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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
syslinux vs grub4dos vs grub2
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What is the best bootloader for puppy?
syslinux
10%
 10%  [ 4 ]
grub4dos
66%
 66%  [ 26 ]
grub2
12%
 12%  [ 5 ]
others - please specify in your post
10%
 10%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 39

Author Message
nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 2030
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 09:17    Post subject:  

anikin wrote:
nic007 wrote:
... BTW - Even with Grub4dos, I always choose NOT to overwrite the existing MBR. Safest way of doing things.
I think you're wrong on MBR. If you trust grub4dos (or any other system loader), the safest way of doing things is to follow its installation procedure to the letter. If it recommends installing its own MBR - we, little puppians should comply - there must be a good reason for that. Here's what a knowledgeable person says in his syslinux howto: "Overwrite your MBR that has been molested by grub." http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=25399

Why overwrite your existing MBR if it is not necessary and works just as well? Doing it like this you always have a fallback if something goes wrong with grub (and believe me it can, I have experience of having to re-install Windows). No more overwriting of the existing MBR for me, I take the risk out of it. You can of course just link grub to your existing Windows bootloader which is even safer. BTW - whichever Linux command tries to "recover" the original MBR which grub messed up does not always work, I have tried that before too. Better safe than sorry.
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 11:20    Post subject:  

nic007 wrote:
anikin wrote:
nic007 wrote:
... BTW - Even with Grub4dos, I always choose NOT to overwrite the existing MBR. Safest way of doing things.
I think you're wrong on MBR. If you trust grub4dos (or any other system loader), the safest way of doing things is to follow its installation procedure to the letter. If it recommends installing its own MBR - we, little puppians should comply - there must be a good reason for that. Here's what a knowledgeable person says in his syslinux howto: "Overwrite your MBR that has been molested by grub." http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=25399
Why overwrite your existing MBR if it is not necessary and works just as well? Doing it like this you always have a fallback if something goes wrong with grub (and believe me it can, I have experience of having to re-install Windows). No more overwriting of the existing MBR for me, I take the risk out of it. You can of course just link grub to your existing Windows bootloader which is even safer. BTW - whichever Linux command tries to "recover" the original MBR which grub messed up does not always work, I have tried that before too. Better safe than sorry.
I can't read the MBR code and tell the difference between its variants. But I do know, it can easily be backed-up and restored - shouldn't be a problem at all. And I also know, there is a difference between the DOS/MS? MBR and the GRUB/Linux one. That's my primitive and very limited understanding. If I'm a Linux fanboy, I'd chose the one provided by the *real* Linux bootloader. And conversely, if I'm still sitting on the fence, undecided which side to fall, then maybe you're right - keep the original MBR. But then, Windows not Linux takes precedence in your computing experience. Maybe, jamesbond, amigo and Karl Godt can clarify this a bit more.
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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 2030
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 12:35    Post subject:  

Grub4dos is my preferred bootloader and unlike you are assuming, puppy is now my primary operating system. Need Windows though for printing as my printer does not have a linux driver. Past experiences have teached me to go the safe rout especially when having multiple operating systems (at some stage I even had more than one Windows operating system installed with a few puppys). It's not fun to re-install when grub messes things up...but if overwriting the MBR rocks your boat, go for it.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 4012
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 13:09    Post subject:  

Grub2... mostly due to its editor to hack config files settings. I am interested in what JB007 has to say about the 'problem' with it.
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 3051
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar 2016, 10:41    Post subject:  

I think this poll has run long enough. As I expected (though I didn't say it in the opening post to avoid bias), grub4dos wins hands down. The reason given for grub4dos boils down to two things:
a) its ease of use
b) its versatility

grub4dos is portable. You don't need any sort of installer to install it. You just need two files: grub4dos.mbr, grldr; if you already run (non-UEFI) windows all you need is grldr. The only tool you need is a text editor and perhaps "dd" (busybox version's will do) to install it. The other bootloaders aren't portable.

grub4dos has a single file that holds its configuration.

grub4dos can be installed and be used as bootloader from many medias: usb, harddisk, cd/dvd, pxe ...

grub4dos can be used to load and start operating systems from many different medias usb, harddisk, cd/dvd, pxe ... this is not the same as the previous point. The combination of this point and previous point means you can have grub4dos acting as a boot loader of a CD/DVD, which then loads and runs an operating system installed in a harddisk (or USB).

grub4dos can load (and be loaded by) Windows bootloader (ntldr/bootmgr) (no need to mess with Windows MBR if you don't want to).

So there is no wonder that grub4dos is a clear winner. I know that amigo has certain reservations about grub4dos (we discussed this elsewhere) but it is still the fact that no other bootloader can do everything that grub4dos can do.

All those are for the BIOS world. Is things the same in UEFI world?

No. grub4dos won't work in UEFI-only environment (I'm not counting those UEFI with CSM support - because when you enable legacy boot/CSM, you're basically using BIOS and not UEFI).

Is there any other bootloader that can function as close to grub4dos in BIOS, but for UEFI? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We'll look into UEFI bootloaders comparison next time.

PS: the "big" problem with grub2 is that it is not portable (in the sense of "portable apps", not in the sense of "portable programs"). That's why they have the "Super Grub Disk" stuff - it is an ISO that comes with grub2 already installed, so you can use it to install grub2 to your system.

