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Old 07-03-2012, 09:20 PM
"David A. De Graaf"
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

I've filed the text below as
Bug 837430 - No grub2 menu; can't boot new F17 installation

But since the grub2 developers are probably overwhelmed at this point,
and since folks on this list are usually very helpful, I'll post it
here too. If anyone has seen this problem, or even better, has a
solution, I'd like to know.


*****************
There are so many major faults with grub2 it's hard to see where to
begin. The most egregious are these:

1 - Instead of presenting a menu, my 64 bit machine displays an error
message box "Input not supported" which steps diagonally up the screen.
After about 30 sec the machine boots into some randomly chosen kernel.

2 - Most of the menuitems in /boot/grub2/grub.cfg are constructed
incorrectly; only a few of them can possibly start a properly functioning
system.

Taken together, it is nearly impossible to boot a new Fedora 17
system. Item 1 means there's no way to choose among the various
kernels and item 2 means the chance of hitting a working menuitem is
slim to none.

My standard procedure over many Fedora generations is to freshly install
into alternating root partitions, keeping all the others intact. On this
target machine I have

/dev/sda1 /boot
/dev/sda5 /f16
/dev/sda6 /
/dev/sda7 /home
/dev/sda8 /b1
/dev/sda9 swap
/dev/sdb1 /h1

After completing installation of F17, /boot contained four kernels:
vmlinuz-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64
vmlinuz-3.3.6-3.fc16.x86_64
vmlinuz-3.3.7-1.fc16.x86_64
vmlinuz-3.4.2-1.fc16.x86_64

Commonsense dictates that grub2 would present exactly four choices.
Instead it constructs 14!

These consist of all combinations of the four kernels with the two root
partitions, with a couple of useless "Recovery" items for good measure.

This is utter nonsense. If I can figure out which kernel is
associated with which root partition, so can grub2.


At "first boot", the machine booted an old F16 kernel combined with the
new root partition. Unsurprisingly, nothing worked - no network, a
very short list of modules - no way to continue with the installation,
eg, yum update and yum install <others>.

After much head-scratching and knashing of teeth I discovered the
problem, and hand-edited /boot/grub2/grub.cfg (despite the injunction)
and commented out all the garbage, leaving only the intended menuitem
as the first. I also set default=0. With fingers crossed, I
typed reboot which, as F17 is prone to do, froze the machine.
After the necessary Reset, again there was no visible grub2 menu, but
it correctly booted the new vmlinuz-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64. Networking
worked and I was able to continue with yum update and the rest of the
installation.

This gave a new kernel - vmlinuz-3.4.4-3.fc17.x86_64 -
and I was pleasantly surprised to see the new grub.cfg had a new entry
inserted before all the rest, with all my edits retained, including
set default=0, so I expected it to boot the new first menuitem correctly.

Wrong!

It booted the old vmlinuz-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64.
Evidently, setting default=0 is no longer effective.
This was fixed by more editing of grub.cfg, removing the old first
menuitem for vmlinuz-3.3.4-5.fc17.x86_64*. Now I have a system that
can only boot vmlinuz-3.4.4-3.fc17.x86_64 because there's no way to
choose anything else. But at least it boots something!!!


Some possibly relevant machine info:
/proc/cpuinfo:
model name : AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 840 Processor
lspci:
00:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation C61 [GeForce
7025 / nForce 630a] (rev a2)

Although it has an nvidia video card, I haven't yet gotten around to
installing kmod-nvidia.

Clearly, something is hosed up with grub2's use of font, but I can't
see how it works or how to fix it.

On another x86_64 machine, and two i386 machines F17 grub2 displays
its menu correctly, except for its brain-dead contruction of menuitems
that cannot possibly work.


--
David A. De Graaf DATIX, Inc. Hendersonville, NC
dad@datix.us www.datix.us

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." (Pablo Picasso)

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Old 07-03-2012, 09:45 PM
Heinz Diehl
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

On 03.07.2012, David A. De Graaf wrote:

> There are so many major faults with grub2 it's hard to see where to
> begin. The most egregious are these:
[....]

Do you have any proof for your statements?

I installed F17 on 12 different machines since it's release, and
encountered not a single problem with grub2. It would be helpful if
you could explain in detail what the problem actually is you'd like to
get help with.

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:31 PM
"David A. De Graaf"
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

On Tue, Jul 03, 2012 at 11:45:06PM +0200, Heinz Diehl wrote:
> On 03.07.2012, David A. De Graaf wrote:
>
> > There are so many major faults with grub2 it's hard to see where to
> > begin. The most egregious are these:
> [....]
>
> Do you have any proof for your statements?

Yes, as I think I described in some detail, when the machine boots
no grub2 menu is displayed. Instead, the monitor shows an error
message box saying "Input not supported". Then after about 30 sec
this disappears and the machine boots. No choice is offered or is
available. As it happens, the menuentry that is used is wrongly
constructed - it combines an old F16 kernel with a new root partition.
The result is a system that doesn't work.

