Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2912 mails)

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[SLE] Boot Parameters
  • From: Ted Hilts <thilts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 23:15:07 -0700
  • Message-id: <4204646B.40904@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I would like to construct a "boot diskette or cd" in place of a Boot Manager (located by default in the MBR on the first hard drive but can be elsewhere) that will allow me to boot to one of several installations on the same machine.

For example, the SuSE boot CD can act as a "boot cd" and comes up with multiple choices one of which is "Boot to Hard drive" which it equates to /dev/hdb2 in my case because that is where I installed SuSE 9.1.

While this "interface screen menu" is up (10 sec's) and if I move down or up the menu items the timer stops and I can make one of several choices. Probably at that time I could provide a parameter to the boot prompt slot.

Whether I use this "SuSE boot interface screen menu" or some other boot diskette (let's say one with a different RAM DISK which is the compressed kernel in the file system on the boot diskette, possibly several years old or one I make on another system) I want control of the boot up process to be done with the boot diskette. The boot diskette would use LILO or GRUB but I don't know if GRUB can be placed on a diskette.

1. Will the boot process wait for further input if I start typing at the boot prompt? (what controls this behavior at the prompt?)
2. If for example I know I created two installations at "/dev/hda3" and one at "/dev/hdb2" on the same machine. Let's say there was no (or I did not want to use) Boot Manager using LILO or Grub in the MBR created by Linux. I want to use a boot diskette where the default or selected options were not appropriate for the systems on the machine. Could I still use the boot prompt for the boot diskette from another system to boot up the 2 installations? In other words, when the boot prompt from the diskette appears could I type "/dev/hda3" or "/dev/hdb2" and that would boot up the installed system? We are talking here about a boot diskette having a different kernel that should shut down anyway when the kernel on the hard drive is mounted. The complications I see here are that LILO needs a map so if we have a LILO boot prompt response of "/dev/hda3" how is this response sufficient. With GRUB the prompt response can be using GRUB block notation, "chainloader (hd0, 2) +1" without the quotes.

There is a good reason why I ask this question. I want to create or use an existing boot diskette made on another machine for an older kernel (could be recent) or possibly take one diskette and using LILO create a boot section for every Linux machine on my LAN. But I want to be able to change the operation at boot time using the RAM disk operation of the kernel to possibly bring up a bash shell to execute some commands much like YAST works but not installation oriented.

Thanks -- Ted

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