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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 598
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar 2016, 14:05    Post subject:  

YESSSSSSS Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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watchdog

Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 1371
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar 2016, 15:43    Post subject:  

jamesbond wrote:

Is there any other bootloader that can function as close to grub4dos in BIOS, but for UEFI? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We'll look into UEFI bootloaders comparison next time.


What do you think about the following my old experiment?

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=830001#830001
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar 2016, 16:13    Post subject:  

What an amazing voter turnout!
This community isn't dead yet, kinda still alive ... all 27 of us.
Rejoice, folks.
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 3051
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar 2016, 11:26    Post subject:  

I forgot to say this: the point of this poll (for me) is to show that anyone proposing to replace grub4dos with any other boot loaders, need to consider the aspects that grub4dos provides.

Some people are comfortable with grub legacy. That's cool. Some people are comfortable with syslinux. That's also cool. Some people likes grub2. That's also good. But for the majority, grub4dos serves them well - and if we are going to replace with any other bootloader, the question is - can they meet the needs as well as, or better, than grub4dos?

________________

@watchdog: That uefi.zip from Ted Dog contains not a single boot loader, but three of them. Each one of them serves different purposes.

Installing UEFI bootloaders in actually easier than installing MBR bootloaders. You don't need any special disk tool or installer, all you need is to copy files into the right directory.

________________

@anikin: 27 is better than 0, so yes, I rejoice! Laughing

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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar 2016, 14:09    Post subject:  

jamesbond wrote:
... 27 is better than 0, so yes, I rejoice! Laughing
30 already!
We are getting stronger by the day Smile

Yes, grub4dos is the easiest one to use. On the other hand, there is an extlinux variant built by porteus/slax devs, which isn't any more complicated: *Statically compiled extlinux*.
https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=508
http://www.slax.org/blog/18931-Static-extlinux.html
An absolutely elegant, sophisticated and fool-proof solution.
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar 2016, 05:54    Post subject:  

Here's a quick and effortless way of installing statically compiled extlinux:
Go to
http://porteus.org
Download your arch/config, read and follow this installation guide:
http://www.porteus.org/component/content/article/8-informations/114-official-porteus-installation-guide-v-10.html
Code:
cd /mnt/sdd1/boot
Execute the Porteus-installer-for-Linux.com script:
Code:
sh Porteus-installer-for-Linux.com
Note the following statement in the Linux section: *The extlinux bootloader will be installed on devices that are formatted with ext2/3/4, FAT16/32, ntfs and btrfs filesystems. LILO will be installed on partitions formatted with any other filesystem.* And that's it - you're good to go. Now you can add any distro of your choice: DebianDog, Puppy, RubberDog, FatDog, PeroxideDog - anything you please. Of course you can remove your Porteus installation (but why would you?) - just keep the boot directory with your extlinux. It is configured pretty much the same way as grub4dos, that is dead easy!
install_extlinux.jpeg
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stemsee

Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 1957
Location: In The Way

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar 2016, 11:33    Post subject:  

I vote for UEFI.

After installing the FATDOG_LIVE shellx64.efi EFI, keys and drivers dirs together with isobooter and grub.cfg and grldr and menu.lst, I can boot on anything as long as secure boot is off, even if not set to boot off of usb, and I think that is pretty cool.

I boot off of public PCs and even install a frugal, for later use, using grub4dos windows default boot.

I only recently had one problem. I booted a windows 7 pxe desktop, and in windows found I could create a dir (but not files) on C:\ into which I copied my FATDOG_LIVE 'root' Files, and the root dirs also on C:\ root. Then when I finished my session and rebooted up came the FATDOG_LIVE menu and I was able to boot but not to desktop (wrong graphics driver). However on the next boot after creating a savefile I plugged in my 2x usb FATDOG_LIVE dongles and booted. The menu came up with two additional icons. For some reason I tried to load other keys and then I was no longer able to boot or get past the menu! So that university PC is dormant for the time being!

Impressive none-the-less!
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 01:14    Post subject: Using BM on system's drive to boot Puppy on CD/DVD  

Seems eons ago I asked this question for which there was no solution given the state of boot-manager (BM) technology in those days.

So, I ask here in 2016
    Can a BM on the system's HDD boot an OS, such as FATDOG, which is on DVD? If so which BM has this ability and a sample reference is requested.
Most of us know how to instruct the BM to boot the OS from a partition on some storage (like HDD/SSD/USB).

If no Linux BM can do so, can MS's BM do this?

Anyone know?

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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 04:35    Post subject:  

gcmartin,

a quick counter question - did you vote, how and why?
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 3051
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 04:42    Post subject:  

@anikin: that's interesting. I tried to find the static extlinux but can't find the download link. I said its interesting because syslinux is not a single file, it is comprised of modules (vesamenu, menu, etc). And modules from one version of syslinux won't work on other version. What happens to those?

@gcmartin: I have prepared an answer for you but since I saw the post from anikin while I was writing it, I'd like to join him and hear from you too Smile But to satisfy your curiosity, the answer is YES OF COURSE and since 2009 if not earlier, s your question is 7 years too late.

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