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[bug #37454] grub2 will not install to an ext2 ext3 ext4 partition

From: Chris Murphy
Subject: [bug #37454] grub2 will not install to an ext2 ext3 ext4 partition
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 21:35:14 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_5) AppleWebKit/537.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/22.0.1229.79 Safari/537.4


                 Summary: grub2 will not install to an ext2 ext3 ext4
                 Project: GNU GRUB
            Submitted by: chrismurphy
            Submitted on: Thu 27 Sep 2012 09:35:14 PM GMT
                Category: Installation
                Severity: Major
                Priority: 5 - Normal
              Item Group: Software Error
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: 
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
                 Release: other
         Reproducibility: Every Time
         Planned Release: None



Description of problem:
grub2-install /dev/sdb1, with or without --force, fails to install to ext[234]
formatted partitions.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:
100% for ext4, i.e. /boot on its own partition formatted as ext4

Steps to Reproduce:
1. new blank disk
2. gpt or mbr partitioned, 1GB
3. mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1
4. Either
grub2-install /dev/sdb1
grub2-install --force /dev/sdb1

Actual results:
/usr/sbin/grub2-bios-setup: warning: File system `ext2' doesn't support
/usr/sbin/grub2-bios-setup: error: filesystem `btrfs' doesn't support

To test if there were file system changes, before grub2-install:
hexdump -C /dev/sdb1 > beforegrubinstall.bin
After grub2-install:
hexdump -C /dev/sdb1 > aftergrubinstall.bin
After grub2-install --force:
hexdump -C /dev/sdb1 > aftergrubforceinstall.bin

diff says these files are identical.

Expected results:
Unsure. History says it's possible to install grub this way but perhaps we're
supposed to place core.img on /dev/sdb1 and then chainload or multiboot it?
Documentation could be more clear on alternatives if installing to a partition
is not recommended; the idea is how to avoid stepping on a legacy bootloader
the user may want to retain, in multi-boot scenarios.

Additional info:
Attaching --debug file from grub2-install failure.

On irc.freenode.net #grub Jordan_U suggested: "grub-install shouldn't fail
just because we don't have an embedding area (even if we think users should,
and can, avoid this)."

Original bug filed against Fedora 18:


File Attachments:

Date: Thu 27 Sep 2012 09:35:14 PM GMT  Name: grubinstall_debugoutput.txt 
Size: 222kB   By: chrismurphy



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