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Hi all ... Been playing around with Ubuntu 10.04 beta, and had a small problem with Grub2. Went to fix the problem, and found the incredibly convoluted mess that is ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User twoHats's Avatar
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    Grub2 downgrade?


    Hi all ... Been playing around with Ubuntu 10.04 beta, and had a small problem with Grub2. Went to fix the problem, and found the incredibly convoluted mess that is grub2.

    <RANT> Someone forgot KISS. I want grub back - it worked just fine (and so did lilo for that matter). Now we go from a couple of files contained in a single directory and editable, to lots and lots of files scattered all over and un-editable. afaik this goes against the UNIX/Linux tenet of editable text configuration files. I have seen the hype (modular, OO, Fixes old mistakes etc etc ) - not one item that addresses any problem i ever had. I admit that when i switched from lilo to grub, i found the numbering scheme to be brain dead, but - well, i just learned to number drives and partitions the way they wanted them. Now we get to change back - whoopie! </RANT>

    Anyone aware of successful downgrades from Grub 2 to grub?

    Thanks for any help. I have already spent more time than i wanted to on this.
    - Clouds don't crash - Bertrand Meyer

    registered Linux user 393557

    finally - hw to brag about - but next year it will look pitifully quaint:
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    circa 2006

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    Hi twohats,
    I tried very hard to like Grub2, with little success.
    You can go back to Grub 0.97 with Synaptic or apt-get. Get rid of grub-pc and install grub.
    I have also done it the hard way by manually deleting all of grub2's files and copying grub 0.97 from another partition.
    I agree with you on the philosophical side, too. Grub 2 is a solution to a problem that didn't exist, and tends to take control of your computer from you, introducing needless complexity as it does so.
    That said, os-prober would be useful as a stand-alone tool.
    You can also castrate 30_os-prober and 20_memtest by using chmod -x . You can write your own custom file (maybe 15_custom) - you can then leave os-prober and copy only the entries you need to the custom file, leaving all the cruft at the bottom of grub.cfg.
    The real problem with grub2 is that it usually won't install itself into the superblock of the root partition. I've only succeeded in doing this in the case of a new install, using the installer to do it. If you're multi-booting, as I suspect, the simplest thing is to have grub1 in the superblock and then chainload. Grub2 doesn't want to let you do this.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    I am using grub2 for a long time and I am really impressed with it. I agree that one must know a few commands and howtos to make it work the way one want. I haven't faced any re-install problem yet.
    You can write your own custom file (maybe 15_custom)
    It should be between 07-10 because grub2 read files sequentially.

    Switching back to GRUB Legacy is easy too.
    * To be on safer side, rename these files/folders : /etc/grub.d, /boot/grub and /etc/default/grub.
    * Uninstall grub-command and grub-pc packages.
    * Re-install GRUB Legacy.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    I confess to having grub2 on the MBR pointing to my 'main' distribution.
    Code:
    It should be between 07-10 because grub2 read files sequentially.
    I put it there so grub2 can read 10_linux first. But each to his own.
    Code:
    Uninstall grub-command
    Do you mean grub-common? I did this and had to re-install it. Either Synaptic did it automatically, or apt-get complained. Can't remember which.
    Why do you like grub2 so much? Now that there's a version of grub1 that can handle ext4 I can't see any great advantage over grub1 .

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    Linux User twoHats's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help, and the moral support!

    I have no problem learning a new version, and can even swallow the fact that i didn't want one. The problem I have is that a great amount of complication was added, and no simple how-to (that i have found) to do simple maintenance.

    For example, I installed a GUI tool to help configure Grub2 because that is one of the "benefits" - long short trying to boot from Vista turns into a "which place would you like to re-install Vista from?" kind of activity. Uh oh...

    Turns out it is a simple mislabeling (switched labels between Vista amd Vista recovery), but fixing not so easy - I have greped for "Vista", but didn't find labels - maybe looking in wrong directory - etc etc etc

    So far, just using it by "knowing" the labels are switched. Too much time spent on this stupid problem that used to be - not a problem...

