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Author Topic: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive  (Read 2487 times)

Offline Len E.

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My computers are generally set up in multi-boot fashion with Windows
and several Linux distros installed.  I frequently rely on a Ubuntu
derivative to manage a boot partition,  and an associated boot list
from which to select the distro of interest.  This boot list approach
doesn't seem to work for Tiny Core, but fortunately there are other
alternatives.

I've found that, provided CorePlus is installed in a primary disk partition,
not a logical partition which is part of an extended partition, the PLop
boot loader, or Super Grub Version 2.02s3, running from a CD, will
boot up CorePlus directly after a simple frugal install with no problem.

(PLop can only access the first 3 partitions per hard drive).
(Super Grub Version 2.02s3 is not the latest version; last April 1, I
 encountered hacker-installed April Fool's Day nuisance messages
 with later versions).

If CorePlus is installed in a logical partition, a boot loader must be
installed with it.   I found a "how-to" procedure from 2009 on the
web, and have applied it specifically to my current situation, as
described in the attached file, grubinstall.txt.

Hopefully, this is of some interest .................

Len E.

Offline Len E.

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Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 02:04:55 PM »
Some details  I forgot to include in the initial post:

-The initial frugal intall was from a bootable USB created
 from the .iso with unetbootin.
-The usb device is sdd1
-The target hard drive partition is sda7
-The boot loader install takes place immediately after the
  frugal install, with the usb still mounted.

Len E.

Offline mocore

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Re: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 05:18:50 PM »
I frequently rely on a Ubuntu
derivative to manage a boot partition,  and an associated boot list
from which to select the distro of interest.  This boot list approach
doesn't seem to work for Tiny Core, but fortunately there are other
alternatives.

Hi i read your post but i do not understand
 ..what is "this boot list approach" ( perhaps some scripts that create automagically a boot cfg ? )
..and how or why do it "not seem to work for Tiny Core"   ???



Offline polikuo

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Re: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 07:22:26 PM »
Hi Len E.
I don't use GRUB that much, but I'm pretty sure you can use an existing bootable grub partition to boot TC.
Just copy core.gz (corepure64.gz) and vmlinuz (vmlinuz64) to your grub partition.
Edit your grub.cfg and you should be good to go.

For instance, let's say your bootable partition is /dev/sda1.
Code: [Select]
tc@box:~$ cp core.gz vmlinuz /mnt/sda1/boot
tc@box:~$ vi /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/grub.cfg
Quote
### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
menuentry 'TinyCore' {
   set root="(hd0,msdos1)"
   linux /boot/vmlinuz tce=UUID="82349d6b-6363-41ec-99a8-1238649cba45"
   initrd /boot/core.gz
}
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
For UUID:
Code: [Select]
tc@box:~$ blkid -s UUID /dev/sda7
/dev/sda7: UUID="82349d6b-6363-41ec-99a8-1238649cba45"

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 10:06:19 PM »
Hi Len E.
I don't use GRUB that much, but I'm pretty sure you can use an existing bootable grub partition to boot TC.
Just copy core.gz (corepure64.gz) and vmlinuz (vmlinuz64) to your grub partition.
Edit your grub.cfg and you should be good to go.
Exactly, add only the menu entry for the new system to the config file.     

It's always good to see folks roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, but It's really easy..    Folks seem to make this more difficult than it needs to be..

Note:  Super Grub is more of a recovery disk and not really necessary,  grub2 extension is in the repo if you wish to update grub files or reinstall if you insist,  just follow the information in the extension info files.

 8)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 10:09:52 PM by coreplayer2 »

Offline Len E.

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Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 10:23:20 PM »
Hi mocore:

My comments are largely based on limited experience on one of
my test machines configured as follows:

sda1      ntfs        Windows 7                 primary partition
sda2      ext4       1 GB boot partition     primary partition
sda3      ext4       a Linux distro              primary partition
sda4                                                       extended partition
sda5      ext4       a Linux distro              logical partition
sda6      ext4       a Linux distro              logical partition
sda7      ext4       Bodhi 4.3.1                  logical partition
sda8      swap                                         logical partition

Bodhi 4.3.1 is installed with sda2 as its boot partition, sda7 as its / (root) partition.

Bodhi, as a Ubuntu derivative, has the update-grub command available to update
the current chain list of distros in sda2 after any new installations in the other partitions.

I am not nearly as adept as polikuo is on maintaining the menu entries in the sda2
boot partition, so I rely on the update-grub command in Bodhi to do that.

At one point, I did a straight-forward frugal install of CorePlus 8.2.1 in sda3,
and found it accessible with Plop or Super Grub Version 2.02s3 directly.

At another time, I did the frugal install followed by the grub-0.97 install as initially
described in this post into sda6.   I then invoked Bodhi, and ran update-grub,
and expected to be able to boot CorePlus up from Plop accessing sda2, but it
didn't work.  Somehow, the chaining from sda2 to sda6 didn't work.
I was able to boot into sda6 directly with Super Grub and bring CorePlus up o.k.

Throughout all this, the MBR is untouched, and with no external boot loader
employed, the machine boots up in Windows 7.

***************************************************************
(My intended use of CorePlus is for a very old, small laptop with only an sda1 root
 partition and a sda2 swap partition, but while I'm finding my way on my other machines,
 I've run into  these boot-up intricacies).

Hope this now makes more sense .......

Len E.

Offline Misalf

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Re: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 10:00:10 AM »
I believe the  update-grub  command creates a fresh  grub.cfg  file based on the operating systems it finds and knows about. It doesn't know about Tiny Core though and won't create a boot stanza for it.
However, one can add a boot stanza for Tiny Core in the file  custom.cfg , which is untouched by the  update-grub  command but sourced by  grub.cfg  by default.
Code: [Select]
### BEGIN custom ###
if [ -f  ${config_directory}/custom.cfg ]; then
  source ${config_directory}/custom.cfg
elif [ -z "${config_directory}" -a -f  $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then
  source $prefix/custom.cfg;
fi
### END custom ###
Download a copy and keep it handy: Core book ;)

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 11:38:20 AM »
I got be honest here, using two boot managers to choose between various systems seems a little complicated and unnecessary unless there's some security advantage to this technique..   IMO its better to ditch the windows boot loader, install Grub2 which can boot windows or any version of Linux you desire all from one menu.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 11:40:59 AM by coreplayer2 »

Offline Len E.

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Use of external boot loaders with CorePlus frugal install on hard drive
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 04:25:24 PM »
Thanks to some definitive, expert advice from GNUser in the last day
or two in connection with the recent post,   "Configure LILO to
boot Tiny Core Plus",  this old post can finally be closed off properly.

The test machine I refer to in the "Configure LILO ...."    post is the
same machine described in detail at the start of this old post.

My terminology herein has been confusing at times.   The
"boot list"  I refer to is more correctly termed the "Grub menu",
as pointed out by GNUser.

The configuration as described herein is unnecessarily complicated,
based on my early ignorance about ensuring that Windows controls
the mbr.   The smarter way, given that a Ubuntu or Debian derivative
is to control the grub menu, is to have its boot loader installed to the mbr.
The desired functionality is the same either way.

In this post, Misalf referred  to concept of using a custom.cfg file in the
Ubuntu or Debian derivative, but at the time, I really didn't understand
what he was suggesting.    In the "Configure LILO ..." post, GNuser
prescribes a simple implementation of a custom.cfg  which worked
for CorePlus with the lilo boot loader.   I've just applied it to
CorePlus with the grub-legacy-0.9997 boot loader installed, and it works
just fine.

Len E.