I have recently setup my PC with F33 Silverblue Rawhide and switched to using the BTRFS filesystem. During this process, I have started to become re-familiar with boot loaders and Gub2 limitations, especially when using Silverblue. My system is BIOS not UEFI/EFI so some of the cool systemd-boot approaches don’t work for me. Currently I have my GPT partitioned disk set up with a BiosBoot partition a 1GB ext4 partition mounted as /boot, and the rest as BTRFS with subvolume /var on the spinning disk. This is working from the purely functional POV, but I would really like to theme my boot menu to say look like the Pip-boy from fallout say. Anyhow, all of the people that come to this site like to do things their own way, and I would think this includes how their system boots. So I am asking the community, how is your boot loader setup?
It is difficult to compile, but there is a patch for syslinux that will allow it to function as a drop-in replacement for systemd-boot on BIOS systems. I’ve been using it on several of my own BIOS systems ever since I wrote the patch. I think it would be awesome if Fedora included my patch in their binary release of syslinux. The patch is a bit crude because I am not a day-to-day C developer. I’m a sysadmin with a fairly old degree in Computer Science. I’m not guaranteeing that it works perfectly, but I’ve been using it without issue across many updates and upgrades of Fedora.
Using the above syslinux patch, /boot can be formatted with a FAT file system and a biosboot partition is no longer needed. The patch allows syslinux to read in the /boot/loader/entries/*.conf files so that Fedora’s normal BLS type 1 menu options will automatically appear and disappear from the boot menu without any further customization to the rest of Fedora.
Thanks for the idea, and the patch. I will check it out for certain.
If people want to try and compile syslinux with my patch, I they might need to checkout the syslinux-6.04-pre2 tag from the git repository. I think that is what I developed my patch against. Be warned, however, that I was later informed that that was an unstable release of syslinux. I don’t know what the issues are though and it has been working fine for me (though I’ve only been using a fairly limited subset of syslinux’s funciontionality; basically menu.c32 and vesamenu.c32; I also use syslinux over a serial connection on a few servers).
Also, I’ll try to attach my patch here to make it a little easier to download rather than having to scrape it out of the email archives. … Well, I was going to, but then it said only image were authorized for upload. So below is a link to it instead.
I press the power button.
Jokes aside, most of my Fedora systems are BIOS boot, except for one system
that doesn’t support BIOS boot from internal, one where I don’t have BIOS or
UEFI, but rather boot directly to GRUB, and one ARM system with u-boot.
Please keep in mind that GRUB2 can read FAT partitions, and mostly supports
“BLS” as well.
Thanks for posting your booting setup’s. I notice this …
Would you care to elaborate on this boot approach? I think it would be interesting to understand what you are doing to achieve this and what hardware this is being used on.
And jokes included, I thought powering on was obvious, thanks for reminding me of the need for explicit communication to fully convey ideas.