    Thanks again for help -
    - Clouds don't crash - Bertrand Meyer

    registered Linux user 393557

    finally - hw to brag about - but next year it will look pitifully quaint:
    Athlon64 X2 3800 - 1G PC3200 - 250G SATA - ati radeon x300
    circa 2006

  6. #6
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by impert
    Do you mean grub-common? I did this and had to re-install it. Either Synaptic did it automatically, or apt-get complained. Can't remember which.
    It was a typo. Its grub-common.
    Quote Originally Posted by impert
    Why do you like grub2 so much?
    Because its much better than GRUB Legacy. You don't have to edit grub configuration file(s) manually now. It detects other OSes and add entries itself. Mapping code is not required to boot up OSes installed in other Hard disks.
    Its a long list....
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    .
    You don't have to edit grub configuration file(s) manually now. It detects other OSes and add entries itself. Mapping code is not required to boot up OSes installed in other Hard disks.
    Its a long list....
    Well, we all have different likes and dislikes, and it's certainly a good thing that the developers are trying out new ideas to improve gnu/linux, but I don' t like grub2 because (from a multibooter's point of view):
    You don't have to edit menu.lst. You have to edit /etc/default/grub, edit and change permissions on files in /etc/grub.d, and write a 40-custom file with a new syntax and very incomplete and sometimes inaccurate documentation.
    If you want it to install itself in the first block of the root directory it almost always,- after scolding you - fails, but tells you it has succeeded. So grub2 generally can't be chainloaded, by itself or anything else.
    Yes, os-prober will find most other distros, though NOT all. It only copies menu.lst and grub.cfg entries, so any error here will be faithfully reproduced. Except in the distro that grub2 points to you can't get it to ignore single user, safe mode, non-fb mode, memtest, and any other strange options . And if you have a few spare kernels which you leave because one day you might need them, well, they will be remorselessly copied into grub.cfg.
    The entries in grub.cfg are not in numerical order if you have more than 10 partitions, so finding the distro you want to boot is painful. I had over eighty entries at one stage, out of order, as I say, most of them useless, some missing because grub2 can't deal with odd distros like nixos, and others mis-named because to grub2 musix (for instance) is debian as is sidux and others, while mint is ubuntu, and others show up as 'Unknown linux in /dev/sdb9'.
    But you can have pretty pictures. Hey, wow.
    The worst is perhaps the fact that if you update a distro you must remember to boot the "main" distro and run update-grub before you can boot the new kernel in the other distro.
    Contrast this with the simplicity of running
    Code:
    root (hdx,y)
    setup (hdx,y)
    in grub1 for each distro, and then chainloading. Distros do their own updating, and if there is an error, well, you know where to look and there is good documentation.
    Mapping: The hide and unhide commands have gone, though I hear there is a replacement for them, but it's not documented and I can't lay my hands on it at the moment.
    A while ago I thought that there was one advantage to grub2: the ability to boot ext4 partitions. But the (modified, I believe) grub1 that comes in the ubuntu repos can do this, so that advantage disappears. May they never remove grub1 from ubuntu or the other linux distros! And I fervently hope that there will be a version of grub1 that will boot btrfs one day.
    I could go on, it's a long list, as you say.
    The most fundamental objection I have is that grub2 is a step away from the idea of putting the user in charge, and giving him complete freedom to configure his computer the way he wants it. This, to me, is in contradiction to the ideals of gnu/linux.
    Still, if you like it, so much the better - enjoy it!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Yes, os-prober will find most other distros, though NOT all. It only copies menu.lst and grub.cfg entries, so any error here will be faithfully reproduced.
    It doesn't copy menu.lst or grub.cfg entries.
    grub2 doesn't depend on menu.lst or grub.conf file of other distros. It detects other distros itself using scripts. I have removed all instances of menu.lst file from distro installed in my External disk. GRUB2 detected it without any problem.

    Well ! I prefer GRUB2 over GRUB and I have no problem using it.
    I doesn't matter to me if you are using GRUB or any other Boot Loader but do check GRUB2 before giving your opinion.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    It doesn't copy menu.lst or grub.cfg entries.
    grub2 doesn't depend on menu.lst or grub.conf file of other distros. It detects other distros itself using scripts. I have removed all instances of menu.lst file from distro installed in my External disk. GRUB2 detected it without any problem.
    Yes, my last post was wrong, what I meant was not the detection of the OS, but the entries on the menuentry line. Grub2 gets them from somewhere, if not menu.lst and grub.cfg perhaps from /etc/*version. In any event what it produces in the menu is often not very tidy and sometimes confusing.
    But I stand corrected, thanks for setting me right.

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