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Re: playing nice with other OSs

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: playing nice with other OSs
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2017 23:43:33 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)


Chris Marusich <address@hidden> skribis:

> Federico Beffa <address@hidden> writes:
>> Hi,
>> I'm looking into the possibility of installing GuixSD in parallel with
>> another operating system on a single machine (dual boot).  Looking
>> into the code (gnu system grub) I see that the GRUB "linux" and
>> "initrd" commands are hardwired into the code.  This appears to make
>> the definition of a <menu-entry> for another operating system
>> (GNU/Hurd, NetBSD, Windows, ...) impossible.  Am I right, or am I
>> overlooking something?
> I think it's possible, but only for other GNU/Linux distributions, and
> only when not chain loading.

Yup, you’re both right.  :-)

>> If the above is correct and we want to make GuixSD play nicely with
>> others, then I suppose that we will have to modify the <menu-entry>
>> record.  I see two possibilities:
>> * We could try to generalize the fields along the lines of linux ->
>> kernel, initrd -> kernel-boot-helpers, ...
>> * Define operating system specific records such as <linux-menu-entry>,
>> <hurd-menu-entry>, <chainloader-menu-entry>, ..., where the content of
>> the fields for the systems not handled by GuixSD would come from the
>> user operating-system file configuration.
>> I personally prefer the second approach. What do you think?
> At first blush, I guess the second approach seems more intuitive to me.
> I don't dual boot, so I don't have a vested interest in seeing this
> feature implemented, but if it can be done reasonably, why not do it?

The second solution sounds good, but I wonder if it would be overkill
for the purpose we have in mind.

Another possibility is to simply add an “escape route” where people can
provide text to paste into grub.cfg (either as a string or as an sexp
that’s then converted to a string).  Not as nice but easier.

OTOH, a <hurd-menu-entry> would be useful to GuixSD on GNU/Hurd.

Also, perhaps it’s a case where SRFI-99-style inheritance would help.



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