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Bootloaders


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#1 Al1000

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:11 AM

This thread is for discussing bootloaders that can be used with Linux.

It makes sense for people who use "full" Linux distros (*buntu and Mint etc) exclusively, to use Grub2, because it comes with these distros and is installed by default.

Conversely, for people that use Linux Puppy exclusively, it makes sense to use Grub4Dos (or Grub Legacy (the old version of Grub)) as both come with Puppy, and are capable of detecting frugal installations, whereas Grub2 is not.

The only people likely to think about which one they should use, are those who use Puppy as well as full Linux distros.

At first it made sense to me to use Grub4Dos because it detects both frugal installations of Puppy, and full Linux installations. It seemed nonsensical to use a bootloader that doesn't do both. I also like that the main Grub4Dos file (menu.lst) can be edited manually, whereas the main Grub2 file (grub.cfg) is generated automatically and is not designed to be edited manually. Why do something the complicated way, when there is a more simple alternative?

I continued using Grub4Dos until I installed LXLE, when I made the switch to Grub2 and have been using it ever since. I never could get the LXLE splash screen to display properly with Grub4Dos, and there were error messages in dmesg that weren't there when I switched to Grub2.

Since having learned how to configure Grub2 for Puppy by editing the 40_custom file, it has seemed easier for me to use Grub2 than to use Grub4Dos. Rather than install Grub4Dos after installing every Linux distro, or manually edit the menu.lst file, what I do is let Grub2 be installed automatically, then swap the 40_custom file for one that I have saved, then update grub.

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#2 NickAu

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:50 AM

Just as general information.
 

It makes sense for people who use "full" Linux distros (*buntu and Mint etc) exclusively, to use Grub2, because it comes with these distros and is installed by default.

You can install Buntu distros without a boot loader.
 
Before installing open terminal and run

ubiquity -b

Or

ubiquity --no-bootloader

Edited by NickAu, 28 June 2016 - 02:52 AM.

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#3 Al1000

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:07 AM

I recall you mentioned something about this before. So you open a terminal in a live session, run either of those commands, close the terminal, then open the installer and install *buntu, and *buntu will be installed without the bootloader?

Is that it?

Edited by Al1000, 28 June 2016 - 03:09 AM.


#4 NickAu

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:11 AM

 

So you open a terminal in a live session, run either of those commands,

Yes It will open the installer and will install Ubuntu without the bootloader


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#5 Al1000

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:31 AM

Yes It will open the installer and will install Ubuntu without the bootloader


Ah of course, ubiquity is the bootloader. That makes sense now. Thanks for the info. I'll try it sometime.

#6 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 04:49 PM

Hi, Al.

 

Bootloaders, bootloaders, bootloaders.... So many different variations on a theme!

 

Yes, you were quite right the other day when you picked me up on the Grub4DOS business. I had completely forgotten that GRUB2 always re-runs itself after a kernel update. Since we don't have automatic kernel updates in Puppy (manual only, I'm afraid...  :P ), the only occasion on which Grub4DOS ever needs to be re-run is after adding another Puppy to, or removing one from, the 'kennels'.

 

(Not something I do very often; it's like, well.....ah, hell, you get attached to the little beggars, y'know?  :lol: )

 

My personal choice, even when running multiple 'buntus alongside Puppies, was always Grub4DOS.....for the same reasons you stated in your first post. It does the lot; why make things harder than you've got to? I do know, however, that for some people, they require the splash screen to show, for various reasons; anybody care to explain that one to me?

 

I've always wondered, y'know, if there isn't a method in which GRUB2 and Grub4DOS can co-exist, simultaneously, side by side. Sort of like in the same way that Grub4DOS treats the Windows NT boot.ini config file; chainloading the one from the other, so that GRUB2 can still update itself, without upsetting Grub4DOS in the process.....not even needing to touch it. So that each set-up can follow its intended course, quite happily, yet being able to interact with the others, as and when necessary, to bring about the desired result.

 

Perhaps it's already been done.....I don't know. All I know is that booting any of my systems is something I simply want to occur as quickly, efficiently, and as unobtrusively as possible. As I've mentioned to other people prior to this; 'I know Grub4DOS doesn't look pretty. But hey! it's not as though I'm going to be staring at it all day long...'  :rolleyes:  :)

 

 

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#7 DeimosChaos

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 05:30 PM

I've only ever run Grub (usually 2). Though may have to play around with the Grub4DOS... just got a Dell XPS 13 and have a 256GB M2 SSD inside. Don't want to get rid of Windows 10 on here (got the touch screen edition) but do want my nix. Though as I am typing this..... I bet Grub4DOS doesn't play well with UEFI. So I may be sticking with Grub2. Looking at installing Puppy since it is so stinking small, so I'll still have my nice secure Linux install, plus I love my terminal windows.

 

What is the state of Grub4DOS with UEFI?


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#8 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:06 PM

Hi again, DC.

 

Mm. I've been doing some research (aka 'digging' around the remoter corners of the Puppy Forums, where I don't normally venture!) for the last couple of hours, and it seems several of our more senior 'Puppians' have been doing quite a lot as regards UEFI booting.

