I'm just thinking out loud here, but, given that rpm-ostree does not use grubby, and we do have the Bootloader Spec, and no other distro uses grubby, would it be prudent to take a really hard look at whether grubby is still a path we want to walk? 

If it is, then more work obviously needs to be put into it to get it where we want/need it. Personally, I would love to see btrfs subvolume support, so that we could have snapshotting like on Suse, though it appears rpm-ostree would negate the need for it, correct?

If it's not a path we want to walk anymore, then let's announce an "Intention To Deprecate" to give all interested parties (RHEL) plenty of warning, and start figuring out what all will break by the removal of grubby. 

Adam, the only other distro that has serious alternate architecture support, AFAIK, is Debian. How do they handle grub2 + non-x86? Likewise, the alternate architectures that we support, how do we handle their bootloaders? Are they grub-based? Ext/Syslinux based? Grub-legacy? 

I agree with Kevin that grub2 is.... nonintuitive. But the only other serious option we have is bootctl, and I am not sure if that's even a possibility for a distro like Fedora. I know Arch has it as an install time option, but I don't know it's limitations. 

Cheers!
Eric

On Oct 6, 2016, at 21:20, Chris Murphy <lists@colorremedies.com> wrote:

On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 3:17 PM, Kevin Fenzi <kevin@scrye.com> wrote:
On Thu, 6 Oct 2016 17:05:45 -0400
Eric Griffith <egriffith92@gmail.com> wrote:

Can anyone answer this relatively simple question: "Why grubby?" I've
seen a number of discussions on various topics surrounding the boot
loader that all seem to devolve into "We would love to support that,
but grubby doesn't, so we can't."

At what point does the maintenance burden of using grubby outweigh
its own benefits?

I don't ask this rhetorically, or because I particularly want to see
grubby gone. I just don't see the benefit that we get from having
grubby when other distros seem to get by just fine without it, or if
they do use it, it doesn't seem to be getting in their way.

Well, I don't know the full history here, but IMHO, the problem is that
the way grub2 does config is not very ideal.

It's not. And OS discovery is fraught with problems also.

One alternative is Bootloader Spec drop-in scripts. Fedora's GRUB
carries a patch to support them in the blscfg.mod, but it implements
it in an early interpretation of the spec. rpm-ostree creates drop in
scripts per this spec, but instead of depending on blscfg.mod to use
them directly, rpm-ostree calls a helper to use the scripts as source
material to generate new grub.cfg or extlinux.conf (both bootloaders
are supported). rpm-ostree doesn't use grubby at all.



Perhaps other distros have figured out better ways to deal with this, I
don't know. If someone wanted to go and survey this and report back
that information might be of help.

I don't have a complete or recent evaluation but as of a couple years
ago, before Gene Czarcinski passed away, we found no other
distribution using grubby. Distros we ran into use grub-mkconfig as
recommended by upstream to obliterate the existing grub.cfg and create
an entirely new one.


--
Chris Murphy
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