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Re: lilo removal in squeeze (or, "please test grub2")

Stephen Powell <zlinuxman@wowway.com> writes:

> On Mon, 24 May 2010 13:38:55 -0400 (EDT), Ferenc Wagner wrote:
>> Stephen Powell <zlinuxman@wowway.com> writes:
>>> On Mon, 24 May 2010 05:29:56 -0400 (EDT), Ferenc Wagner wrote:
>>>> Stephen Powell <zlinuxman@wowway.com> writes:
>>>>> Both grub-legacy and grub-pc use sectors on the hard disk outside of
>>>>> the master boot record [...]
>>>> You may want to try extlinux, it works much like LILO in this respect.
>>> Thanks for the tip.  That may be an option.  I looked at the documentation
>>> online, and there does not appear to be an option equivalent to lilo's
>>> vga option, though, which I use a lot, especially since svgatextmode
>>> has already been pulled from squeeze.
>> I'm not sure what you're after, I haven't used LILO for ages.  But
>> typing vmlinuz-2.6.32 vga=0xf07 at the pxelinux boot prompt gives me a
>> 80x60 console.  The other variants use the same code.
> Interesting.  At one point, the kernel itself had de-supported the
> vga boot option, relying on the boot loader to set the video mode
> before transferring control to the kernel.  And now you're saying
> it's back.  Hmm.  According to Documentation/svga.txt in the kernel
> source tree:
>    This small document describes the "Video Mode Selection" feature which
>    allows the use of various special video modes supported by the video BIOS.
>    Due to usage of the BIOS, the selection is limited to boot time (before
>    the kernel decompression starts) and works only on 80X86 machines.
> Note the wording "before the kernel decompression starts".  That to me
> implies "done by the bootloader", because the bootloader decompresses
> the kernel (if it is compressed) before transferring control to it,
> does it not?

It does not, the kernel is sort of a self-decompressing binary.
However, the vga= parameter is indeed parsed by the bootloader and
passed to the kernel by a special protocol.  It's then used before the
kernel parses its command line.

> I'm going to have to try installing Squeeze using extlinux as the boot
> loader.  (No doubt I'll have to change bootloaders after installation,
> as the Debian Installer won't offer that option.)

Yes, you'll have to back out of Grub installation, start a shell, chroot
into /target, and install exlinux.  Take care to have /boot on an ext2
Good luck!

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