BootManager and Linux


#1

I use BootManager as my main bootloader for my laptop. I installed ArchLinux on a single partition. For those who don’t know, Arch is very roll your own system. The bootloader is optional and up to you. So, if you’re not used to this type of Linux, it isn’t as simple as pointing BootManager to it, as I’ve come to find out. Has anyone dealt with bootstrapping a dual/multi boot system with BootMan as their main boot menu and a roll your own Linux? My partition scheme is MBR/DOS type, so uefi loaders are out. I plan on using Syslinux to avoid the GRuB of lard. Any suggestions? I’ve been having trouble installing any bootloader on my Linux partition. I’m posting here and not a Linux forum because of my use of BootManager. I also know there’s a few Linux whizzes here, and a Linux forum would just chide me for not putting GRuB in my main MBR. Is what I’m doing even possible?


#2

GRUB must be installed only on Linux boot partition, than Haiku’s BootMan must be installed (in drive’s main MBR).


#3

The booting sequence on MBR PC architecture is as follows:

  1. System bootloader (LILO, BootManager, GRUB, SYSLINUX, etc). Its role is to choose the right partition to boot off from it. When missing, its role takes BIOS, reads the 4 primary partitions (specified in first 512 bytes of the disk, MBR) and transfers the control to the active partition.
  2. Partition bootloader is specific to filesystem, to OS and to kernel it tries to boot. Each and every OS installs this bootloader at the first 32256 bytes of its partition. Haiku is not exception.

The hard to understand part about Linux booting is Linux (on PC at least) does not have one single standard partition bootloader, and its role takes system bootloader, which can be installed in MBR (system-wide) or in the Linux partition. So, your booting scheme can be:

  1. Use BootManager as system bootloader, which detects Haiku’s partition bootloader and boots it without extra-configuration.
  2. Install Syslinux on linux partition (not in MBR), so BootManager can transfer control to SysLinux, which in turn knows how to boot Linux.