[Mageia-discuss] can bootable partitions be detected during installation?

Wolfgang Bornath molch.b at googlemail.com
Fri May 4 11:08:05 CEST 2012

2012/5/4 blind Pete <0123peter at gmail.com>:
> Wolfgang Bornath wrote:
>> 2012/5/3 blind Pete <0123peter-
> Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org>:
>>>> But at which moment/occasion would you need that?
>>> When do you use the installer?
>>> Incompetent user: every month.
>>> Tester: every week.
>>> Mageia user: every nine months.
>> No, I meant: at which moment in the install process and for which
>> occasion?
> During a standard install at the start of the configuration section
> there is a point where there is a message about
> "PREPARING BOOTLOADER" please be patient, searching for other
> systems, this may take a while, or somthing similar.  Then the
> Summary pops up.
> It could be done before that, immediately after partitioning.
> Perhaps if the advanced button were pressed?
>>>> Only once when
>>>> you install the distribution which you think will stay the longest
> and
>>>> whos bootloader will go into MBR. After that you don't need it any
>>>> more because you will have to add new distributions manually to the
>>>> list.
>>> You can use drakboot as it is now to add "things to be chainloaded"
>>> to the list.
>> But that makes only sense for the bootloader which is in the MBR. So
>> you do it once and never again.
>> Whenever you add a distribution, you put the bootloader of this new
>> one in its root partition. Then you boot the distribution which has
>> its bootloader in the MBR and add the relevant 3 lines into its
>> menu.lst. You can't use drakboot for that.
> It would make most sense to start with a bootloader in the MBR
> then go to a root partition bootloader and finaly an operating Lystem,
> but LiLo and GRUB let you go "up" a level back to the MBR's
> bootloader, or "sideways".  e.g. From /dev/sda to /dev/sda12
> to /dev/sda1 to /dev/sda to /dev/sda2 to an OS.  It can even
> loop to itself, pointless but it works.
> If you want to do things like that, then you need to be
> very careful about how you label things.
> Do different things get listed in Mageia's bootloader config
> depending on whether it is written to the MBR or the root
> partition?  Find everything if going to MBR, only list Mageia
> stuff (and "back") if going to the root partition?
> BTW I was assuming that every distribution has its own tools.
> If your "master" installation is Mageia (or even if it is not)
> you can use drakboot to add chainloader commands to Mageia's
> GRUB or LiLo configuration.

Well, if you say so, I'm not sure I fully understand what you
described. Of course I never looked for such an occasion because my
"steering distribution" (the one with the bootloader in MBR) is a
small one without X and without any applications except for vim as
editor (old version of grml, below 100MB) and a few commandline tools
so it can also serve as a rescue system.

So when I install Mageia after that I go to the summary in the
installer, configure the bootloader to sit in the root partition of
Mageia. Then at reboot I boot grml, add the 3 matching lines for the
Mageia installation to the menu.lst and that's all. Likewise I can do
with all following installations. I've been doing it for years this

Of course this is not really something for a totally new user, OTOH a
totally new user does not have several different distributions on his
machine. But even such a user will be able to follow instructions (in
the German mandrivauser.de wiki we have a step-by-step HowTo for


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