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Thread: Blessable Boot Partition

  1. #1
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    Blessable Boot Partition

    Hello.
    I currently have all my Linux files on one ext3 partition.
    I would like to move all of my boot files to a separate partition (with a filesystem that I can mount (r/w) in Mac OS X)
    It would have to be HFS, HFS+ (preferable), MSDOS (FAT12, 16 or 32), or UFS.
    That way I can, mount it in OSX, run the bless command, add my own volume icon and labelfile, and use my firmware's built in boot menu instead of that awful rEFIt.
    If that's impossible, I can move the boot files to an ext2 volume, which the firmware can boot from, but I can't bless them if I do that.
    I was able to do something like this when I was using Fedora. Is there a way I can do this in Ubuntu?

  2. #2
    pxwpxw's Avatar
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    Quote Originally Posted by user12021 View Post
    Hello.
    I currently have all my Linux files on one ext3 partition.
    I would like to move all of my boot files to a separate partition (with a filesystem that I can mount (r/w) in Mac OS X)
    It would have to be HFS, HFS+ (preferable), MSDOS (FAT12, 16 or 32), or UFS.
    That way I can, mount it in OSX, run the bless command, add my own volume icon and labelfile, and use my firmware's built in boot menu instead of that awful rEFIt.
    If that's impossible, I can move the boot files to an ext2 volume, which the firmware can boot from, but I can't bless them if I do that.
    I was able to do something like this when I was using Fedora. Is there a way I can do this in Ubuntu?
    By boot files, do you mean the boot loader or the whole /boot directory (vmlinuz intird.img ...)? Why would you need to use a separate /boot?

    You can put an efi bootloader (which I am using) in Macosx or any hfsplus partition and use macosx to bless it and maintain it.

    Refit can show custom icons.

    On the Apple boot screen (without refit) I can show small graphical labels using bless --labelfile, have not so far managed to change the big Apple icons.

    The grub.efi bootloader works well, the current development requires disabling accelerated graphics (agpgart *_agp ).

    Refit is a very useful tool, keep it, even if you dont boot with it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    By boot files, do you mean the boot loader or the whole /boot directory (vmlinuz intird.img ...)? Why would you need to use a separate /boot?
    That's what i had when using Fedora, but I don't really need it. It can just be the bootloader.

    You can put an efi bootloader (which I am using) in Macosx or any hfsplus partition and use macosx to bless it and maintain it.
    That's what i'm trying to do.

    On the Apple boot screen (without refit) I can show small graphical labels using bless --labelfile, have not so far managed to change the big Apple icons.
    you can also use bless --label name
    i believe creating a file called .volumeicon.icns in the root level of the partition will do this.

    The grub.efi bootloader works well, the current development requires disabling accelerated graphics (agpgart *_agp ).
    it's compiling as i type
    Is that all I need to use?

  4. #4
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    What version have you got? (svn1913 here)

    edit /.volumeicons.icns
    works
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by pxwpxw; November 28th, 2008 at 03:43 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    I got it from subversion today, so it's probably the newest.

    I can't get it to work. If I try to choose grub from apple's boot menu, it just goes straight to rEFIt.
    If I try to choose grub from rEFIt, it says "unsupported while loading grub.efi"
    What am I doing wrong?

    Also, what should my grub.cfg file look like?
    my disk is formatted like this:
    OSX on 2nd partition
    Grub on 3rd
    Linux on 4th

  6. #6
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    Quote Originally Posted by user12021 View Post
    I got it from subversion today, so it's probably the newest.

    I can't get it to work. If I try to choose grub from apple's boot menu, it just goes straight to rEFIt.
    If I try to choose grub from rEFIt, it says "unsupported while loading grub.efi"
    What am I doing wrong?

    Also, what should my grub.cfg file look like?
    my disk is formatted like this:
    OSX on 2nd partition
    Grub on 3rd
    Linux on 4th
    Probably missing some modules, but you got a start.
    grub.efi should be around 250KB with the preloaded modules.

