby forcing me to overwrite the older bootloader with the new syslinux version?

Thanks in advance...


 
Old 01-09-2017, 04:27 AM   #2
Didier Spaier
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You don't need to use syslinux. The installer for Slackware64-14.2 will propose you to use elilo instead, and that generally works. Answer "yes" to both questions "Install elilo" and "Install a boot menu entry". It won't hurt to install lilo also, if your machine is able to boot in Legacy mode.

To be proposed to use elilo as boot loader by the installer you need to:
  • Install Slackware64-14.2 (64-bit)
  • Make sure that you machine is set up to boot either in UEFI mode or if in both mode with priority UEFI.
If case of issue come back: we will try to help.

PS it is true that the elilo project has stalled, but this should not bother you: in your use case it should just work.

PS2 To answer your last questions: during installation and after the TARGET step your root partition will be mounted as /mnt and you will be able to access it from another virtual terminal pressing Alt+F2. Alt+F1 will get you back to the installer.

Anyway at end of installation you are now asked if you want to reboot. If you say No (probably because you need to perform some task before rebooting) you are dropped to a shell an can do what you want, including chrooting to your new installation.

In in any case the installer will never install a boot loader against your will. This hasn't changed for years (decades?) and comes handy for people who for instance prefer to update the boot loader's configuration of another distribution already installed.

Caveat: I have no experience myself with NVMe.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 01-09-2017 at 02:07 PM.
 
Old 01-11-2017, 01:15 AM   #3
juju
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Building a Slackware machine has become more complicated. I found with the Asus Z170-A and Samsung 960 EVO, it's important to know how the BIOS fully works.

I tried a couple of different installations of Slackware64. Elilo setup failed each time, during the installation process. I would enter the selection that would begin the elilo creation and the screen would flash and then I'd be taken to mouse setup.

Fortunately, I created a boot usb stick in the install process. This works fine and my new Slackware 14.2 is clean and fast.

I saw this post [SOLVED] Boot Slackware on NVME SSD? .

I feel it would be of more use than the previously mentioned article. I do want to have the bootloader on my NVMe, rather than the usb stick. More research for me tomorrow!
 
Old 01-11-2017, 04:21 PM   #4
juju
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Elilo didn't install during the Slackware installation process. I did create a boot usb stick though.

I was able to make my Samsung 960 evo nvme m.2 250gb drive bootable by following the directions here: https://docs.slackware.com/howtos:sl...void_surprises

I copied the files from my usb stick to my 100 MB EFI partition (EFI/BOOT). I had to edit the elilo.conf file to indicate the vmlinuz file was in the same directory.

Success!

I'd upgraded my kernel last night using slackpkg. It caused problems, but I found the "Upgrading your kernel" section on the aforementioned linked page. Pretty easy.
 
Old 01-11-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
Didier Spaier
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I am glad you succeeded

Quote:
Originally Posted by juju View Post
Elilo didn't install during the Slackware installation process.
To be sure that I understand, and as that could help there, do you mean that:
  1. The installer didn't propose you to install elilo?
  2. The installer did propose you to install elilo, but you refused?
  3. You accepted to install elilo, but that failed?
 
Old 01-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #6
juju
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Thanks. Installation gives you the option of skippping lilo and installing elilo or installing elilo. I choice the first, per your instructions. Nothing happened. The screen flashed and then it just went to the next step, which was setting up the mouse.
 
Old 01-12-2017, 05:55 PM   #7
laprjns
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According to this post the Slackware installer doesn't look for ESP partitions on NVMe disk.
 
Old 01-12-2017, 06:10 PM   #8
Didier Spaier
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Yes Rich. I will try to fix that at least in Slint installer as those devices become more common nowadays.

I also found this thread from one year ago.
 
Old 01-13-2017, 10:32 PM   #9
juju
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I began Slackware64 installation after formatting the NVMe with cfdisk. I'd created a 9GB Linux Swap and the remaining space was given to the standard Linux filesystem partition type.

I got a warning during installation saying it recognized I was using an EFI drive and I should create an EFI partition of at least 100M. I did this with cgdisk, by deleting the previous 2 partitions and then creating an EFI (ef00) and then Swap and Linux.

My drive /dev/nvme0n1

1 100M EFI System
2 9G Linux swap
3 223.8 Linux filesystem
 
Old 01-14-2017, 06:31 AM   #10
Didier Spaier
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I just realized that I can add a NVMe controller to a virtual machine in VirtualBox.

I will test modifications of the installer in a VM and if I succeed will provide an ISO with a modified installer so that you and other people owning such hardware can test on bare metal. Stay tuned.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 01-14-2017 at 06:02 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2017, 01:43 PM   #11
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier Spaier View Post
I will test modifications of the installer in a VM and if I succeed will provide an ISO with a modified installer so that you and other people owning such hardware can test on bare metal.
See here.
 
  


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