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Old 07-12-2005, 05:23 PM   #1
wombat53
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LILO -boot and root .....


Hi Group
A quick question about differentiating between LILO's boot n' root options.
I believe there is one - and only one - boot option, in the file, in the header (global) section, and one root in each stanza for each kernel.

I have a single disk with a kernel (S/Ware) on /dev/hda6. LILO lives there, and that is also the reference to both my image =/boot and root=/dev ... parameters.

I intend to create another partition (say /dev/hda7) with Part Magic., and install a new Linux, another distribution on it; this is (quite) a bit different to what I have done previously, re-compiling a kernel in the same partition, and referencing both old and new in a revised LILO.

So, I'm thinking aloud as to how to configure the revised LILO after the proposed new installation (of RedHat: I am also sure that RedHat himself will want to get involved in this surgical procedure).

My guess, is that I can use the existing LILO, keep its present location in the current (working) partition, and have a new stanza for the new distro like root=/dev/hda7, and an associated image=/boot/vmlinuz.....which presumably will be found on /dev/hda7, as indicated in the root= option?

Is this right? It seems to make sense to me

If and when I get the new partition working, I can consider removing the existing partition (I hear a shudder from the Slackware enthusiasts), consolidate the freed up space, and then change LILO to boot =/dev/hda7 in the header section?
I guess I would want to copy the current LILO from the about to be purged partition, to the new partition (hda7) , first, though! Else re-code the lilo.conf from scratch..
Anyway, that is the way I see it....
Thanks to all if you have some thoughts......
George
 
Old 07-13-2005, 01:07 AM   #2
mdg
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If you're going to be deleting Slackware at some stage, you will save time and effort by configuring the RH lilo as the "controller" from the start, at install. De-activate the Slack lilo just before installing RH and set up lilo with RH to boot Slack.

Also, if you're booting Slack off the RH lilo, you'll need to make a directory (in RH) for the Slack partition in /mnt, eg /mnt/slackware. Then point the image reference to Slack in lilo towards that directory eg

image=/mnt/slackware/boot/vmlinux...
 
Old 07-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
wombat53
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mdg -thanks. When you say "configuring the RH lilo as the "controller" from the start, at install", do you mean that I should install LILO itself on the new RH partition i.e. with boot=/dev/RHpartition? And that the image entry for Slackware should reference a pre-defined mount point on the new RH partition, rather than the partition on which it (it's root) is currently installed? I just don't grasp the utility of the proposed entry:
image=/mnt/slackware/boot/vmlinux...
I mean, if I selected the "old" S/Ware kernel at LILO boot time, wouldn't I just be launched into the "old" partition (/dev/hda6), booting the present image?

And now for something completely different.

Is RH so different from, say, Slackware, over and above the "packaging" features used by RedHat (RPM)? What I am getting at, like everybody, is I have a lot of customization in my present system, largely in the various .conf files under /etc/, and/or under /etc/rc.d, as I recall. Rather than painstakingly re-think all these configuration entries, might it be possible to simply copy them across, if something in the new systems is not working? Are the differences - in basic LINUX configuration - so different?
George
 
Old 07-13-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
wombat53
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mdg (and all).
I did a bit more reading of the RH Install Guide, and he clearly says that if you already have a boot loader that can load Linux (which I do), and do not want to over-write your current boot loader (true), do NOT install a RH (LILO) bootloader (assuming one has stayed with LILO over GRUB, which is my choice, since it is what I already know). In this case no RH bootloader is installed. So, to continue with my scenario above, if/when I remove the current Slackware Linux partition, I will have no bootloader anywhere....(perhaps one could come back and install RH boot loader later, but this seems like too much trouble).
So, I am coming back to your reply:'
Quote:
If you're going to be deleting Slackware at some stage, you will save time and effort by configuring the RH lilo as the "controller" from the start, at install. De-activate the Slack lilo just before installing RH and set up lilo with RH to boot Slack.
1)I think you mean that I SHOULD install the RH bootloader (which would be LILO) when installing RH, and that this bootloader should be the active one, or "controller" as you put it. Is this correct?

2) How do you recommend I "deactivate" the Slack lilo (before RH install)?

3) I still have the same question about the mount point for the Slack Linux as earlier

I have been in a very big knot over this procedure for some time now, so please let me spell out what I am trying to do.

I have dual-boot system, using WIN XP BootLoader (aka "NT") which offers me WIN or Linux options. If I select Linux option, LILO is invoked and I have a choice of a couple of Slackware 9.1 kernels (my current, and an earlier kernel compilation).

Now, I want to install another Linux (RHAT Prof. Workstation), on a new partition, and leave the existing chain-loading infrastructure in place for the time being (both the WIN NT bootloader, and the existing Slackware). The reason is very simple: it is in place, and it is working fine, enabling me to do my work. This is also the way the real world of IT works, of course,: run old and new systems in parallel, until the new is shown to do everything the old is currently doing. Until I get the new Linux and all its pieces working completely (CUPS, SAMBA, networking, etc...), I don't want to delete the current Slack ("if it ain't broke, etc...."). When the RHAT is proven to working, I would consolidate the Slack partition's space into the new RHAT (I guess, I would re-format or delete old partition and let PartitionMagic resize it, whatever..not there yet).

