[Test-Announce] Testing requested: proposed fixes for #738964 (bootloader install issues)

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Fri Sep 23 18:26:01 UTC 2011

Hey, folks. So, as most of you probably know, one of the big bugs that's
been holding up the Beta is
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=738964 - various issues
related to bootloader installation with the wrinkles of grub2 and GPT
disk labels.

There are now not one but *two* updates images with test fixes for the


The second one improves the anaconda code which excludes the device
anaconda is being installed from (particularly if it's a USB stick) from
consideration as an install or bootloader target device, and also tries
much harder to honor the user's choice of the device where the
bootloader should be installed on all the non-custom-partitioning paths.
Just these two fixes should address the most urgent cases of this bug.

The first one also tries to create a BIOS boot partition on any GPT
labelled disk present - whether formatted by anaconda or not - which has
enough free space and which does not currently have one, if the system
is BIOS-based. This should act as a 'big hammer' to make sure you can
pretty much always install the bootloader wherever you like, but
obviously it's a pretty big and possibly problematic change.

We really need testing with both images, to establish a couple of

1) if you've had problems with the bootloader installing somewhere you
didn't expect in Beta RC1 and previous builds, please test whether your
issue is fixed (it's best if you can test with each updates.img and
report on both, but if you can only test one, that's fine too)

2) if either image has bugs that don't exist in Beta RC1: as much
testing as possible, with any kind of installation, is useful here. Just
try an install with either updates.img, and if you hit a problem,
confirm that it doesn't exist in Beta RC1, and add a comment to 738964.

Particularly interesting configurations would be installing to a system
which already has one completely full GPT-labelled disk that you choose
not to reformat, installing to a system with an existing GPT-labelled
disk with a BIOS boot partition that you choose not to reformat,
installing to a system with an existing GPT-labelled disk *without* a
BIOS boot partition that you choose not to reformat, and any kind of
installation at all with multiple disks (hard disks or USB sticks)
connected during install - no matter which of the disks you choose to
use or not use, and installs from both DVD and live written to a USB

Note that we expect the -nohammer version to still be 'buggy' in the
case where you choose manual partitioning with multiple disks present
and do not create a BIOS boot partition on the target disk; it won't
create one for you or require you to create one, and when you get to the
bootloader location choice (which comes later in custom partitioning
than in other paths), the target drive's MBR will not be an available
install location. The 'hammer' version should 'fix' this case.

To use an updates.img, just pass the updates= parameter to the kernel
when booting. So boot with Beta RC1, hit 'tab' at the bootloader screen,
and type 'updates=http://dlehman.fedorapeople.org/updates-738964.6.img'
and then proceed to install as normal. This works for both the regular
and live installers.

Thanks everyone! We really need to get testing data in and do an
anaconda build today so we can get RC2 out tonight.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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