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- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Why most ditro force me to put GRUB on MBR?
Most of today’s X86 desktop are equipped with a SATA II disk channel and a DMA133 DVD ATA channel embedded into Intel 82801GB in 900 series chipset. The block device map hierarchy or boot order can be easily changed by OS and BIOS within PCI-E root. I have also invested in buying several versions of commercial boot loader such as System Commander. But any of such stage 1 boot loaders are useless when GRUB installs on MBR. Most Linux distribution does not seem to offer alternative to MBR install except authentic Redhat up to version 9 ended in 2004. Again . . . I do not want GRUB in MBR in any condition!
I am aware of that some versions of Unix like OS (like Solaris OS and Debian Linux) themselves are far smarter than GRUB, LILO or Windows OS themselves. But, what can you expect from GRUB or LILO with their space constraint and non TSR requirement? Even smarter OS like Solaris still have to rely on Stage 1 and 2 on boot loaders. A universal boot CD with an X front editor ability to load on temporary ramdisk would be a great help to edit GRUB parameters
Such tool should have rw-, - - -, - - - access to at least ufs, jfs, ext, ntfs to edit menu.lst in kernel boot location, grub.conf, lilo.conf, fstab, mtab and like in /etc. there are some thoughtless trend to move some of these to /var or put in symlinked file into /proc. To my opinion, such movements violate the fundamental philosophy of UNIX structuring - the people’s OS – that is a community developed OS for the people themselves.
I have developed a habit to save MBR, PBR EPBR, each of their CHS address into 512 byte files and a spreadsheet very early back in 1990’s using debug then with disksave programme and flag partition manually. Yes this does work as an OS selector but it takes 5 plus minutes to change boot OS selection using 4 to 6 floppies sometime.
I have been an ardent SCSI supporter from 1990’s and totally ignored other technologies such as including ATA. IDE. SATA, SAS, Fibre Channel, 1394 and USB. SCSI was so comfortable not being plug and play to the end, you can see it’s order by viewing jumper setting. I am now paying a rather high price of frustration as the outcome from the fixation to SCSI only policy then now trying to work on the SATA ATA mixed system. However, SCSI would solved all the above mentioned boot problems. My last batches of Cheetah 15.5 still outperform SATA II Velociraptors at an expense of 6X space factor per gigabytes due to cooling fan requirement (a 4” fan per every 2 Cheetahs). I have been rather giving SCSI channels 2 or 3 IRQ and not to give more than single pooled IRQ to sound and video cards. SCSI has been completely trouble free when you only connect 4 disk per channel maximum and also separate CD, scanners and like from disk channels hence my average system has 3 channels. There are the troubles that you can invite on SCSI of course, by enabling int 13 hook more than two channels at any one time or over 7 disks. The trouble can show up next day or even one month later. Disks start acting as if all infected with MBR/PBR virus. That was only an incident I ever experienced on SCSI for the last12 plus years. Of course you have to change out the HBA cards very 5 years or so after U160 ASIC era due to thermal fatigue on embedded FIFO memory falling down to async transfer mode. It does not happen on i803xx RISC controlled HBA since memories are bulk DIMMs.
Ironically SCSI shined throughout the lifetime of it’s inventor Allan Schugart (also a brilliant writer) who invented disk drive at IBM and later founded Seagate. After his death, physical form of SCSI bus has come quickly to halt, but command set still survives on USB, modern IDE/ATA, SATA, SAS and FC as ASPI layer but they are not true SCSI that insisted to be of manual setting device to the end. Yes even if you had X-Front or Win GUI configurator but we were manually changing flip flop switch setter bits in flash rom in lieu of jumpers. Hence all SCSI had very rigid reserved memory area in C000 to middle D800 so were Nvidia display, and Turtle Beach sound and they did not co-exist well unless you change the order of plus-in manually about a douzen times. If sound and video had jumper settings they may have co-exited together happily.
I am debating wheather I should get another enclosure and move everything out from Dell Dimension Dual Core System and move back to old familiar SCSI and disable SATA? My big if question is where I can get DVD CD Writer on SCSI 320 or 160 platform? By the end of 90’s it was difficult to get decent support on CD RW on SCSI….
What distro are you referrng to. Most distros I have used give you an option about where the bootloader is installed.
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
- Tucson AZ
Almost every Linux distro has an option to install Grub to a partition rather than the mbr, you just need to click an Advanced Tab during Grub install on some OS's to find the option.
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Thank you all. It was Suse 11 that I was trying to install. On the second trial, I was able to find an option to install Grub on PBR (first page of /boot partition).
1. I was just careless missing to explore options.
2. Unlike unix, the names of linux kernel are generally very long, complex and intimidating not easy to memorise like that of unix (simple enough such as: kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot or even just: kernel /boot/unix). I am more used to give kernel name at simple primitive mode Grub during setup before chaining like: root=(hd2,3,a) on SCSI only system. This made me panic at Linux installation due to lack of knowledge.
3 Grub 0.9.x has serious problem because it blindly follows BIOS assigned block device address rather than true controller and target based address. It means that if you add an ATA133 disk onto DVD channel after having filled up SATA channels, Grub hd number for SATA will move an offset by 1. I never knew anything except SCSI and had never had learnt about SATA, IDE, ATAPI etc until I bought this Dell Dimension that came with SATA disks and ATAPI IDE133 DVD writer. SCSI was always easier because it relied on jumper pin. Again the lack of knowledge.
Yes, I realise that there is a lot for me to lean about modern linux. Variety of primitive command alone far exceeds that of Unix. Contents of Linux /etc directory are also getting to be twice of Unix with symlinks pointing out everywhere.
By the way, near a decade ago, there were Caldera-SCO open Linux 2.2.x kernel where I could recompile on its libc5 platform to gain shared access to common place unix, BSD and Solaris and visa versa with native mode read-write exec mount. Many games like Doom and Abuse or sound file like mp3 could be stored and run from shared ufs2 file system partition to save storage space (ext2, ext3 and ufs are close cousins all derived from ffs of ATT-BSD Unix, now Linux got more complex inodes to support more features i.e, block size variables). Such are becoming the things of past? I don’t seem to be able to write correctly on any ufs2 partitions anymore.