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Re: Is a distro independent grub boot possible using a boot partition???

Joe(theWordy)Philbrook wrote:
Is a distro independent grub boot possible using a boot partition???

Hello, I'm trying to set up a boot partition on my multi-boot laptop
using grub. But I must be doing something wrong. And I'm not sure if
it can do what I really want anyway...

I was hoping that if I properly set up a boot partition with grub, it
would still work if I replaced the distro with which I originally
installed grub to the mbr???

I set up a boot partition (sort of) I copied  mepis' /boot to it,
modified both menu.lst files to replace lines consisting of:
root (hd0,6)
[ the mepis partition ] with lines containing:
root (hd0,2)
[ the intended boot partition ]

The problem is that the Grub first stage that is installed on the MBR is looking for the Grub stage 1.5 in a specific place on the drive. Because the first stage is very small, it does not know about file systems. This is what the stage 1.5 does. So it is ignoring the new stage 1.5, and is using the old one. That one is looking at the original /boot/grub directory.

I know it's using the vmlinuz from (hd0,2) because I temporarily
renamed the one I had for the kubuntu in the mepis /boot dir
and could still boot kubuntu... I also know I'm still using the
menu.lst file on (hd0,6) because I modified one of the title lines to
include the words "native /boot" And that was displayed in the boot

I suspect that to make grub use the menu.lst that's on (hd0,2) what I
need to do is to mount /dev/hda3 on /boot while running the mepis that
installed grub, and then do a "grub-install /dev/hda". But I'd like to
confirm that before I wing it because unlike my old pc there is no
floppy so I can't test it with "grub-install /dev/fd0" first. So I guess
I'm asking if that's all there is to it?

But what I really want to know is once the grub installed to the mbr is
booting from (hd0,2) using the menu.lst from that partition, will it
continue to boot from the mbr if the linux that installed it to the mbr
is no longer there?

Or will I always have to reinstall grub to the mbr from some other
installed linux before I trash the distro that last installed it???

You might want to consider creating a small partition just for Grub. The menu in this version would just chainload the boot loader for the other versions, or Windows, depending on what you pick from the menu. You would then install Grub for each distribution to the boot record of its /boot partition, if it has one, or its root partition if it does not.

For a quick fix, you can mount the new /boot partition using /bot as the mount poing, and run grub-install. You can then get rid of the mepis install if you want, as long as you do not get rid of your new /boot partition.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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