Not understanding Grub
Hello, I plan on putting Gentoo back on my box soon but on my slave drive. I have used Lilo and only Lilo with Gentoo (and everything else, unless a distro auto configures Grub for me). I'd like to switch over to Grub when I install Gentoo the next time. I tried to do this last week or so with it being hd1,0 I thought that it would be this but it gave me a kernel panic so I scrapped it. It makes the most sense though - the number one because it is the slave drive and 0 for the first partition for boot. I'm not really understanding Grub at all, I know that it is quite hard to help me without a specific question or me posting what my grub.list file is but are there any helpful hints before I go and try to install Gentoo with using Grub as the bootloader? I have tried reading the docs for Grub and the Gentoo handbook but everything assumes that you want to install to the master drive, which is annoying. Thanks.
When you say it assumes you want to install to the master drive, I believe those are just examples.
Or you might be referring to putting Grub on the MBR. This is a necessity, In order for Grub to be able to boot your OS, it needs to be on the MBR. Unless you want to put it on a floppy of course.
You are right that the first partition on the slave drive would be (hd1,0) or /dev/hdb1.
The kernel panic might be due to an error in your /etc/fstab.
If there is an error in your grub.conf it will also throw a kernel panic error. A mount point block (0,0) error is a error in the kernel line. Lately, the initrd line makes gentoo throw an kernel panic message/halt.
If you want to understand how Grub boots and what it "sees", I'd suggest making a Grub boot floppy and then trying different things. If you have Grub installed (not necessarily as the bootloader: you just need the Grub package on the system), you can read the instructions for creating a boot floppy if you do 'info grub' then choose 'Installation' and then find the section on installing to a floppy disk (press 'q' to quit from the 'info' command). I think the commands are these:
With a generic Grub boot floppy you can boot to the 'grub>' prompt and then "manually" boot your system. Grub has a useful filename completion feature. If, at the grub> prompt, you do: 'kernel (hd1,0)/ <tab>' Grub will list the directory of the partition that it recognizes as (hd1,0). You can drill down into the directories to find any file you want: 'kernel (hd1,0)/boot/ <tab>' will show the kernels and any other files and directories in the /boot subdirectory on partition (hd1,0) if the /boot directory exists.
The cool thing is, you can poke around extensively without ever booting your system until you are ready. The Grub boot floppy can also be used to install Grub to the MBR "natively" and it serves as a useful rescue boot disk.
Hmm.. ok thanks.
I just completed my Gentoo Stage 1 install last night so I threw Lilo on there, it's very easy to configure so I figured there would be no problem - there wasn't. I also was just finishing up on the install at about 1 am last night so I didn't really want to have to deal with a kernel panic on that first boot if I messed something up so I just did Lilo. I can later mask Grub over it if I really feel like it, just add the Grub package, install from the prompt "Grub>" thing and tell it to go to the mbr, etc. I'm just a bit confused because of all the examples are written for Gentoo to be installed to the master is all. I might make a Grub floppy and go from there.