 

You're no doubt aware of the fact that 'Secure Boot' actively prevents the booting of any operating system that doesn't present a valid 'signature', verifying it as being 'recognised' and 'safe'. Microsoft's rationale for this was that it prevented the installation of root-kit exploits, along with the more insidious malware.....and the fact that it also prevented the installation of alternate OSs was merely 'an unavoidable consequence'. It appears that the FatDog64-700 series falls into this 'secure' category, for the simple reason that jamesbond & kirk, the developers of the FatDog series, made the pragmatic decision to pay the required $99 to VeriSoft in order to obtain such a licence. They then spent many hours researching & developing the necessary utilities to make use of this licence

 

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=860159#860159

 

Mikeslr's rationale for MS's reasoning was that it had more to do with securing MS's market share than it did for anything to do with security..! (Mike's a retired lawyer.)

 

It further appears that the rash of recent 64-bit EFI-enabled Pups which can boot with 'Secure Boot' enabled are all using this same valid signature which was purchased by jamesbond & kirk. They have willingly 'shared' the signature for the greater good of the entire Puppy community.

 

The Lighthouse64 series (based on FatDog64, built on a Slackware base) will boot from UEFI (with SecBoot enabled).

 

LXPup64 will boot from UEFI (with SecBoot enabled).

 

Barry K's own experimental 'Quirky' series will boot from UEFI (with SecBoot enabled).

 

As I understand it from reading the whole of mikeslr's thread, concerning the booting of Puppies alongside Windows 8/8.1 & 10, even Tahrpup64 contains the requisite 'efi.img' application octet-stream file in its ISO, although this only appears on your machine's Tahr64 /mnt/home directory, after install, if your machine employs UEFI. It doesn't appear on mine, since my Compaq employs traditional MBR/BIOS booting.

 

And TedDog has developed a series of UEFI boot procedure scripts which will enable Puppy 'noobs' to install pretty much any 32- or 64-bit Puppy of recent years as a 'frugal' to a specially-prepared USB flashdrive with a FAT32-formatted UEFI 'boot-partition' set up as its primary partition. This can then be booted on any Windows PC/laptop of recent vintage, which utilises UEFI & employs the 'SecBoot/FastBoot' combination.

 

The rationale behind all of this activity would appear to be that of 'Bugger surrendering; we'll beat the so-and-so's at their own game!'  :P

 

Hope that goes some way toward answering your question...   :lol:

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 28 June 2016 - 07:24 PM.

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#9 DeimosChaos

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:45 PM

Awesome reply! Thanks Mike!


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#10 cat1092

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 05:57 AM

 

 

You're no doubt aware of the fact that 'Secure Boot' actively prevents the booting of any operating system that doesn't present a valid 'signature', verifying it as being 'recognised' and 'safe'. Microsoft's rationale for this was that it prevented the installation of root-kit exploits, along with the more insidious malware.....and the fact that it also prevented the installation of alternate OSs was merely 'an unavoidable consequence'

 

When in fact, all it does is prevent the install of some graphics cards, especially those that may be older & has an 'unsigned' driver. It's does nothing to protect it's users, therefore any Secure Boot enabled computer that comes into my home for repair gets it disabled at no charge my me. :)

 

Only active AV/AM software blocks infections, not bootloaders. 

 

 

 

 It appears that the FatDog64-700 series falls into this 'secure' category, for the simple reason that jamesbond & kirk, the developers of the FatDog series, made the pragmatic decision to pay the required $99 to VeriSoft in order to obtain such a licence. They then spent many hours researching & developing the necessary utilities to make use of this licence

 

The reason why the FatDog64 devs (Kirk & James) likely paid the $99 is because of the massive amount of contributors of the OS, including the University of North Carolina, a well known one, just 8 miles from an equally famous university in Duke. $99 is chicken feed to this university, they give away hundreds millions of dollars of medical care per year, $99 is a laughable amount of cash to pay for what it does. 

 

FatDog64 has been the tool that's rescued literally millions of Windows computers, consider just a million for a flat fee of $99, that's just 0.000001 cents per PC. At 10,000,000, a closer figure, it'a an amount so small that to measure would be useless. I don't believe it was a 'sellout' otherwise many Linux distros won't run on computers that shipped with Windows 8 & above. While Linus Torvalds was quite livid over the idea, even he had to give in, and if he gave up, that in itself says a lot. :)

 

Yet the easiest fix for the Secure Boot issue is to disable it, there really no provided protection, and to this date, I've never heard of anyone installing legit software being cut off, though have heard that installing a GPU can be a royal pain in the backside. :P

 

This is why I do anyone who brings their computers to me, the favor of disabling the option. If I felt it was constantly protecting us as an active AV/AM solution would do, would have zero issue with leaving enabled. Yet that's not the case, Microsoft grabbed this idea from an open source creator 10 years ago, probably wouldn't give the folks a job today, a roof over their head nor a mouthful to eat, and yet proclaim it's their work. They would had liked to release it with W7, but was far from perfect, and still isn't. When it blocks all bad code from coming through, not just the 5-30 second boot time, then I'd see Secure Boot as worth having. 