So, that is the background.

So, my very simple(?) question is what is the best way to do this? I think I have taken a lot of words to identify what is probably a pretty simply task for an experienced Linux Sysadm.

For the record, I copy the first 512 bytes of the Linux partition (which I believe is LILO itself) to a floppy, and then to a file on WIN c:\, which is referenced in the WIN boot.ini file, and so enables the WIN NT dual-boot feature.

Finally (!), my RH reading indicates the desirability of a separate 100M /boot partition (in addition to root and SWAP parts). Is this optional/mandatory/recommended? (it's not required from my slackware experience, altho' I'm sure there's no law against doing it). What is the consensus (if any)?
Many thanks
George
 
Old 07-13-2005, 04:10 PM   #5
mdg
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You say you want to leave the existing system in place, which is not a problem, it just means you'll need to install lilo/grub after you wipe the Slack partition.

Working with the existing system means you don't install a bootloader when installing RH, but you will want to use the "make a bootdisk" option, just to be safe.

Once RH is installed, boot into Slackware and make a directory /mnt/redhat (or whatever you want to call it).
Add all the options to boot RH in the Slack lilo.conf. I'm not sure exactly what to fill in as I've never used RH, I think there's an "initrd" line too. I'm sure some RH or Fedora users can tell you exactly what to fill in.

The image line should be "image=/mnt/redhat/boot/....". If it's just "image=/boot/...", lilo will boot the matching image in the boot directory on it's resident root partition. The active lilo runs off Slackware, so it will look in /boot dir in Slackware and run the vmlinuz or initrd image it finds there. So you'll end up booting RH with a Slackware kernel. If it's set to /mnt/redhat/boot/.. lilo will look in RH's boot dir and run the image there, so you end up booting RH with a RH kernel, which is good.

Once you're done editing lilo.conf, run (as root) "lilo" and check there are no errors. If not reboot. Don't forget, you have your RH bootdisk just in case

I hope that makes it a bit clearer
 
Old 07-13-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
wombat53
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mdg - thanks again. I have since relocated this post to Distros/install, since that where it belongs, but never mind. It started here. So I understand you as agreeing that I should not install RHAT's LILO (or GRUB), which is what the (rather vague) RH documentation said, but that I could install it later, when I was ready to wipe the old Slack. OK, is that just a matter of booting into RH, and installing the relevant package from one of the various install CD's (and then configuring his lilo.conf, and - in my own dual boot case - then copying the boot sector over to WIN C:\ Is it that simple?) I'd like to believe that, but I just don't know. Actually, I just took a look at the packages installed on Slack with pkgtool, and there is indeed such a package, so I would have to assume that the same (or similar) applies to RH.

You were suggesting I create a sort of mount point in Slack, and point RH to that mount point in the (existing) LILO, which is currently managed by Slack. But I am not so sure that - if I don't point it to that mount point - that the RH vmlinuz image will be launched from the partition of the currently active LILO (which would be the partition that has both LILO and Slack)...that I will "boot RH with a Slackware kernel". In fact, this is where I came in, the difference between boot and root. It seems to me that each stanza for each kernel image has a "root=" entry, and that "this entry defines which disk partition to use as the root partition" (taken straight from the RH Reference Guide). So my reading is that he will load the image from whatever /boot/vmlinuzblahblah is found on the device identified by the "root" entry of that stanza, which may be a completely different device (filesystem) to one from which LILO itself was loaded.
Please let me know if this is how you see it, or if I am missing something.
Thanks
George
 
Old 07-14-2005, 03:48 AM   #7
mdg
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Quote:
Originally posted by wombat53
<cut>So my reading is that he will load the image from whatever /boot/vmlinuzblahblah is found on the device identified by the "root" entry of that stanza, which may be a completely different device (filesystem) to one from which LILO itself was loaded.
Please let me know if this is how you see it, or if I am missing something.
Thanks
George
I understand your reasoning, but it doesn't work that way. Without reference to a mounted /boot partition (/mnt/whatever/boot/vmlinuz), lilo will search only it's own /boot directory and load the matching kernel it finds, or not load any kernel. Why it works that way and doesn't use the "root=" line as an initial reference, I don't know. I'm sure the answer is on the web somewhere.

The above method is one I've used with various multiboots and it works. Another method is to rename and copy the needed files (vmlinuz, initrd image etc) from the "non-controlling" distros (ie all other distros on the system except the one where the active lilo resides) to the /boot dir of the controlling distro. The appropriate entries in lilo then point directly to the copied and renamed files eg:

"image=/boot/vmlinuz_slack" instead of "image=/mnt/slack/boot/vmlinuz"
 
Old 07-17-2005, 04:22 PM   #8
wombat53
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mdg - many thanks. I will weigh up this method you have proposed vs. the other option, which I guess is to install RH with its LILO, and copy that boot sector of that partition to the main WIN NT bootloader menu (referencing it in the WIN boot.ini), and then choose between NT and the two Linux's I will have on the two Linux partitions?
George
 
  


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