[clug] Let's close the year with some LILO weirdness

Francis Whittle fudje at phreaker.net
Tue Dec 28 04:19:03 GMT 2004

On Mon, 2004-12-27 at 15:22 -0800, Gary Woodman wrote:
> Greetings, and compliments of the season!

> Coincidentally, I had a copy of the latest APC magazine (that Santa
> brought for the geeks in the family) with ISOs for Fedora on the cover
> disk. I haven't tried Fedora before, and with the time, the resources,
> and a need, it seemed like a good opportunity to investigate.

Hmm.  Rule #63754 of computer management, never investigate unneccessary
new pathroads during a time of crisis.  Welcome to the world of renegade

> My sons burned the CDs for me, media checked out fine, the install went
> smoothly, and the machine rebooted. But instead of starting Fedora, I
> was staring at, not a menu, but a grub> prompt! That wasn't supposed to
> happen! I quickly lost interest in GRUB (two OS on this box and it
> won't boot either of them), and that's a bit of a sub-topic which
> CLUGgers could address if they felt like it: what did Fedora's GRUB do
> (or not do), and how would I proceed in the purest Fedoric way?

Fedora booted you into a grub *prompt*?  Didn't set you up with a pretty
Is it possible to skip installation steps with Anaconda?  (I can't
remember) ... If so, did you?

> Note: this box is currently unable to boot from HDD. A recipe for
> Knoppix! First I updated the GRUB control file (on hda5, where I
> installed Fedora), but that didn't give me a menu or otherwise affect
> GRUB. I gave up then, resolving to return to LILO, for which I had a
> perfectly good conffile on hda2, generated by Xandros and in use for
> months. I edited that to include the image on hda5 (pasted in down
> below), and attempted to write LILO's boot loader with the usual 'lilo
> -v -t -r /mnt', only to see this:
> Fatal: stat /dev/hda: No such file or directory


> My lilo.conf (on hda2, the Xandros partition):
> boot=/dev/hda
> install=/boot/cboot.b
> message=/boot/splash.lilo
> timeout=50
> map=/boot/map
> prompt
> fix-table
> lba32
> read-only
> disk=/dev/hda bios=0x80
> disk=/dev/hdb bios=0x81

# I don't remember seeing the above lines before.  You might consider
commenting them out and see if that fixes anything.  I'm pretty sure you
don't need them for most setups anyway.

> image=/vmlinuz
>         label=[]s_Desktop_2.0
>         vga=0xf04
>         root=/dev/hda2
>         initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.22-x1.gz
>         append="rw acpi=on "

# Booting straight to read-write mode are we?  Tsk, tsk.

> image=/vmlinuz
>         label=Safe_Video_Mode
>         vga=0xf04
>         root=/dev/hda2
>         initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.22-x1.gz
>         append="3 rw acpi=on "
> image=/vmlinuz
>         label={}ure_(Expert)
>         vga=normal
>         root=/dev/hda2
>         initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.22-x1.gz
>         append="single rw acpi=on "
> image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667
>  label=Fedora
>  vga=normal
>  root=/dev/hda5
>  initrd=/boot/initrd-2.6.9-1.667.img

# Some images in / and some in /boot?  Sounds suspicious, but you
obviously don't even get that far.


Now I can help out a bit with the GRUB prompt, provided you know what
your boot partition is.
First thing you should know is that GRUB has its own hard disk labelling
scheme, such that hda is (hd0), hda1 is (hd0,0) hda2 is (hd0,1), hdb is
(hd1), etc.
>From you GRUB prompt, you should be able to do this, assuming your boot
partition is hda1, also known as (hd0,0):

grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> kernel /vmlinux-2.6.9-1.667 root=/dev/hda5
grub> initrd /initrd-2.6.9-1.667.img
grub> boot

And that should boot up Fedora.  If it doesn't, try replacing (hd0,0)
with (hd0,4), and prefix your kernel and initrd image paths with (hd0,0)
or its correct equivalent.  Do not change the root=/dev/hda5 bit unless
you have deceived us with your lies about the location of your Fedora
partition, but then you'll have to fix the (hd0,4) thing to the right
place, too.
Hoping it *does* boot from either of those, from that point, if you look
up how to make a menu.lst from GRUB (Fedora should have a utility to do
this for you automagically anyway IIRC), you might find you have a
better bootloader.  Of course, you might also prefer to persevere with
LILO.  Certainly if you like pretty splash screens you'll go for the
latter.  One advantage of GRUB is that you don't have to reinstall it in
the boot sector every time you change your menu slightly.

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