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Author Topic: bootloader  (Read 11608 times)

Offline cast-fish

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bootloader
« on: July 07, 2011, 02:01:46 PM »
Hello

is it possible to install Tiny Core Linux with the supplied wiki instuctions (Frugal) but not
involve any bootloader involvement?.

Simply install Tiny Core Linux to it's own partition (Frugal.)
(nothing else)

it appears that all the different wiki install methods and instructions often have automated
bootloader involvement....


Thankyou.

Offline maro

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 03:18:17 PM »
More or less every operating system needs a boot loader!! Just look at the mechanism used by WinXP (with 'ntldr', ntdetect.com, and configuration in 'boot.ini'). All this gets installed as part of the OS installation and you are never given any choice in this matter. For every (!) Linux system there needs to be first "something" that loads the kernel etc. into memory to then hand over control to it.

So, for any Linux system (even on its very own partition) you then have a choise between the likes of 'LILO', 'GRUB' and '(EXT|ISO|SYS)LINUX' which can be installed either for the entire disk (if there are multiple OS on maybe multiple volumes), or (additionally) specific for a volume (i.e. partition). You would in the latter case have a chain of boot loaders where the primary one (on disk level) hands over to the secondary one (on volume level) which might then load the target OS. The advantage of this mechanism is that it is quite flexible (e.g. 'GRUB4DOS') to co-exists and integrate with primary bootloaders (like 'ntldr') which are not known to "play nicely with others" (or are more difficult to install or repair on their own for many of their users which might not even be aware of their existence).

In the future the need to install a specific boot loader on PC hardware might become less so if something like Coreboot as BIOS would become widespread (but I for one am not holding my breath).

Offline ixbrian

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 06:35:44 PM »
I took a computer architecture class, and they told us that the term "booting" a computer originated from the phrase "pull yourself up by your bootstraps".   Basically, the before the computer can start running an operating system like Linux, there has to be some pretty low level software running (the bootloader) that can load and start up the complex operating system.

Brian

Offline Lee

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 08:06:10 PM »
Quote
is it possible to install Tiny Core Linux with the supplied wiki instuctions (Frugal) but not
involve any bootloader involvement?.

So the short answer is "no".

But it should be possible to install and configure a bootloader to boot tc in some standard way using sane defaults so that the boot loader would be transparent to the user.  This would seriously limit the versatility of the system - no opportunity to insert extra boot options, for instance.
32 bit core4.7.7, Xprogs, Xorg-7.6, wbar, jwm  |  - Testing -
PPR, data persistence through filetool.sh          |  32 bit core 8.0 alpha 1
USB Flash drive, one partition, ext2, grub4dos  | Otherwise similar

Offline beerstein

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 04:37:46 AM »
Hi:
How does "syslinux" play in here?
I think this what the original post was all about? - booting without grub,grub2 or these other bootloaders around
t(w)o be(ers) or not t(w)o be(ers) that is the question

Offline SvOlli

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 10:29:34 AM »
How does "syslinux" play in here?
I think this what the original post was all about? - booting without grub,grub2 or these other bootloaders around
From the official page http://syslinux.zytor.com/wiki/index.php/The_Syslinux_Project:
Quote
The Syslinux Project covers lightweight bootloaders for MS-DOS FAT filesystems (SYSLINUX), network booting (PXELINUX), bootable "El Torito" CD-ROMs (ISOLINUX), and Linux ext2/ext3/ext4 or btrfs filesystems (EXTLINUX).
Or in short: syslinux is a bootloader. And a discussion about what's the only "right" bootloader is almost the same as a discussion about what's the only "right" editor... And I found my swiss army knife of bootloaders, buy that's off-topic. ;)

Offline Jason W

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 11:15:52 AM »
Installing a bootloader when installing TC would not be needed if you already have a working Linux distro installed, just edit the existing LILO/Grub/whatever config file to include the Tinycore bzImage and tinycore.gz/microcore.gz files.


Offline vinceASPECT

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 05:20:27 AM »
Ok so *how* do i frugal install TCL without the procedure involving some automated bootloader involvment?

once i have achieved the above  (even without the machine already having some Grub or Lilo on it) would it then be true to say that i could boot the HDD frugal version of TCL by using TCL's own CD disc and the following command?

tc tce=sda3/tce home=sda3 restore=sda3

or similar

thanks


Offline Jason W

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2011, 06:55:24 AM »
That would go something  like this if you do not want to disturb the boot loader on the main machine, say if it is a Windows install or you don't have the ability to boot from USB devices.  Copy the tinycore.gz/microcore.gz files from the tinycore cd to a /boot directory on the hard drive, say /mnt/hda2/boot/.  If you don't know where they are on the CD, use a command like "find /mnt/hdc -name tinycore.gz" and "find /mnt/hdc -name bzImage". 

I am not sure the TC cd can boot from a kernel and initrd image on the hard drive, someone correct me if I am wrong.  But using a boot disk like "super grub disk 2" will boot the TC installation.  With the super grub disk, drop to a command line and enter commands like these at the grub> prompt:

insmod fat            (if on fat32)
root (hd0,2)           (if hda2 is where your files are)
linux /boot/bzImage   quiet tce=hda2/tce  home=hda2          (kernel image with boot codes)
initrd /boot/tinycore.gz            (tinycore initrd file)
boot

This will let you do without any installed boot loader if there is that need, but it is obviously not the easiest way to use TC.  And there are other ways besides the super grub disk, but I use super grub when dealing with a corrupt or missing boot loader.

Offline cast-fish

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2011, 07:00:20 AM »
Jason,

this is very helpfull....because there may very well be a need for me to do this.

The machine in question does not have grub or lilo....but a different bootloader
that is quite unique.

But i can bypass that HDD bootloader above by your instructions here.

People seem to have taken a while to grasp what my requirements are here.
(or to indeed find out if it was possible...and what tools and instructions to give)

i will check out your advice.

>

Online Rich

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 10:08:50 AM »
Hi cast-fish
Quote
Simply install Tiny Core Linux to it's own partition (Frugal.)
(nothing else)
This seems to be getting more complicated than necessary. If you have a separate partition format it
EXT2 (or 3 or 4) and boot with your Tinycore CD using   tinycore tce=sda3/tce home=sda3
I think that will do exactly what you are looking for.

Offline Jason W

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 11:14:59 AM »
I would do what Rich just said unless for some reason there is a need to use a different bzimage or tinycore.gz initrd than what is available on a standard tinycore cd.

Offline vinceASPECT

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2011, 11:38:34 AM »
Hello,

yes, i can't  quite explain why this subject got  complicated.....

my next question may have already been answered to the best of a members
knowledge... but i will try again.

Once i have performed a TCL frugal install, without involving any bootloader
set ups, is it then possible to use the "TCL CD disc" to get that "TCL hdd frugal" install
to boot up?

Thanks

>

Offline Jason W

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2011, 08:04:42 PM »
Isolinux needs to have it's bootable images contained within the iso according to the isolinux site.

So, no, the TC cd cannot be used to boot kernel or initrd images that are outside the bootable iso. 


Online Rich

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Re: bootloader
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2011, 11:01:55 PM »
Hi vinceASPECT
Your choices are to boot Linux from the CD or install a boot loader to boot Linux from a hard drive.
If you boot from the CD you can have your home, opt, and tce directories on the hard drive if you
wish. If you do this be sure to adjust the entries in /opt/.filetool.lst by removing any references to
any directories on the hard drive.