    I am just putting together a grub efi tarball here with working grub.efi grub.cfg and modules, should help you, should be about an hour. Would be glad to get your reactions.

    For that I will open a new thread with a more grubby title.

    Here is some of it -
    ----------------------
    These are the preloaded modules in my grub.efi -

    apple appleldr boot cat chain configfile cpio date ext2 echo fat gpt help hexdump hfs hfsplus iso9660 linux ls normal pc reboot reiserfs scsi search sleep xfs

    These are all the modules in the grub directory alongside grub.efi
    Code:
    pxw@wdc:~/src/grub2/build$ ls *.mod
    acorn.mod        _chain.mod      echo.mod     help.mod      ls.mod        raid6rec.mod  terminfo.mod
    affs.mod         chain.mod       elf.mod      hexdump.mod   lspci.mod     raid.mod      test.mod
    afs.mod          cmp.mod         ext2.mod     hfs.mod       lvm.mod       read.mod      udf.mod
    amiga.mod        configfile.mod  fat.mod      hfsplus.mod   mdraid.mod    reboot.mod    ufs.mod
    appleldr.mod     cpio.mod        font.mod     iso9660.mod   minix.mod     reiserfs.mod  vga_text.mod
    apple.mod        cpuid.mod       fshelp.mod   jfs.mod       normal.mod    scsi.mod      xfs.mod
    at_keyboard.mod  crc.mod         fs_uuid.mod  kernel.mod    ntfscomp.mod  search.mod
    blocklist.mod    datehook.mod    gpt.mod      _linux.mod    ntfs.mod      sfs.mod
    boot.mod         date.mod        gzio.mod     linux.mod     pci.mod       sleep.mod
    bufio.mod        datetime.mod    halt.mod     loadenv.mod   pc.mod        sun.mod
    cat.mod          dm_nv.mod       hello.mod    loopback.mod  raid5rec.mod  terminal.mod
    --------------------
    grub.cfg
    Code:
    ## grub svn v1913 configure --with-platform=efi
    ## 20081128 pxw
    ## example
    ## comments apply to MacBook2,1 with 1 internal HD and CD, used with various external drives.
    ## linux root=/dev/sdxx and grub loads kernel from root=(hdx,x). Will need check/edit. 
    ##
    timeout=20 
    ## first menuentry is 0 
    default=0
    fallback=1
    ## for booting from 'e' edited menuentry control x does not work.
    set F1=ctrl-x
    set F2=ctrl-c
    #
    # boot the first macosx found
    menuentry "search MacOSX" {
    	search --set /usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi
    	chainloader /usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi
    }
    #
    # search for vmlinuz starts from (hd0,1)
    # with only one drive (no cd or usb) it will be grub (hd0) and linux /dev/sda
    # boot first /vmlinuz found and use linux root=/dev/sda4 
    menuentry "search-vmlinuz root=sda4" {
    	search --set  /vmlinuz
     linux  /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4  agp=off video=efifb
     initrd  /initrd.img
    }
    #
    # with a usb drive present usb is (hd0) but /dev/sdb, internl hd is (hd1) but sda
    # usb will be found first
    menuentry "search-vmlinuz root=sdb3" {
    	search --set  /vmlinuz
     linux  /vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb3  agp=off video=efifb
     initrd  /initrd.img
    }
    #
    # boot ubuntu on HD (hd1) at /dev/sda4.
    # 
    # boot (hd1,4)/vmlinuz and use root=/dev/sda4 
    menuentry "set hd1,4 vmlinuz" {
      root=(hd1,4)
      linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4 ro video=efifb
      initrd /initrd.img
    }
    # appleloader boots from internals only - cd or hd. 
    menuentry "Boot from ISO CD" {
       appleloader CD
    }
    menuentry "Boot from HD MBR" {
       appleloader HD
    }
    ## optional extras
    menuentry "Partition List" {
    	ls -l
    	sleep 5
    }
    menuentry "Where am I" {
    set
    ls
    date
    echo "sda2?? edit this"
    sleep 10
    }
    menuentry "REBOOT" {
    	reboot
    }
    menuentry "set pager=1" {
    	set pager=1
    }
    ##
    Last edited by pxwpxw; November 28th, 2008 at 07:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    More on new thread
    grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=995704

