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Old 09-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
Skaperen
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bootloader choice in Slackware


Slackware comes with 2 different bootloaders, but installs LILO by default. I'm wondering how many people have made a choice to use the other bootloader, syslinux/extlinux (which also supports btrfs in case you have chosen to use that).

On my new box where I am running -current, I'm changing things around a lot, including re-install from scratch when some things change in the -current evolution, just to see how it goes. I have a lot of partitions set up to do all these things, and I find syslinux makes it easier (I don't need to re-run the lilo command in its correct environment every time ... doing so after an install loses bootability of other partitions at the outset).

And when I start working on my project of putting 14.1 (when it's ready) on an AWS EC2 AMI, that will need to use grub as a boot loader (I hate grub, but they have "bootloader in kernel image" ready to use there, and it does work with Slackware).

Anyone else using Slackware with another bootloader for any reason?
 
Old 09-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
Richard Cranium
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I use grub2 on my main workstation. No particular reason to do so, other than to learn about grub.
 
Old 09-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
Skaperen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
I use grub2 on my main workstation. No particular reason to do so, other than to learn about grub.
You didn't mention any issues with grub vs Slackware, so I assume you have not run into any. Do you have a separate /boot partition?
 
Old 09-15-2013, 04:54 PM   #4
CTM
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I've always found extlinux extremely easy to work with: install with `extlinux -i /boot/extlinux`, write /usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin to the MBR, and write a 4-line /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf (and remember to update it whenever you change kernels). No fussing with update commands or anything like that, and none of this even needs to be done while booted into the target system (I often install extlinux on a new Slackware system using Parted Magic if I forget to do it before the post-setup reboot, for instance).

One feature I'd like to see in syslinux is an "include" directive in the configuration file syntax, e.g. "include /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf.d/*.conf" - that way, I could automatically generate a syslinux configuration file snippet for my custom kernel and write it to $PKG/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf.d/$KVER.conf in the kernel's Slackware package. It's a minor thing, but it'd save me having to edit extlinux.conf manually every time I install a new kernel, which is inherently accident-prone.

Last edited by CTM; 09-15-2013 at 04:55 PM.
 
Old 09-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
Skaperen
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Originally Posted by CTM View Post
I've always found extlinux extremely easy to work with: install with `extlinux -i /boot/extlinux`, write /usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin to the MBR, and write a 4-line /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf (and remember to update it whenever you change kernels). No fussing with update commands or anything like that, and none of this even needs to be done while booted into the target system (I often install extlinux on a new Slackware system using Parted Magic if I forget to do it before the post-setup reboot, for instance).

One feature I'd like to see in syslinux is an "include" directive in the configuration file syntax, e.g. "include /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf.d/*.conf" - that way, I could automatically generate a syslinux configuration file snippet for my custom kernel and write it to $PKG/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf.d/$KVER.conf in the kernel's Slackware package. It's a minor thing, but it'd save me having to edit extlinux.conf manually every time I install a new kernel, which is inherently accident-prone.
One possible alternative (I've started doing something similar) is to have a script that generates the config. It would look for all kernels you have installed and include them in the new config file. But yeah, it would be nice to have a way to boot whatever is there without having to do these things. I have been thinking of trying to write my own command program to run under syslinux (for the purpose of a different menu style). If I get there, I'll keep this idea in mind.
 
Old 09-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #6
guanx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTM View Post
...
One feature I'd like to see in syslinux is an "include" directive in the configuration file syntax, e.g. "include /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf.d/*.conf"
...
It does have the "include" directive. Do you mean you want an "include" directive that supports wildcards?
 
Old 09-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
CTM
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Originally Posted by guanx View Post
It does have the "include" directive. Do you mean you want an "include" directive that supports wildcards?
Whoops - yes, sorry, that's what I meant.
 
Old 09-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #8
thirdm
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I'm using grub2 because I like its ability to find and boot kernels interactively at boot time. That and I was thinking I'd want to try the Hurd sometime and maybe a little emotional attachment from once having made a small patch to it.

In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with lilo, since I haven't needed any special features and don't expect to any time soon.
 
Old 09-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
dugan
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ExtLinux. It has the simplest configuration files, and you don't need to rerun it when you change the kernel.

Last edited by dugan; 09-16-2013 at 05:11 PM.
 
Old 09-16-2013, 04:25 PM   #10
ReaperX7
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I have Grub2 setup to work off the symlink to the kernel, that way it never needs updating at all.

Damn good bootloader, and it handles a nice variety of systems.
 
  


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