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partition layouts

From: Hollis Blanchard
Subject: partition layouts
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 19:38:29 -0500

I've been thinking about how to install grub2 on an Open Firmware system. Here's one possibility:
        /boot -- Linux-native filesystem (e.g. ext3)
                holds kernels, initrd, etc
/boot/grub -- firmware-native filesystem (on Mac HFS+, on others FAT, etc)
                holds grub executable, grub.cfg, modules

The grub ELF file must live on a firmware-native filesystem. When run, it can find out what partition it was booted from, so that is a natural place to load grub.cfg from as well (and why not modules while we're at it?). Thus this is the value of the "prefix" GRUB environment variable.

When booting kernels from another partition though, we're left with something like this:
        title Linux
                linux (hd,7)/vmlinux-foo root=/dev/hda12
                initrd (hd,7)/initrd-foo

[To summarize:
(hd,5) -- /boot/grub
(hd,7) -- /boot
(hd,11) -- /

Can we have a shortcut to avoid specifying that "(hd,7)/" part repeatedly? I think that was the "root" command in GRUB Legacy, which was replaced by the "prefix" environment variable? But as I mentioned, "prefix" doesn't have the meaning we're looking for here...

The other possibility is to have all of /boot as a firmware-native filesystem. I think that's not ideal though, because those filesystems (HFS+, FAT) might not support features like symlinks or Unix-style permissions, or may not be as well-tested as Linux-native filesystems.


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