 

On the other hand, Bitlocker is far better, if one has a physical TPM, many older computers ran version 1.2, and this is Linux compatible, not Bitlocker, rather the platform, Trusted Platform Module or TPM for short. That does work with Linux & can encrypt drives. I don't know about Pups, yet many Linux installers will offer to encrypt the /home partition during install. There will be an impact on performance, may be more noticeable on some computers than others. 

 

Had Microsoft really been interested in a way to fast boot computers w/out gimmicks, then CoreBoot would had been the answer, no gimmicks needed, just a lightening fast boot. :)

 

They didn't want CoreBoot because Richard Stallman created it & there wasn't controls for Microsoft to exploit their customers with, nor was it possible the way written. Secure Boot is like placing a set of handcuffs or shackles on the computer, gives Microsoft too much control. As does vPro. The more consumers stays away from this software, the better. One doesn't need to be running Windows for a backdoor firmware upgrade to take place with vPro. Which is why if the option presents itself, should be disabled in the UEFI or BIOS. :)

 

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#11 Al1000

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 06:52 AM

I do know, however, that for some people, they require the splash screen to show, for various reasons; anybody care to explain that one to me?


Well, I like my operating systems to work as they're supposed to. It just so happens that neither of the operating systems I now have on my laptop (antiX and Puppy) have splash screens, but if they did, then I would want them to work.

Much in the same way as I like desktop wallpaper to display. The computer would work just as well without displaying wallpaper, but I like to have it anyway.

I've always wondered, y'know, if there isn't a method in which GRUB2 and Grub4DOS can co-exist, simultaneously, side by side. Sort of like in the same way that Grub4DOS treats the Windows NT boot.ini config file; chainloading the one from the other, so that GRUB2 can still update itself, without upsetting Grub4DOS in the process


Yes and no. :) What I have done before is install Grub2 to a partition, and Grub4Dos to the MBR. Grub2 gets updates, but doesn't get used, because the computer always detects the bootloader in the MBR first.

#12 cat1092

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:25 AM

 

 

Much in the same way as I like desktop wallpaper to display. The computer would work just as well without displaying wallpaper, but I like to have it anyway.

 

 

Me too, have used the same one for years, it's the one from my first taste of Linux Mint, version 7, codenamed 'Gloria'. :thumbup2:

 

ZXifktq.png

 

There is another bootloader option, yet since the OP didn't raise that scenario, no need for me to mention. And don't know if this would work with Puppy anyway. :)

 

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#13 NickAu

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:38 AM

There is another bootloader option, yet since the OP didn't raise that scenario,

This topic is to discuss bootloaders, so if its a bootloader then feel free to discuss it, Unless its Windows.

Splash screens.... Meh.

 gksu gedit /etc/default/grub 

Edited by NickAu, 30 June 2016 - 03:39 AM.

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#14 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:58 AM

There is another bootloader option, yet since the OP didn't raise that scenario, no need for me to mention. And don't know if this would work with Puppy anyway.  :)

 

 

Yeah, come on Cat! 'Spill the beans', mate.

 

I'm all ears, anyway....  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 30 June 2016 - 09:58 AM.

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#15 cat1092

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 02:02 AM

 

There is another bootloader option, yet since the OP didn't raise that scenario, no need for me to mention. And don't know if this would work with Puppy anyway.  :)

 

 

Yeah, come on Cat! 'Spill the beans', mate.

 

I'm all ears, anyway....  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:

 

 

This applies only if one is dual booting Linux with Windows, to prevent double & sometimes triple boots, in EasyBCD 2.3. :thumbup2:

 

Since the Linux penguin is on the page, as well as that of BSD, it's not really off-Topic & is a 3rd party bootloader. Unless one doesn't have Windows on their systems, period. Those of us, including Staff members, who has to assist others in need if asked to, has to keep at least a couple modern Windows OS's on hand (if not all supported OS's), otherwise how can we assist? W10 upgrades it seems to be monthly, and us that assist others has to know what's going on. Plus I assist many personally, and FatDog64 is among the first tools used if the computer is unbootable. While I could do the same with any Linux install media, it's just that FatDog64 has a very small footprint, and fast as greased lightening, even if one's running DDR2 RAM (I'd include DDR RAM, but have never seen a 64 bit PC with it). :)

 

If I setup a dual boot for anyone, then I also install EasyBCD 2.3, as well as disable Secure Boot if enabled as an extra no charge service (see how good I am to those with 'handcuffed' or 'shackled' computers :P). The name & email for registration doesn't require one to check their email, the download link will present itself after entering these & clicking 'Download'. :thumbup2:

 

http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

 

For those who runs Linux only OS's, this is unneeded & doesn't work. If it were not of use, then wouldn't have been available since before I began running Linux based OS's, has been upgraded several times. :)

 

Mike, hopefully this answers your question! :thumbsup2:

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 01 July 2016 - 02:04 AM.

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