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On Wed, Sep 08, 1999 at 02:16:47PM -0400, Jean Pierre LeJacq was heard to say:
> On 8 Sep 1999, Jason Henry Parker wrote:
> > Steven Baker <sbaker@networkpaging.com> writes:
> > > 
> > > After installing GRUB, and being greeted with MORE than satisfactory
> > > results, I am proposing that we perhaps ditch LILO for GRUB, or
> > > provide both as an option in potato.  Of course, the freeze for potato
> > > is coming up on us quickly, so it may be more desirable to wait until
> > > the next release after potato.
> Could you summarize the advantages of GRUB?

  (not a developer but I finally got around to replacing LILO with GRUB a few
   minutes ago..)

    -> It groks filesystems.  This means that you aren't required to hardcode
      the block location of your kernel into the boot image; you can move
      it around or even replace it and Grub will load correctly.  As a matter
      of fact, even the config file isn't hardcoded -- you can edit it without
      having to reinstall Grub.
    -> A boot menu that's actually a menu.  It may be eye candy for some but I
      think most people, especially newer users, will find it more useful.
    -> A command-line interface.  If you screwed up the config file you can
      still recover and boot the system by hand using the same commands as in
      the configuration file.

    -> Most people won't be familiar with its syntax, and it uses really odd
      conventions for specifying hard drive partitions. (hd0,0) -> hda1,
      (hd1,1) -> hdb2
    -> It can be trickier than LILO to install, partly as a result of this.
      (for example, I have GRUB installed on hda but /boot on hdb.  I rendered
      my system unbootable, even by hand, until I explicitly passed the
      configuration file location as (hd1,1)/boot/grub/menu.lst and gave the 'd'
      option to tell it to take into account which drive stage2 was on -- I'm
      not sure which option fixed it and I'm not going to test)
    -> The above points out another problem: GRUB **requires** a file on the
      hard drive even to bring up its basic interface.  (please correct me if
      I'm wrong :) )  So if you do something to stage2 (or misspecify the
      install= line) you're hosed.  On the other hand, you may be hosed anyway
      when stage2 is inaccessable (eg, /boot goes kablooie..)

  FWIW, I think that GRUB should be the standard bootloader for Debian
eventually. But I think that in Potato, it should just be provided as a second
option along with LILO (on the step which in the slink install was called "make
the system bootable from the hard drive") with a note that it doesn't provide
some more esoteric features yet and that the automagic install might choke.
After the automated installation has been tested by the brave it can be used as
the default in the next release..

  For people with LILO already installed, it might be nice to parse LILO config
files and turn them into GRUB menu.lst files and an installation script -- that
is, a script like:

grub --verbose --batch << SCRIPTEND
install= # Horrible gobbeldygook goes here

  Is there any way to do this reliably yet?


  "I've struggled with reality for thirty-five years, but I'm glad to say that
   I finally won."
     -- _Harvey_

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