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Old 07-06-2012, 11:19 PM
Mike McClain
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

Howdy,

I've used loadlin.exe for years but with my recent install of
Squeeze loadlin reboots the computer rather than launching Debian.

The flip side of the issue is that grub2 resets the computer
trying to launch kernels that loadlin launches with no problem.

Can anyone point me at info other than the sources (over my head)
to explain the problem and/or a solution?

Thanks,
Mike

PS:
Linux playground 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Sun May 6 04:01:19 UTC 2012 i686 GNU/Linux
Squeeze is on sdb5
PIII on Intel mobo
MM
--
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:33 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:19:20 -0700, Mike McClain wrote:

> I've used loadlin.exe for years but with my recent install of
> Squeeze loadlin reboots the computer rather than launching Debian.

I never used loadlin before so I can't be of much help here. But, just
out of curiosity, may I ask you about the reasons for still using it
today? :-?

> The flip side of the issue is that grub2 resets the computer
> trying to launch kernels that loadlin launches with no problem.

(thinking out loud...)

I'm not about the behaviour you are getting... is that a) you boot from
loadlin and as soon as it passes the control to GRUB2 is rebooted, b) you
reach the GRUB2's menu, select the Debian entry and then it reboots, c)
none of the above, because loadlin is capable to directly boot a linux
system and thus omitting the bootloader (GRUB2, LILO, etc...) installed
or d) other? :-)

> Can anyone point me at info other than the sources (over my head)
> to explain the problem and/or a solution?

I would try (just for testing purposes) if you can boot the system with
SuperGrub2Disk, for instance.

Greetings,

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Old 07-07-2012, 04:02 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Fri, 06 Jul 2012 19:19:20 -0400 (EDT), Mike McClain wrote:
>
> I've used loadlin.exe for years but with my recent install of
> Squeeze loadlin reboots the computer rather than launching Debian.
>
> The flip side of the issue is that grub2 resets the computer
> trying to launch kernels that loadlin launches with no problem.
>
> Can anyone point me at info other than the sources (over my head)
> to explain the problem and/or a solution?

If I recall correctly, LOADLIN tries to load both the kernel and
the initial RAM file system below the 15M line, and with modern
Linux kernels, there just isn't enough room down there. You may be
able to extend the life of LOADLIN by creating a stripped-down
initrd. For example, create or edit a file called
/etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/driver-policy and specify

MODULES=dep

in there, then re-build your initial RAM file system with

update-initramfs -uk $(uname -r)

Do this while the kernel of interest is running. Then shutdown
and boot DOS, then try LOADLIN again. But I don't know if
LOADLIN is being actively maintained anymore. If I were you,
I'd switch to LILO. That is what I use. My LILO web page may
be helpful to you in that regard.

http://users.wowway.com/~zlinuxman/lilo.htm

--
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`. `'`
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

El 2012-07-07 a las 10:01 -0700, Mike McClain escribió:

(resending to the list)

> Hello,
>
> I've noted from your posts that you're pretty savvy so I'm sorry
> you have no experience in this area but I'm happy to answer your
> questions.

Thanks for your kind words; experience is a rank and helps a lot.

> On Sat, Jul 07, 2012 at 01:33:27PM +0000, Camale?n wrote:
> > On Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:19:20 -0700, Mike McClain wrote:
> >
> > > I've used loadlin.exe for years but with my recent install of
> > > Squeeze loadlin reboots the computer rather than launching Debian.
> >
> > I never used loadlin before so I can't be of much help here. But, just
> > out of curiosity, may I ask you about the reasons for still using it
> > today? :-?
>
> Because it works for me. I've kept installs of previous versions of
> Debian on separate partitions for reference as well as the fact that
> by doing so I'll have a working install while getting a newer version
> setup. Also when I first started using Linux I had Redhat, Slackware
> and Debian all installed at the same time and would switch from one
> to another while still keeping my DOS install working for the important
> stuff. It wasn't 'til I installed Solaris and a couple of BSD variants
> that I used a boot loader in the mbr and when that drive died I never
> felt the need to go back to Lilo or grub. If loadlin were able to
> launch the kernel installed with Squeeze I still wouldn't be using grub.