  8. #8
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    It almost works:
    when I choose Linux in GRUB, It prints a bunch of text for about 3 seconds, then every five seconds it prints this:
    Code:
    ata5.00: status: { DRDY }
    ata5: soft resetting link
    ata5.00: configured for PIO0
    ata5: EH complete
    ata5.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
    ata5.00: cmd a0/00:00:00:24:00/00:00:00:00:00/a0 tag 0 pio 36 in
             cdb 12 00 00 00 24 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
             res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/ Emask 0x4 (timeout)
    At 30 seconds, it says this, then continues to print the first one over and over
    Code:
    Done.
    Gave up waiting for root device. Common problems:
    - Boot args (cat /proc/cmdline)
      - Check rootdelay= (did the system wait long enough?)
      - check root= (did the system wait for the right device?)
    - Missig modules (cat /proc/modules;ls /dev)
    ALERT! /dev/sda4 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!
    I know it must be a problem with my grub.cfg file.
    I used the one that you uploaded, but I know that probably won't work.
    What should I change to get it to work on my system?

  9. #9
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    We can fix those. You have got grub loading the kernel vmlinuz and initrd.img, so it has done its job, there are just a few more things to do.

    1. The ata5 timeout (probably the cd drive) just needs adding a kernel arg in the grub.cfg linux line, I have had to use it, but I will have to go find what it is.
    It may depend on the Mac model - what is it?.

    2. < ALERT /dev/sda4 does not exist>

    just needs you to change the linux root device partition number from 4
    in linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4

    In my grub.cfg you have -
    Code:
    menuentry "search-vmlinuz root=sda4" {
    	search --set  /vmlinuz
     linux  /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4  agp=off video=efifb
     initrd  /initrd.img
    }
    It might be /dev/sda3, if you just have Macosx and Linux.
    (There is an empty 200MB EFI partition at /dev/sda1).

    To find the partition number, use the grub menuentry Partition List or the grub commandline 'c'
    Code:
    grub> ls -l
    grub> search /vmlinuz
    You can use the grub menu editor 'e' and edit the menuentry, F1 will boot from there, then fix it from macosx editor.

    3. After fixing that, the next stop will be at the end of the startup messages, when the agpgart and any *_agp modules are loaded, the screen goes to black, just beforee it gets to a text console.

    These need to be blacklisted by editing /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist or by adding another blacklist file. I will post this in the other thread, I forgot it there also.

    Since you can't write to the ubuntu ext3 file system from macosx,
    it will be easiest to use your ubuntu install cd if it is a live cd.
    At the same time, if you have installed a desktop, you can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use Driver "fbdev", or you can do that from a root console.

    I will add info on that also, its a small one.

    Edit:
    agp blacklist and desktop xorg.conf for fbdev now on grub efi thread
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=995704
    Last edited by pxwpxw; November 29th, 2008 at 07:31 AM. Reason: link to agp info

  10. #10
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    Re: Blessable Boot Partition

    the model of my mac is macbook 2,1 (aka santa rosa)

    i tried many combinations of /dev/sda# but none of them worked
    the comm and "search /vmlinuz" says vmlinuz is on hd0,4
    setting root to hd0,4 does not work
    setting root to the partition's uuid did not work
    copying /dev from my linux partition to my grub partition did not work

    i haven't done the blacklist thing yet, or the xorg.conf thing yet

    while in grub's terminal, i tried search /dev/, search /dev/sda4, and other things, but it never found any devices

    what else can i do?

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