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Quotes of the week

Keeping in mind that I want movable windows initially automatically placed in a tiled fashion, not a tiled straightjacket, yes, software could in principle do what I want. And Gnome used to. But if Gnome's new design paradigm is "one window at a time is enough for anyone!", I cannot realistically foresee a happy relationship with Gnome.
-- Paul McKenney (in the comments)

Grub2 is not the future. Grub2 is an unfortunate accident on the way.
-- Alan Cox
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Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 16, 2012 21:56 UTC (Thu) by ballombe (subscriber, #9523) [Link]

Fedora is supposed to be bleeding edge but Debian has moved to grub2 a long time ago.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 16, 2012 23:32 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Are you of the incorrect impression that Fedora hasn't?

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 17, 2012 3:01 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Grub2 became the default in Squeeze a year ago, Verne just got it in Nov. Not too far apart.

I totally understand why Fedora held off... The configuration for Grub2 is so unbelievably obtuse that its authors need to hang their heads in shame. It actually makes init scripts look sane. I expect Lennart Pottering will announce his Grub2 replacement any day now.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 17, 2012 4:54 UTC (Fri) by ras (subscriber, #33059) [Link]

This is the first time I have read criticism of grub2 configuration. When I realised grub2's configuration system was script that wrote a script that is executed to produce a configuration file that is also a script executed by the grub2 interpreter, I thought I had fallen into a rabbit hole. I was left wondering if everyone else though this was insane, or was I the insane one. It's nice to find out it's not just me.

> I expect Lennart Pottering will announce his Grub2 replacement any day now.

The interface you are supposed to use to configure Grub2 (/etc/default/grub) is simple enough - much simpler than the old grub. However should you not like the /boot/grub/grub.conf it produces, you have to understand the monster underneath and the largely undocumented grub2 modules it uses.

I gather systemd is much the same. It replaces the system V init scripts something much simpler on the surface, but whereas the scaffolding that runs the system V init scrips could be understood in a day or so, underneath those simple systemd scripts lurks another very large monster.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 20, 2012 16:21 UTC (Mon) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

> This is the first time I have read criticism of grub2 configuration. When I realised grub2's configuration system was script that wrote a script that is executed to produce a configuration file that is also a script executed by the grub2 interpreter, I thought I had fallen into a rabbit hole.
You're exaggerating. grub-mkconfig doesn't generate a script that generates grub.cfg, it generates grub.cfg directly afaik.

> The interface you are supposed to use to configure Grub2 (/etc/default/grub) is simple enough - much simpler than the old grub. However should you not like the /boot/grub/grub.conf it produces, you have to understand the monster underneath and the largely undocumented grub2 modules it uses.
It's not quite as bad, you don't really need to understand grub-mkconfig or /etc/grub.d. Just put your custom entries in /boot/grub/custom.cfg and you're done.
I agree that grub2 configuration could probably be simplified, but it's not all that bad.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 21, 2012 2:48 UTC (Tue) by ras (subscriber, #33059) [Link]

> You're exaggerating. grub-mkconfig doesn't generate a script that generates grub.cfg, it generates grub.cfg directly afaik.

Perhaps I am exaggerating, but only by a small amount. grub-mkconfig is a shell script that runs shell scripts in /etc/grub.d.

> Just put your custom entries in /boot/grub/custom.cfg and you're done.

You are assuming the people complaining just want to do some minor customisations. That isn't it. The problem is that "grub-mkconfig; grub-install" doesn't create a bootable system unless it is used used an environment its makers anticipated. For example, if I install grub2 into a VM image using loopbacks, grub2 generates a bad device.map and uses the wrong fs and device uuid's. I can forgive grub2 for this, as it is a atypical use. Grub1 had the same problem.

However, with grub1 it was easy enough just to run the commands natively, and tell it the what device.map and file systems to use. If this is possible with grub2 I haven't figured it out. Whatever magic is required is buried in those nested shell scripts, which make lots of calls to grub-probe with a variety of arguments.

That complexity is the crux of the problem. I imagine the attitude of the grub2 authors is they are the only ones who had to deal with the internals of how grub-mkconfig and grub-install work, so it can be as complex as they please. That assumption is wrong. Most of us who are doing somewhat unusual things are happy enough bypass those front end tools, but to do so they we need to reverse engineer how they work. It was easy enough to do with grub1, so much so that it could be done by just reading the documentation. The documentation of grub2 is so light it is useless for divining the internals, and as I said the unfortunate way it is written makes it difficult to bypass the bits that don't work.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 21, 2012 3:55 UTC (Tue) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

grub-mkconfig *only* generates grub.cfg, and also the scripts in /etc/grub.d serve only that purpose. Now, if grub-mkconfig doesn't do what you need it to do, there's an easy solution: don't use it and write your grub.cfg by hand, it's not rocket science.

> However, with grub1 it was easy enough just to run the commands natively, and tell it the what device.map and file systems to use. If this is possible with grub2 I haven't figured it out. Whatever magic is required is buried in those nested shell scripts
No, it's just one single shell script, namely grub-install.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 21, 2012 5:00 UTC (Tue) by ras (subscriber, #33059) [Link]

> grub-mkconfig *only* generates grub.cfg

My mistake. I thought it ran grub-mkimage, but grub-install does that. You're right, that simplifies the model considerably.

I still haven't figured out why exactly why grub-install goes wrong with loopbacks on HDD images, but I suspect a little head scratching combined with running grub-mkimage and grub-setup manually will fix that problem.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 20, 2012 16:16 UTC (Mon) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

> I totally understand why Fedora held off... The configuration for Grub2 is so unbelievably obtuse that its authors need to hang their heads in shame.
There's an undocumented grub2 command called extract_legacy_entries_source that'll read a configuration file in grub legacy syntax if that is what you want.
I use it because I have both debian and openSUSE installed. I've installed grub2 from debian and use the above command to read the grub legacy configuration used by the openSUSE configuration.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 17, 2012 3:07 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

> On an EFI system with Matt Fleming's work you can boot a kernel direct from the firmware.

Wait, what? Really? Oh man, *want*.


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