Thanks for the explanation. I asked because if what you wanted is keeping
things separate (e.g., windows and linuxes boxes) there is another
approach to consider (at least this was possible with openSUSE that
allowed to install "generic code" into the MBR -I miss this option from
Debian installer though-): install each GRUB in its own partition
(instead the MBR) and mark with the "bootable" flag the desired
partition with GRUB on it. This way you have as many GRUBs as linuxes
installed to boot (thus if one fails you can go with the rest) and
Windows is happy with this because you don't have to reinstall all over
again the bootloader when (re)installing the system.

Another usual option would be using a small separate partition for the
bootloader (as you do with loadlin) but having GRUB (or another
multi-system and supported bootloader) in there.

The key here IMO is the status of the bootloader that has to deal with
different OSes and thus has to be up-to-date and in continous
development.

> > > The flip side of the issue is that grub2 resets the computer
> > > trying to launch kernels that loadlin launches with no problem.
> >
> > (thinking out loud...)
> >
> > I'm not about the behaviour you are getting... is that a) you boot from
> > loadlin and as soon as it passes the control to GRUB2 is rebooted, b) you
> > reach the GRUB2's menu, select the Debian entry and then it reboots, c)
> > none of the above, because loadlin is capable to directly boot a linux
> > system and thus omitting the bootloader (GRUB2, LILO, etc...) installed
> > or d) other? :-)
>
> loadlin bypasses grub.

Is c) then, okay, thanks for the aclaration, I was somehow confused by
your comment "the issue is that grub2 resets the computer...".

> loadlin.exe is a DOS program so the way I've been using it is to boot into
> DOS then run loadlin on a kernel kept in c:oot with a command like:
> c:ootloadlin c:oot
vmlinuz.d40 root=/dev/hdb8 ro
> this boots an Etch install from DOS.

It sounds that simple that looks very nice :-)

> grub won't boot that same kernel when it's on /dev/[hs]db8 but reboots the
> computer.
> In order to get into Etch I must boot DOS from grub then boot Etch with loadlin.
> The same is true of a Sarge install.
>
> update-grub doesn't even find the DOS partition I'm used to booting here sda2.

Ugh! Okay, I see the mess now :-(

> > > Can anyone point me at info other than the sources (over my head)
> > > to explain the problem and/or a solution?
> >
> > I would try (just for testing purposes) if you can boot the system with
> > SuperGrub2Disk, for instance.
>
> Thanks for your thoughts.
> Hope I've answered your questions adequately.

Yes, and thanks a bunch for the detailed reply, very much appreciated. I
hope you can finally bypass this issue and keep loadlin as your
bootloader partner for some more time :-)

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 07-14-2012, 08:30 AM
Howard Eisenberger
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On 2012-07-06, Mike McClain <mike.junk@nethere.com> wrote:

> I've used loadlin.exe for years but with my recent install of
> Squeeze loadlin reboots the computer rather than launching Debian.

I am able to boot linux from DOS using a boot loader from Gujin
where loadlin has failed with big kernels.

See http://gujin.sourceforge.net/

Download from
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gujin/files/standard/

Regards,

Howard E.


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Old 07-14-2012, 12:18 PM
Martin Steigerwald
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

Am Samstag, 7. Juli 2012 schrieb Camaleón:
> > Because it works for me. I've kept installs of previous versions of
> > Debian on separate partitions for reference as well as the fact that
> > by doing so I'll have a working install while getting a newer version
> > setup. Also when I first started using Linux I had Redhat, Slackware
> > and Debian all installed at the same time and would switch from one
> > to another while still keeping my DOS install working for the
> > important stuff. It wasn't 'til I installed Solaris and a couple of
> > BSD variants that I used a boot loader in the mbr and when that
> > drive died I never felt the need to go back to Lilo or grub. If
> > loadlin were able to launch the kernel installed with Squeeze I
> > still wouldn't be using grub.
>
> Thanks for the explanation. I asked because if what you wanted is
> keeping things separate (e.g., windows and linuxes boxes) there is
> another approach to consider (at least this was possible with openSUSE
> that allowed to install "generic code" into the MBR -I miss this
> option from Debian installer though-): install each GRUB in its own
> partition (instead the MBR) and mark with the "bootable" flag the
> desired partition with GRUB on it. This way you have as many GRUBs as
> linuxes installed to boot (thus if one fails you can go with the rest)
> and Windows is happy with this because you don't have to reinstall all
> over again the bootloader when (re)installing the system.

