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Can syslinux boot all of my systems?
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creaker
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:09 am    Post subject: Can syslinux boot all of my systems? Reply with quote

Hi!
I'm using grub2 and right now grub boots these systems:
1. Gentoo-3.8.13
2. Gentoo-3.10.7
3. Another one Gentoo-3.8.13
4. Win-Xp
5. Win-7
6. Mint Live ISO

The question is: can syslinux do the same? As I understood syslinux is a set of independent boot-loaders: syslinux, extlinux, isolinux and so on. Each of them works with its own filesystem type: fat/ntfs, ext*, iso9660.
Is it possible to manage the systems I have installed simultaneously? I've read some articles, but all of them describes how to make multiboot pendrives with bootable images, not a systems that already installed at hard drive.
Any sample or link ?
Thanks.
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SlashBeast
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can, mint uses isolinux, it's config works flawless with extlinux. You will must need ext2/3/4 partition big enough to handle the squashfs of mint and it will work.

syslinux by design have almost no not essential features so all kernel images and initramfs if created will need to be on single partition where extlinux is installed. for windows you chainboot and for mint you load kernel + initramfs + proper argument to show where squashfs image is.
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creaker
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for reply!

SlashBeast wrote:

syslinux by design have almost no not essential features so all kernel images and initramfs if created will need to be on single partition where extlinux is installed

Is this means that I have to create dedicated cross-systems /boot that I have to use with all of my Linux systems?

SlashBeast wrote:
for windows you chainboot and for mint you load kernel + initramfs + proper argument to show where squashfs image is.


Have I to install syslinux twice at both (Win-XP and Win-7) ntfs partitions in addition to extlinux?
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SlashBeast
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You chainboot to windows's boot loader. I believe windows can only boot bootloader from first primary mbr partition so both entry for winxp and win7 is there, you just chainboot there.

And yes, you do need a single /boot with kernels. Your list is really confusing as you put Gentoo and kernel version twice, anyway, its pretty streight forward.

bootloader load kernel + optional initramfs and execute kernel with params that were passed from bootloader, like root=XXX to let kernel know what device use as rootfs.
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Anon-E-moose
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting post on this subject http://jasonwryan.com/blog/2012/07/09/syslinux/
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creaker
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for replies.
I found that linux systems can be booted without separate /boot. It may be done by installing extlinux for each existing linux installation.
One main loader at mbr and dedicated loaders for each system at their partitions.
Right now I tried to chain from Grub2 (as main loader) to extlinux that personally dedicated for one of my systems. It works. So I think it will be possible to chain from mbr syslinux to extlinux as well.
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

extlinux requires ext or btrfs... no JFS, or reiserfs boot partitions.... simple file system /boot on a separate partition makes that an easy requirement to satisfy. i have boot on / of this machine, 2 partitions, 1 swap 1 /.....

moral of the story, if you use jfs or reiserfs syslinux is a BAD choice because you're going to be strong armed into supporting more file systems.

syslinux is for ntfs and other poorly crafted file systems.
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