Booting with Grub

Guy Fraser guy at
Tue Nov 30 17:16:17 UTC 2004

Phil Schaffner wrote:

>On Sat, 2004-11-27 at 20:01 -0800, Vadim wrote:
>>On a similar note.
>>Why did we stop supporting LILO?
>Because GRUB is more powerful, has a shell, doesn't have to be
>reinstalled every time the config is changed?
No, but install a new drive and with no errors you may get nothing but a 
cursor after selecting your entry.

The documentation for grub does not seem explain how drives are ordered or
how to list the order in which they are detected. Mapping drives seems like
driving in the dark without headlights on a moonless night.

Can you point me and the rest of the people suffering from this problem 
to some
enlightening information on how to configure grub from a rescue disk so 
that it
will work after installing an SATA, SCSI or RAID drive. In bugzilla 
there are
hundreds of bugs marked as "NOTABUG" with a variety of issues similar to
this. The "fixes" for this type of problem appear to be quite 
mysterious, and
without reasonable explanation to why someone did what they did to make it

I had to reinstall FC3 and reorder the drives in the advanced boot 
config to
make it work. Bandwidth and time required to reinstall and get all the 
again aside, this is not a reasonable way to add SATA drives to a machine.

Lilo may not have a shell, but it does not add ambiguity to which drive is
which. I don't see how being able to mess around in your boot loader
during boot is of any more help. All I used to do was boot a rescue disk
edit lilo.conf, run lilo and reboot, no big deal. Three days of messing
around struggling through "info grub" and searching bugzilla, is not

If grub was more intuitive, and not encumbered by "magic" device mapping
your assessment might be correct. But with no apparent documentation on
how to properly modify "", or even if it is the right file to 
it is almost a futile effort to modify the grub config by hand.

>Good old LILO is still there in the base distribution if you want to use
>it.  Quite a few people still seem to like it, or maybe old habits die
Lilo is a good boot loader, and that is all it is good for, but thats 
what it was
meant to do. Most people don't need access to a shell that lets them muck
around before the system boots, most people just want to select an 
option if
they have a multi boot system or different kernels for testing purposes. 
bad lilo can't be installed as the default boot loader.

According to bugzilla there are hundreds of complaints about grub causing
problems that are not bugs, but can not be solved intuitively by modifying
a single file and running a simple command to update the boot configuration.

My opinion is that either GRUB is poorly designed, too complex for most
users, or needs good {not info based} documentation, that explains how to
map real devices to the logical devices used in the menu.lst file. Or grub
should not internally rearrange logical device maps when new devices are
added as it appears to be doing.

Guy Fraser
Network Administrator

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