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linda 07-16-2005 10:51 AM

Grub: A Backwards question
I play around with Linux about twice a year, during Christmas vacation and Summer break (I am a schoolteacher!) :newbie:

Anyway, in my roundabout way I have gotten my multiboot sytem working with Slackware, Suse, and WinXP. I mainly used Suse to get Grub working correctly with a pretty splashboot screen. Slackware didn't come with that capability, so I installed Suse, and Grub works very nicely now.

Anyway, I am about to tinker some more, and I want to know how to keep my Grub install intact. I want to get rid of Suse. How can i trace back to where all of the important grub files are? This isn't as easy a question as it first appears. When Grub installs, it puts files in something similar to Windows MBR (how I understand it in my mind at least). Grub also refers to "root" and "boot". And I get all mixed up with it. I think I put Grub on its own partition, just so I wouldn't mess it up.

Does anyone know how to find "all" of the files grub needs to work? Or better yet, would anyone be willing to help me sort out this mess I have on my computer? Yes, it works, but I am wasting a lot of space I think with having Grub in two places, and having Suse installed when I don't even use it. I mainly use WinXP and Slackware.

jollyjoice 07-16-2005 12:11 PM

Ok, for me Grub DOES put itself on the MBR. The main grub files can be found is /boot/grub

Root is the / (root) partition for that install, i.e. where the kernel is stored.

You will probably want to install grub under slack (if thats what you want to keep) or if /boot is its own partition there should not be a problem, just don't let the installs touch it, then add the entrys manually. Its very simple to do, just go

nano /boot/grub/gub.conf
as root...

This is what each entry should look something like:


title Gentoo 64 (2.6.12-r4) #Name grub shows
 root (hd1,1) #what partition you want
 kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.12-gentoo-r2 #what kernel to use; root=/dev/hdb2 #the "real" root path, as the kernel will see it

Grub uses a funny system for drives, (hd0,0) is hda1, (like coordinates i suppose) and in the same fashon (hd1,6) is hdB7. Get it? its simple really.

Kernels should be kept in /boot.

AS for fancy images, put

after the timeout, point the path to where the image is. Make sure its the right size etc!

linda 07-16-2005 02:32 PM

Ok, that was pretty helpful especially where you wrote:

title Gentoo 64 (2.6.12-r4) #Name grub shows
root (hd1,1) #what partition you want
kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.12-gentoo-r2 #what kernel to use; root=/dev/hdb2 #the "real" root path, as the kernel will see it

So I can look for the grub.conf I am using now, and make sure I don't mess up anything it is pointing to. (Famous last words!) I don't want to reinstall grub under slack, because I tried that last summer and remember pulling my hair out about it. The grub that is supported by Slack doesn't support the spashimage, and getting that to work involved all kinds of patching which i wasn't able to do.

I was able to get the hang of grub's convention for naming partitions and such. That wasn't too hard. The problem was installing grub. When you actually install it, it creates a file someone that isn't readable. I don't understand that aspect of it at all. And to make matters worse, I don't use grub as my main booter. I am chain-booting: using WinXP's bootloader, pointing to WinXP or Grub. I think I probably should just get rid of that, and let grub take over completely.

But for now, I'm going to try to leave everything as is, grub-wise, and go from there. If I can't, then I'll try to make Grub the main bootloader

Thank you!!!

jollyjoice 07-16-2005 02:54 PM

:D glad it was of use.

Is grub on its own partition then? If so you can just leave it as is, and add any new kernels in the conf, I just did so when I recompiled my kernel for some new stuff.

Linux basically only lets you, i.e. any user, access their own /home folder. Root has complete control over everything and can do anything, even delete the whole partition. This is why its advised to only use root when you know what you want to do then get out of there! Use

to login as root then

when you are done.

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