>
> I installed F17 on 12 different machines since it's release, and
> encountered not a single problem with grub2. It would be helpful if
> you could explain in detail what the problem actually is you'd like to
> get help with.

As I also mentioned, this problem occurs on only one of four machines
on which I've installed F17. The other three work properly.
There is no difference in the way I installed F17, that I'm aware of.

The problem I need a solution for is to cause grub2 to display a
proper menu, on this machine.

A secondary goal is to have grub2 redesigned to produce sensible
menuentries instead of the current collection of 20 entries, only 4 of
which can possibly work.


In addition to these showstoppers, other inadequacies of grub2 include
- the inability to edit the boot parameters for the selected menuitem.
Try, for example, to delete rhgb and replace it with noselinux.
- I consider it unacceptably bad design to need to run grub2-mkconfig.
This shows blatant disregard for the user. It wasn't necessary with
grub; requiring it in grub2 is a giant step backward.
- The syntax of grub.cfg is grotesquely bad, overly complex and
illogical.

--
David A. De Graaf DATIX, Inc. Hendersonville, NC
dad@datix.us www.datix.us


A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:51 PM
Joe Zeff
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

On 07/03/2012 04:31 PM, David A. De Graaf wrote:

As I also mentioned, this problem occurs on only one of four machines
on which I've installed F17. The other three work properly.
There is no difference in the way I installed F17, that I'm aware of.


Are there any significant differences between this box and the others?
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:30 PM
Christopher Svanefalk
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

Sounds like a hardware issue...I too have installed F17 from scratch without a single issue. What input devices/ports do you use on the failing machine? What are the system specs?

On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM, Joe Zeff <joe@zeff.us> wrote:

On 07/03/2012 04:31 PM, David A. De Graaf wrote:


As I also mentioned, this problem occurs on only one of four machines

on which I've installed F17. *The other three work properly.

There is no difference in the way I installed F17, that I'm aware of.




Are there any significant differences between this box and the others?

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--
Best,
Christopher Svanefalk

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:08 PM
Aaron Konstam
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

On Tue, 2012-07-03 at 17:20 -0400, David A. De Graaf wrote:
> I've filed the text below as
> Bug 837430 - No grub2 menu; can't boot new F17 installation
>
> But since the grub2 developers are probably overwhelmed at this point,
> and since folks on this list are usually very helpful, I'll post it
> here too. If anyone has seen this problem, or even better, has a
> solution, I'd like to know.
>
>
> *****************
> There are so many major faults with grub2 it's hard to see where to
> begin. The most egregious are these:
>
> 1 - Instead of presenting a menu, my 64 bit machine displays an error
> message box "Input not supported" which steps diagonally up the screen.
> After about 30 sec the machine boots into some randomly chosen kernel.
>
> 2 - Most of the menuitems in /boot/grub2/grub.cfg are constructed
> incorrectly; only a few of them can possibly start a properly functioning
> system.
>
> Taken together, it is nearly impossible to boot a new Fedora 17
> system. Item 1 means there's no way to choose among the various
> kernels and item 2 means the chance of hitting a working menuitem is
> slim to none.

I have always been confused that some people like the OP have these
problems while I am running F17 64 bit and do not have these problems. I
have a grub2 menu list which allows me to choose a kernel to boot.

What have I done differently then the OP. One thing is I installed F17
using a LiveUSB rather than the DVD.
--
================================================== =====================
A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows. -- O'Henry
================================================== =====================
Aaron Konstam telephone: (210) 656-0355 e-mail: akonstam@sbcglobal.net

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:33 PM
"David A. De Graaf"
 
Default No grub2 menu display; can't boot F17

On Wed, Jul 04, 2012 at 02:30:05PM +0200, Christopher Svanefalk wrote:
> Sounds like a hardware issue...I too have installed F17 from scratch without a
> single issue. What input devices/ports do you use on the failing machine? What
> are the system specs?
>
> On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM, Joe Zeff <joe@zeff.us> wrote:
>
> On 07/03/2012 04:31 PM, David A. De Graaf wrote:
>
> As I also mentioned, this problem occurs on only one of four machines
> on which I've installed F17. The other three work properly.
> There is no difference in the way I installed F17, that I'm aware of.
>
>
> Are there any significant differences between this box and the others?

I have discovered BZ 817187, comment 16, which supplies the solution
to the missing menu. Apparently the gfxterm, used by default by grub2,
is defective. Who knew?

The fix is to add this line to /etc/default/grub
GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT=console
and rerun
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

All four of my machines use different hardware. Why only the fourth
chokes on the output from gfxterm remains a mystery.

Thanks to all who tried to help.

--
David A. De Graaf DATIX, Inc. Hendersonville, NC
dad@datix.us www.datix.us

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