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Old 10-31-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
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Legacy grub entry needs absolute pathname or blocklist

I am configuring two elderly laptops for a couple of grandsons reaching junior high. Brand new hard drives on both so no Windows of any sort. Have installed PcLinuxOS LXDE (Ubuntu and Mint won't run on the machines) and have configured the LXDE nicely. Trying to make an entry in the PCLinuxOS grub (legacy version) menu.lst to boot Puppy 5.1.1 in a hard drive install. Hard drive install of Puppy went nicely. All attempts to change grub so far have failed including all the examples I have found on Puppy linux websites (tried the main site first - no joy.)

I have the entry for Puppy appearing in the grub display on bootup but when clicked, it fails to boot Puppy and gives error message "Filename must be either an absolute pathname or blocklist."

The entry now in menu.lst is

title Puppy
kernel (hd0,1) /puppy511/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=vmlinuz root=UUID=bedce7de-efbc-40a9-bdf9-19774441f656
initrd (hd0,1) /puppy511/initrd.gz

This format matches the entries for PCLinuxOS but does not boot.

When I formatted the hard drive, I made an extended partition (sda1) for PCLinuxOS. The extended partition has logical partitions for root, home, and swap. I made a second Permanent partition (sda2) for Puppy.

I don't know where to go from here. Grub thinks I don't have an absolute path or blocklist but I don't know what I am missing.

Can anyone help? TIA.

Last edited by msnthrp; 10-31-2010 at 06:41 PM. Reason: SOLVED: seen entry below.
Old 10-31-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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I suspect it's not what you're missing, but what you have extra. Is that a space after the closing paren ?. If so remove it (both of them).
Old 10-31-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
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at grub menu screen press "c" for command mode and verify your absolute pathway by typing and press enter

root (hd0,1) (second partition)
find vmlinuz (or find /vmlinuz
but I can not see what you have done to MBR

ideally grub should be in MBR and you might like to re-link grub to its booting files by running in a live cd

root (hd0,1)
setup (hd0)

....end line should say succeeded

but that assumes your current grub in MBR should be controlled by second partiton as it might be controlled by the first?

if its controlled by the first add an entry to your PCLinuxOS to chainload to your second partiton or boot it direct.

good luck
Old 10-31-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
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If this is a true hard drive install and not a frugal install to a hard drive your menulst entry should be this:
title puppy
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2 ro vga=normal
Unless puppy 511 is different puppy doesn't use an initrd on a hard drive install. this assumming puppy is installed to the second partition of your first hard drive.

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 10-31-2010 at 11:02 AM.
Old 10-31-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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SOLVED: Absolute Pathway or blocklist

Two older laptops to be configured for twin 11-year old boys. Experimented with what would run on the machines and chose to dual-boot PCLinuxOS LXDE and Puppy Linux 5.1.1. Reformatted two new hard drives into sda1 (extended partition) and a small sda2 (permanent partition, 2GB).

Subsequent weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth is omitted to allow family audiences. Had no significant problems installing PCLinuxOS LXDE into sda1. Made Frugal install of Puppy 5.1.1 into sda2. Tried numerous entries into the PCLinuxOS legacy grub menu.lst - none worked. Prowling around the sda2 files I found that frugal install does not provide the conventional /boot/grub directory that is needed as a location to which the menu.lst can go, at least in the version used in PCLinuxOS.

I reinstalled Puppy using the Full install and told it to install grub into the MBR with the files in /dev/sda2. This resulted in generating the missing /boot/grub/menu.lst. Rebooting into Puppy, I copied the entry for Puppy to be used later.

title Puppy Linux 5.1.1 on sda2
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2

Rebooting into PCLinuxOS, the system froze - it did not like the Puppy grub. Using the PCLinuxOS live CD, I went to the Menu > More Applications > Configuration > LXDE Restore MBR program and restored the original PCLinuxOS MBR. This restore also found "Unknown Linux Distribution on sda2" so as root I changed the PCLinuxOS /boot/grub/menu.lst to "Puppy Linux 5.1.1 on sda2". Saved the file back to the hard drive.

Rebooted again (twice) and both PCLinuxOS and Puppy booted as chosen. SUCCESS!!

This worked for me. If you are using other Linux distributions and having trouble getting Puppy to dual-boot, try the full install method. I know that in Grub2 where you have to modify 40_custom and then run update-grub, grub2 does not pick up a Frugal install. In a few days, I will be installing a new distro on my main machine and may follow up on how to get a dual boot workng there. Should be interesting since I want to run Linux Mint 10, PC-BSD, and Puppy on the same machine with only Grub2 boot loader! Wish me luck.
Old 11-01-2010, 04:48 AM   #6
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good luck and good work.

things to watch out for......some puppy variants do not use inode 256 but 128.

What does that mean to you?

if you format a partitiion for say puppyx using inode 128 .....then make sure you use chainloader and install its grub or grub2 to its partition and not into MBR where you are already on inode 256.

Most distros use a mkfs command that is set to inode 256 by default but can may be able to set "whatever" puppy variant or another distro to 256 by this command

su (or sudo)
mkfs.ext3 -i 256 /dev/sdxn
where sdxn is your target partition

2) if you are wondering why I am so excited to mention this its because I failed to research a puppy variant and got burnt.


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