AFAIK this calls for block list based installation of GRUB 2 which is not
recommended cause it introduces the same issues than map file in LILO.

--
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:06 PM
Tom H
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Martin Steigerwald <Martin@lichtvoll.de> wrote:
>> Am Samstag, 7. Juli 2012 schrieb Camaleón:
>>>
>>> Because it works for me. I've kept installs of previous versions of
>>> Debian on separate partitions for reference as well as the fact that
>>> by doing so I'll have a working install while getting a newer version
>>> setup. Also when I first started using Linux I had Redhat, Slackware
>>> and Debian all installed at the same time and would switch from one
>>> to another while still keeping my DOS install working for the
>>> important stuff. It wasn't 'til I installed Solaris and a couple of
>>> BSD variants that I used a boot loader in the mbr and when that
>>> drive died I never felt the need to go back to Lilo or grub. If
>>> loadlin were able to launch the kernel installed with Squeeze I
>>> still wouldn't be using grub.
>>
>> Thanks for the explanation. I asked because if what you wanted is
>> keeping things separate (e.g., windows and linuxes boxes) there is
>> another approach to consider (at least this was possible with openSUSE
>> that allowed to install "generic code" into the MBR -I miss this
>> option from Debian installer though-): install each GRUB in its own
>> partition (instead the MBR) and mark with the "bootable" flag the
>> desired partition with GRUB on it. This way you have as many GRUBs as
>> linuxes installed to boot (thus if one fails you can go with the rest)
>> and Windows is happy with this because you don't have to reinstall all
>> over again the bootloader when (re)installing the system.
>
> AFAIK this calls for block list based installation of GRUB 2 which is not
> recommended cause it introduces the same issues than map file in LILO.

Martin: Installing grub2 to a PBR (with "grub-install --force
/dev/sdXY) and therefore using block lists is theoretically less
robust than installing grub2 to an MBR but there are enough people
using block lists with grub and lilo that this claim seems to be
almost-FUD...

Cameleon: You can choose to install grub2 to a PBR by refusing to
install it to the MBR. d-i'll prompt you to provide a device - and it
accepts a partition.


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Old 07-14-2012, 01:26 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 09:06:55 -0400, Tom H wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Martin Steigerwald
> <Martin@lichtvoll.de> wrote:
>>> Am Samstag, 7. Juli 2012 schrieb Camaleón:

(...)

>>> Thanks for the explanation. I asked because if what you wanted is
>>> keeping things separate (e.g., windows and linuxes boxes) there is
>>> another approach to consider (at least this was possible with openSUSE
>>> that allowed to install "generic code" into the MBR -I miss this
>>> option from Debian installer though-): install each GRUB in its own
>>> partition (instead the MBR) and mark with the "bootable" flag the
>>> desired partition with GRUB on it. This way you have as many GRUBs as
>>> linuxes installed to boot (thus if one fails you can go with the rest)
>>> and Windows is happy with this because you don't have to reinstall all
>>> over again the bootloader when (re)installing the system.
>>
>> AFAIK this calls for block list based installation of GRUB 2 which is
>> not recommended cause it introduces the same issues than map file in
>> LILO.

I don't know what you mean here. Installing GRUB in the first sector of a
partition instead the MBR has been always possible (also documented) and
nothing to be avoided "per se". Can you expand this?

(...)

> Cameleon: You can choose to install grub2 to a PBR by refusing to
> install it to the MBR. d-i'll prompt you to provide a device - and it
> accepts a partition.

Yes, I know.

But AFAICT, installing nothing in the MBR (e.g., from a low level
formatted hard disk) is not the same than having "generic boot code"
here. I don't know if Windows (or any other operating system) will be
happy to boot from no man's land.

