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IG6: Is a /boot partition needed?
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pjp
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:01 pm    Post subject: IG6: Is a /boot partition needed? Reply with quote

Navigation: [Installing Gentoo] [Table of Contents]

Is a /boot partition needed?
  • Why you WOULD use a /boot partition:
    1. Work around HDD limitations (makes sense considering linux does not care what your bios thinks about your hardware, but your bios DOES care when its booting from a disk)
    2. The kernel being on a seperate filesystem will prevent a problem concerning other partitions from affecting the kernel itself. (note: a partition problem being "oops i mke2fs'd the wrong partition" not "darn i fdisked the wrong drive")
    3. Laziness [ease of installation] (e.g: "hey its in the docs, I do it... I dont have time for 20 questions")
    4. Grub cannot read certain types of partitions (mainly software RAID (grub is indifferent to hardware raid -- for the most part)) (note: does not apply to lilo (based on a post contained herein))
    5. Multiple distributions can easily share the same kernel
    6. Increased security from kernel tampering (minimal)
  • Why you would NOT use a /boot partition:
    1. Single point of failure (e.g. if i muff something up here i break all of my os's [linux only, or course])
    2. O.K. you can boot your system, you're still left with a corrupted / nonexistant / nonfunctional system and accompanying binaries (if applicable)
    3. Grub doesnt care where your kernel is as long as the right kernel= is supplied
    4. Multiple distributions sharing the same kernel isnt always a good thing... it can be trouble when you're first starting out to figure out why your newly built kernel that you built everything into for convenience wont load any of the manddrake modules when booting into mandrake...
    5. If you're backing up you should backup everything and not HOPE for an n tact boot partition
    6. Booting from a recovery cd is probably a more productive method of restoring your system then booting from a broken system (thus the reason for needing repairs)
    7. A saved .config and a few minutes is all it takes to rebuild the kernel if lost
    8. For someone new to linux the extra partitions (not to mention working with directories not mounted at boot time) can be an obstacle
With that in mind, a /boot partition is not a requirement. You must determine whether or not to use one.

See this post and this post for knowledgeable summaries. The originally referenced discussion appears to have been merged or accidentally deleted.
Content from apokalyptik's post.

Originally referenced discussion: See this thread for the complete discussion.
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