Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1473 mails)

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[opensuse] Re: Grub bugs ... should I file separate bugs for each one?
  • From: Linda Walsh <suse@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 09:36:15 -0700
  • Message-id: <4A33D57F.7050100@xxxxxxxxx>
Josef Reidinger wrote:
OK, problem is that grub work on low level then partition labels, so it
use BIOS ids and parition number. Yast must respect user selection.
Right -- so when they choose XFS, they should respect that...
That's what you mean, right?

For this purpose I recommend you use yast2 bootloader ability for
repropose working configuration (it is under Other button). And be sure
that write to MBR is checked (for simplify, second option is write
generic boot code and mark current boot partition as active).
As I mentioned in another email -- my active boot partition
was set to my new partition -- grub ignored it.

AFAIK, having that option to check on the suse menu's is a bug
by itself, since, again, as far as I know, linux ignores that flag.
But you are right -- suse and linux should pay attention to user choice
and if they toggle a boot flag, suse should boot from the partition the
user has selected as bootable. In my case, it did not.

Boot code for x86 architecture is really non-trivial and some artifacts
on this architecture doesn't allow easy boot managing, so we try do the
best. Of course we can use "We rule pc" windows strategy and always
rewrite bootloader for working configuration, but I think that not much
users want this.
I'm not sure what the 'we-rule-pc windows' strategy is -- there is
broken and there is working, are you suggesting that giving the user
a working system is not what the users would want -- and that its more
important for them to select and use broken software than to use software
that works?

I again, recommend the remarkably practical actions of Ubuntu in
this matter. If the user chooses XFS as a file system, the default
boot loader automatically switches to LILO. If they user overrides this
-- they are warned that GRUB is buggy with journaled file systems and
may not work. Simple as that.

We welcome any improve suggestion, but some improvements is really hard
to implement (especially if bootloader must support many kinds of
different hardware configuration and technologies).
I'm not asking you to solve all the problems of the world. Just "do what is practical" when and where you can rather than throwing
up your hands, helplessly and uselessly saying you don't support the user's choice of file system.
AND please, people -- GET OFF the idea that '/boot' SHOULD be a
separate partition. It's 1) anachronistic, and 2) good _unix_ practice.
No one from the Win-world puts their Win boot files {IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS,
NTDETECT.COM, boot.ini, AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, ntldr} files on a separate
partition. To even think about such an absurdity would get you laughed
at. It's not normal. Very few even move or touch the default settings
for their Pagefile.sys. That linux "requires" these things for a
"proper" install is just something else that makes linux a PITA for new
or the *majority* of users who are casual users.

Sure -- you can ***optimize*** file placement and settings. But
that's something quite different than saying its a requirement, or that
you "should".

Personally, in the rare cases when I run with a Pagefile, I activate
a FAT12 partition at the beginning of my hard disk sized exactly for the
Pagefile. I usually don't bother.

I also do the standard partitioning thing -- migrating over the
years based on OS and disk-constraints, but why not use XFS for
everything? It requires no fsck. Is just fine for nearly all general
user purposes -- it's robust and space efficient. The only downside --
which users rarely see is it takes seconds to delete thousands of files
instead of 10ths of a second. But -- users can just turn the system 'off' -- and at worst, they would lose anything they had just saved - NOT good, but no worse than a corrupted FS, with other file systems --
and when it comes up -- its up instantly -- no fsck. Its just there
and it works. It can even be configured to be case insensitive like
NTFS (case preserving, but insensitive)...what more could you want to make a Win user happy?

Why force all these "correct" and "shoulds" on users when they
just make for a steeper learning curve.

Leave the optimizations for the experts. Default to simplicity
but allow the other options (that's Window's pain -- to often they don't allow anything but the simple options)...

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