Greetings,

--
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:31 PM
Tom H
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 9:26 AM, Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 09:06:55 -0400, Tom H wrote:
>> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Martin Steigerwald
>> <Martin@lichtvoll.de> wrote:
>>>> Am Samstag, 7. Juli 2012 schrieb Camaleón:
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for the explanation. I asked because if what you wanted is
>>>> keeping things separate (e.g., windows and linuxes boxes) there is
>>>> another approach to consider (at least this was possible with openSUSE
>>>> that allowed to install "generic code" into the MBR -I miss this
>>>> option from Debian installer though-): install each GRUB in its own
>>>> partition (instead the MBR) and mark with the "bootable" flag the
>>>> desired partition with GRUB on it. This way you have as many GRUBs as
>>>> linuxes installed to boot (thus if one fails you can go with the rest)
>>>> and Windows is happy with this because you don't have to reinstall all
>>>> over again the bootloader when (re)installing the system.
>>>
>>> AFAIK this calls for block list based installation of GRUB 2 which is
>>> not recommended cause it introduces the same issues than map file in
>>> LILO.
>
> I don't know what you mean here. Installing GRUB in the first sector of a
> partition instead the MBR has been always possible (also documented) and
> nothing to be avoided "per se". Can you expand this?

When you install grub1/grub2 to a PBR, you cannot embed stage
1.5/core.img in the gap between the first sector and the start of a
partition as you would do when you install grub1/grub2 to an MBR. The
stage 1/boot.img then has to use block lists to load stage 2/core.img.


>> Cameleon: You can choose to install grub2 to a PBR by refusing to
>> install it to the MBR. d-i'll prompt you to provide a device - and it
>> accepts a partition.
>
> Yes, I know.
>
> But AFAICT, installing nothing in the MBR (e.g., from a low level
> formatted hard disk) is not the same than having "generic boot code"
> here.

I've never heard of "generic boot code". I don't see why SUSE uses it;
it must be unnecessary since none of the other distributions that I've
used use it.

Are you sure about the "generic boot code"?


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Old 07-14-2012, 08:14 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Loadlin and Squeeze kernel 2.6.32

On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 15:31:36 -0400, Tom H wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 9:26 AM, Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> wrote:

(...)

>>>> AFAIK this calls for block list based installation of GRUB 2 which is
>>>> not recommended cause it introduces the same issues than map file in
>>>> LILO.
>>
>> I don't know what you mean here. Installing GRUB in the first sector of
>> a partition instead the MBR has been always possible (also documented)
>> and nothing to be avoided "per se". Can you expand this?
>
> When you install grub1/grub2 to a PBR, you cannot embed stage
> 1.5/core.img in the gap between the first sector and the start of a
> partition as you would do when you install grub1/grub2 to an MBR. The
> stage 1/boot.img then has to use block lists to load stage 2/core.img.

And what are the drawbacks for that?

Reading from GRUB's legacy documentation¹, I see none listed. However,
GRUB2 manual² does not even mention the possibility of installing GRUB2
into the first boot sector of a partition, maybe something has changed
between the two versions :-?

>>> Cameleon: You can choose to install grub2 to a PBR by refusing to
>>> install it to the MBR. d-i'll prompt you to provide a device - and it
>>> accepts a partition.
>>
>> Yes, I know.
>>
>> But AFAICT, installing nothing in the MBR (e.g., from a low level
>> formatted hard disk) is not the same than having "generic boot code"
>> here.
>
> I've never heard of "generic boot code". I don't see why SUSE uses it;
> it must be unnecessary since none of the other distributions that I've
> used use it.
>
> Are you sure about the "generic boot code"?

Yes :-)

I've been installing several (open)SUSEs since many years and this option
has been always there. Let me search to grab some docs... okay, here it
is³ the official paper. The option comes from the installer, when you
first select to install GRUB you can then cherry pick some advanced
options like the usuals (set bootable flag, etc...) and this one:

***
Write Generic Boot Code to MBR
Replaces the current MBR with generic, operating system independent code.
***

Why this option? I can't tell and I don't know (because I have not directly
tested) if there's any difference between choosing this and installing no
bootloader at all. To be sincere, I don't know if by selecting no bootloader
you can boot at all, I mean, directly from your hard disk with no other helpers
:-?

¹http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/legacy/grub.html#Installing-GRUB-natively
²http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html#Installing-GRUB-using-grub_002dinstall
³http://doc.opensuse.org/documentation/html/openSUSE/opensuse-reference/cha.grub.html#sec.boot.yast2.config.advanced

Greetings,

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