Tuesday, May 28, 2013

GRUB ( The Grub bootloader )

GRUB stands for GRand Unified Bootloader. It's meant as a alternative to the widely-used LILO (LInux LOader). In many ways, it is superior to LILO. One such advantage of GRUB is that if the configuration file is incorrect or corrupted, you may still be able to boot your system. It does require a basic familiarity with using GRUB in Interactive mode.

Few methods to deal with GRUB Issues :

To restore Grub to the MBR:

$ su
< password >
# grub-install /dev/hda

To setup Grub or add new entries:


Grub uses its own naming structure for drives and partitions, in the form of (hdn,m), where n is the hard drive number, and m the partition number, both starting from zero. This means, for instance, that partition hda1 is (hd0,0) to Grub, and hdb2 is (hd1,1). Grub doesn't consider CD-ROM drives to be hard drives, so if you have a CD on hdb, for example, and a second hard drive on hdc, that second hard drive would still be (hd1).

Note that GRUB does _not_ distinguish IDE from SCSI - it simply counts the drive numbers from zero, regardless of their type. Normally, any IDE drive number is less than any SCSI drive number, although that is not true if you change the boot sequence by swapping IDE and SCSI drives in your BIOS.

Setup Grub:

# grub

First, tell Grub where to find the 'stage files' -- you can use Tab to show the alternatives: ( in this example hda4 )

root (hd0,3)

Now tell Grub to install into the MBR of hda:

setup (hd0)

And close with:


Make or adapt the menu.lst: ( And new entries )

# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst

# Begin /boot/grub/menu.lst

# By default boot the first menu entry.

default 0

# Allow 30 seconds before booting the default.

timeout 30

# Use prettier colors.

color green/black light-green/black

# The first entry is for Linux.

title Linux
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda4 ro

# If you want, a second entry for RedHat

title RedHat
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/kernel-2.4.20 root=/dev/hda3 ro
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20

# You wish to include Windows ?

title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1


If things go really wrong and you get only a grub prompt you can still boot . . . .

For Windows:

grub> root noverify (hd0,0)
grub> chainloader +1
grub> boot

For Linux ( on hda4 like in example above ):

grub> root (hd0,3)
grub> kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda4 ro
grub> boot