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amenditman

Advice on setting up new ArchLinux installation using GRUB2

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amenditman

Long story short - I need to re-install Arch on my main desktop and want you Grub2 experts to advise me on how to do it.

 

Short stroy long - I am posting this from my LiveUSB of PartedMagic (yes I just made my monthly donation to Patrick Verner who is the developer). Why am I posting this from PartedMagic you ask? Good question!

Two days ago I decided to make Clonezilla images of all my computers, I have not done so in several months and it was overdue. Laptop went smooth and fast (SSD/USB3.0, 'nuff said). Wife's/son's computer no problems. Half way through creating the image on my desktop Clonezilla froze, froze hard, and would not resume, cancel, or quit. I tried to kill the process on the cli, no go. I tried to kill it with no holds barred, no go. So I had to hard shutdown the machine with the power switch (I hate doing that but sometimes you just have to). I don't know yet if it was a problem with the discs, the filesystem, or the hardware. I'll get to that after I have made copies of all my files, I have copies on several online storage systems and local copies, but you can never be too sure.

Since I have been having misc. little issues with graphics, gtk integration, and flashplugin crashing all the time (caused by my tinkering, except maybe flash it just sucks) I want to do a fresh install. If I am going to do a fresh install, I might as well learn about GRUB2 and do it from the start. Also, since I have had very little trouble from systemd on the laptop, I will upgrade the desktop to systemd now also.

 

So what do you advise for a fresh install using GRUB2 from the start?

Are there any special things to do during the installer?

Do I need to make any other related changes to make it all work?

 

I've read the ArchWiki and the GRUB2 docs online, but you know it's always better to have someone who's done it talk you through it.

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V.T. Eric Layton

This may be a job for Ian. Josh and I don't do GRUB2.

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amenditman
This may be a job for Ian. Josh and I don't do GRUB2.

Yet! :hysterical: :clap2:

 

Until just a few weeks ago we didn't do systemd either.

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securitybreach

Yet! :hysterical: :clap2:

 

Until just a few weeks ago we didn't do systemd either.

 

Well the bootloader is different as nothing else depends upon it and it just does one thing, boot distros. I could theoretically keep grub-legacy for a decade if I wanted as grub is just a simple tool that just allows you to choose the distro you want. Grub is just a bootloader and nothing else. If I needed extra features, I could install Grub2 but nothing is keeping me from using Grub-legacy if I want. It is a matter of choice and I think Grub-legacy works just fine so I do not plan on ever using Grub2 unless I mess up my bootloader and grub-legacy is unavailable.

 

That said, I am sorry but I am not familiar with Grub2 and do not ever plan on upgrading to it if I have a choice. I do not need extra features and would rather manually edit my menu.lst than jump through hoops with Grub2. You only see it for a second or two, so who cares if you have fancy graphics or not B)

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V.T. Eric Layton

GRUB2? NEVER! NEVER, SAYS I! ARRRRRRRGH! :pirate:

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amenditman

I see this as an opportunity to learn a few new things which I have been putting off for a long time.

 

GPT to replace MBR (required for GRUB2) and soon it will be required for UEFI replacing BIOS (thanks Windows 8/Microsoft)

GRUB2 has some very interesting features including boot from ISO file, run your Live CD without a disc (saving the planet)

systemd inside and out (Yeah right!)

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V.T. Eric Layton

Alright! Our next guru. Please remember us little guys once you achieve Linux Nirvana, Bob. ;)

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sunrat
GPT to replace MBR (required for GRUB2) and soon it will be required for UEFI replacing BIOS (thanks Windows 8/Microsoft)

Just to elucidate a bit, UEFI is not a Microsoft sole initiative. The UEFI spec is controlled by the UEFI Forum which has members from American Megatrends, Dell, HP, IBM, Insyde Software, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies.

Microsoft is responsible for insisting that Secure Boot, which is just one feature of UEFI, be enable for all Windows 8 computers. This will cause problems for anyone wishing to boot another OS from such a computer.

 

GRUB 2 is pretty easy once you learn the basics, and makes some tasks even easier than legacy GRUB, multibooting in particular.

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amenditman

I figure none of it is really "hard", just new and different.

 

BIOS has been around so long I don't even think about what I am doing anymore, I just know. It is being replaced with something new, fancy, and different (UEFI) and I have to learn it as most of my service customers like to buy newer computers every few years.

 

GPT is replacing MBR and is required for UEFI and GRUB2. Imagine, up to 128 partitions per disk without messing with logical partitions.

Edited by amenditman

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Peachy

Just to be clear, GPT disks are not a requirement for GRUB2. GRUB2 works perfectly fine on MBR disks; in fact, most GRUB2 installations are buggy with UEFI/GPT but that seems to be getting fixed compared to before March of 2012. If you plan on multibooting Windows 7 on GPT/UEFI with Linux I'd recommend using rEFInd boot manager. Earlier this year I managed to setup a mulitboot UEFI/GPT disk with Windows 8/7/Server/PE running in Native VHD with Ubuntu 12.04 (GRUB2), openSUSE 12.1 (ELILO), and BackTrack 5 (GRUB Legacy). The GRUB2 acted as the bootloader for the BackTrack installation and it was also capable of booting the openSUSE partition and Windows partitions. But rEFInd was the default boot manager for the whole system.

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ichase

It has been a while since I upgraded both of my Arch builds from legacy to Grub2, but I can say the transition was not difficult at all. There are of course differences between the two and the documention for both easily explains this: Grub Legacy Manual Grub2 Manual I by NO MEANS am saying RTFM, I am just saying that there are some differences and these 2 manuals helped me immensely in learning this. I'm am a novice Linux user, and even more so when I upgraded Arch to Grub2. I can honestly say it was a pretty easy transition. I understand Grub2 more than I did Grub because my Linux adventure started with Mandriva 2010 One which used Grub2. To me, it is real easy to configure, easy to identify OS's installed on your partitions even if you have multipe hard drives installed or if you even have OS's installed on an external hard drive. One command line function finds them all (provided in Arch you have OS Prober installed) You may have to deal with manually going in and changing the partition number a particular OS is installed on due to the differences on how Legacy and Grub2 read them. IE SDA1 may show as SDA0?

 

The bottom line is, if I CAN DO IT, all of you are far more advanced in your Linux knowledge than I am so I know this will be a walk in the park. ;)

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amenditman

<p>

Just to be clear, GPT disks are not a requirement for GRUB2. GRUB2 works perfectly fine on MBR disks; in fact, most GRUB2 installations are buggy with UEFI/GPT but that seems to be getting fixed compared to before March of 2012.
<p>Thanks for the clarification.

 

The bottom line is, if I CAN DO IT, all of you are far more advanced in your Linux knowledge than I am so I know this will be a walk in the park. ;)

The transition was painless. A few new things to learn, but very easy so far.We'll see what happens when I break something and have to fix it.

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