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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Utilities
Legacy GRUB Config 2013
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9058
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 15 Mar 2013, 09:37    Post subject:  Legacy GRUB Config 2013  


Notice: Recent Puppies, including Slacko 5.7 and newer, contain an altered version of this program. There are now reports that it is broken. The only safe version to use is the one posted here.


This is a light-weight alternative to Puppy's long-time GRUB Legacy Bootloader Config. It is for users who still want the fine-grained control of legacy GRUB or who just want a basic one-click bootloader setup. It can also configure a dual-boot environment with GRUB2 distros like Ubuntu.

This project is NOT intended to replace the excellent Grub4Dos Bootloader Config.

If you are setting up a Puppy-only machine, use Quick Mode. If your frugal install is going into a subfolder, just edit your menu.lst file afterwards to reflect this. For example:
title Slacko 5.5 on sda1
root (hd0,0)
kernel /slacko/vmlinuz pmedia=atahd pdev1=sda1 psubdir=slacko pfix=fsck
initrd /slacko/initrd.gz


For dual-booting with Windows or other Linuxes, use Expert Mode. Remember that legacy GRUB numbers are one less than partition identifiers. So (hd0,0) usually represents sda1. The MBR of a drive is identified as (hd0).


Users who dual-boot Puppy with GRUB2 distros are familiar with the following problem. GRUB2 cannot auto-detect the Puppy install, so you must perform a manual update-grub procedure. But Legacy GRUB Config 2013 uses a little GRUB2 back-door trick. Expert Mode will create a menu entry like this:
title Ubuntu
root (hd0,x)
kernel /boot/grub/core.img

Replace "x" with the Ubuntu partition number.

You can even put the legacy GRUB files inside the other distro's GRUB2 folder - there is no conflict. So you can have a frugal install of Puppy in an Ubuntu partition. But Ubuntu may object to this!


If you are multi-booting several Linuxes, the best procedure is a custom install. Put the distro's bootloader in its own partition boot sector instead of the MBR (see the next post). Then have Legacy GRUB Config 2013 launch it by chainloading.
title Vector Linux on sda9
root (hd0,8)
chainloader +1


Scenario A:
1. Install Ubuntu. Use the entire hard drive and put GRUB2 on the MBR.
2. Ubuntu will probably set up a swap partition using sda2 (extended) and sda5.
3. Boot off a Puppy Live CD.
4. Run Gparted. Shrink sda1 to create another partition. It will be sda3.
5. Install Puppy in sda3.
6. Run Expert Mode. Use (hd0), sda3 and (hd0,2). Erase the Windows entry.
This switches your primary bootloader from GRUB2 to Legacy GRUB.
7. Reboot. Your menu has entries for both Puppy and Ubuntu.

Scenario B:
1. Put a Puppy on sda1 and run Quick Mode. Your primary bootloader is Legacy GRUB on the MBR.
2. Install a second Linux. If it's a Puppy, just add an entry to your menu.lst in sda1. You don't need to re-install GRUB.
3. If it's a different Linux in another partition, install its bootloader in the partition boot sector. Eg. /dev/sda3 instead of /dev/sda.
4. Update your primary menu.lst. You can use either the "core.img" entry for Ubuntus or the "chainloader" entry.

Scenario C:
1. You install a new Linux and accidentally put its bootloader on the MBR.
2. Boot Puppy off its CD.
3. Run Legacy GRUB Config 2013 and restore your primary bootloader.
4. Open the folder /boot/grub.
5. There is a backup copy of your previous menu.lst. Make it your new menu.lst.
6. If the new Linux uses GRUB2, add a "core.img" entry for it.


Installing GRUB to a partition boot sector is also the safest method for dual-booting Puppy with Windows.

1. Install Legacy GRUB on the Puppy partition boot sector. The target for Stage1 will be (hd0,x).
2. Run Gparted and switch the "boot" flag to the Puppy partition.

Note that this only works with primary partitions, and the MBR must contain the original DOS/Win boot code. If the MBR contains GRUB Stage1, you can restore it with
ms-sys -m -w /dev/sda


To make a GRUB boot diskette, select Expert Mode and the entries
(fd0)  fd0  (fd0)
(fd0)  sda1  (hd0,0)

Description  Updated 2013-12-06 - lets you select a subfolder for a frugal install

Filename  legacy_grub_2013-1.6.pet 
Filesize  2.13 KB 
Downloaded  234 Time(s) 

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 08:53; edited 11 times in total
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9058
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:28    Post subject:  

How to Install Ubuntu and put GRUB2 in the Partition Boot Sector.

Whenever you install an OS like Ubuntu, you are given some choices about where to install the bootloader. In a multi-boot environment, the best procedure is to put the bootloader in the boot sector of OS's own partition. Then the install is completely self-contained and won't alter whatever bootloading system you already have in place.

Before starting an Ubuntu install, I find it best to use Puppy and its Gparted to organize the hard drive structure. Then I have control over where things like the extended partition and swap will go. Otherwise, Ubuntu may make some decisions that I don't like.

1. Boot off your Ubuntu CD and start the install procedure.

2. From the first menu, choose Specify Partitions Manually (Advanced)

3. The next screen has a table of partitions. Double-click on your target partition.

4. This is the Edit Partition screen. Choose:
a. Use As: ext4
b. Format the Partition
c. Mount Point: /
d. OK

5. Back on the previous screen, there is a drop-down list of targets for the GRUB2 bootloader. Select your target partition. Do NOT select /dev/sda - that is your hard drive's MBR.

6. Continue the installation.
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sat 11 May 2013, 23:20    Post subject:  

Great, now in Woof, see my blog post:


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ASRI éducation

Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 2409
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon 20 May 2013, 09:18    Post subject:  


Thank you!
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