[arch-releng] [arch-general] Default Bootloader for AIF

KESHAV P.R. skodabenz at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 09:01:13 EDT 2011

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 15:01, Dieter Plaetinck <dieter at plaetinck.be> wrote:
> Hi Keshav, thanks for this overview.
> My notes:
> - grub-legacy is tricky to setup (from an aif POV, not from a user POV)
> - I accept patches for grub2 if they are reasonably sane/elegant
> From your overview, as well as Pierres first thread (and the responses to that), it seems all 3 bootloaders have something about them that makes them more suited for specific use cases, and less so for other cases. So none is clearly superior or inferior then the others, it all depends on the circumstances.

Yes, it depends on use case and personal opinion. KISS=syslinux
all-in-one functionality and exotic configurations=grub2 . I did not
include LILO in this list since i have never used it.

> So, for the AIF perspective, I would say "which should be the default?" is an irrelevant question, the important thing is, we support two (and later maybe 3) and the user can choose.
> So, maybe this is a question that should be answered by the package maintainers: because the order in which we list bootloader selection (i.e. which is at the top, the "default") will probably steer -to some extent- package usage and bug reports; which bootloader do you feel most comfortable with maintaining?

This is really question about users who do not care about what
bootloader they have in their system and simply select the 1st one in
the menu. Especially true in case of newbies (most of them).

Definitely syslinux and grub2 are here to stay. The question is about
grub-legacy. We should ask Ronald (pressh) whether he is ready to
maintain grub (now that the last fork of it is being abandoned) and
bug-fix and maintain patches for it. I am sure once fedora jumps to
grub2, no one will care about grub and there wont be any patches from
anyone for any feature/bugfix. I am sure of this because fedora is
moving to btrfs as default rootfs and its the reason they are
(finally) deprecating grub-legacy, instead of adding btrfs support to
it (like they did for ext4).

My suggestion is if the grub-legacy maintainer is not ready to
continue maintaining it and if no other dev wants to maintain it,
bring out a news announcing no more bug-reports (aka dev support) for
grub-legacy and move it to community or AUR. I know it is strange for
a package to go from core directly to AUR, but the official upstream
for grub-legacy never existed for four years. If any user want to use
it, they can take it from AUR and I am sure some user will maintain it
for foreseeable future while the devs can be relieved off the job.

> The answer is very likely syslinux. Allan, Thomas, other maintainers/developers?

My 2nd question - GPT as default. This requires moving from cfdisk to
sgdisk/parted usage in the installer.

I tried looking in aif for adding grub2 support and i thought of
copying relevant code from archboot and modifying it to use libui-sh .
But there are few other issues like partition alignment, bios boot
partition (grub2-bios in GPT) and EFI system partition (for any efi
bootloader including grub2-efi - only GPT) which require use of gnu
parted over sfdisk/cfdisk. Anyway I cant promise a time frame for
coming out with patches. I am not so well versed in git for that
matter. I was actually thinking of merging archboot's /arch/setup
features and fixes into aif and make archboot use aif (where archboot
uses initramfs type iso and archiso uses squashfs type iso). Archboot
setup has all the partitioning and bootloader fixes requires but too
bloated and seems almost impossible to port to libui-sh and aif.



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