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Installing from GRUB - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Hi all, Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it possible to start installation from GRUB somehow? RH9 is ed up, so that it wont boot any more even to level 3. Cannot start installation from the cd, because of the crypted hd. XP boots well. I have read from some GRUB-page that it is not possible to instruct GRUB to load from CD. But, should I try perhaps loadlin or other loader from XP? Would it also work, if I can get the ext2 mounted to XP, if I shrink the linux-partition using XP and copy installation-disk ...

  1. #1

    Default Installing from GRUB


    Hi all,

    Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it possible to
    start installation from GRUB somehow? RH9 is ed up, so that it wont
    boot any more even to level 3. Cannot start installation from the cd,
    because of the crypted hd.

    XP boots well. I have read from some GRUB-page that it is not possible to
    instruct GRUB to load from CD. But, should I try perhaps loadlin or other
    loader from XP? Would it also work, if I can get the ext2 mounted to
    XP, if I shrink the linux-partition using XP and copy installation-disk
    there - to GRUB-boot and install fresh RH to remaining space?

    Of course, the easiest way is to decrypt the disk, and then cd-install. Or
    attach another hd for installation. However, both of these I try to avoid.

    Any comments?


    ipsum Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Installing from GRUB

    On Sun, 06 Jul 2003 04:19:40 -0600, ipsum wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it possible
    > to start installation from GRUB somehow? RH9 is ed up, so that it
    > wont boot any more even to level 3. Cannot start installation from the
    > cd, because of the crypted hd.
    >
    Do you mean "linux is using an encrypted partition"? Otherwise, I don't
    know what "crypted hd" is. BTW, was your "crypted hd" ever bootable in
    that mode?
    >
    > XP boots well. I have read from some GRUB-page that it is not possible
    > to instruct GRUB to load from CD. But, should I try perhaps loadlin or
    > other loader from XP? Would it also work, if I can get the ext2 mounted
    > to XP, if I shrink the linux-partition using XP and copy
    > installation-disk there - to GRUB-boot and install fresh RH to remaining
    > space?
    >
    As far as I know, Loadlin won't execute in a protected mode OS. It relies
    on having full access to hardware, which is prohibited in a protected OS.
    >
    > Of course, the easiest way is to decrypt the disk, and then cd-install.
    > Or attach another hd for installation. However, both of these I try to
    > avoid.
    >
    > Any comments?
    >
    Caveat: I am not using any "crypted hd's" For general advice, try booting
    into rescue mode using the RedHat CD, and try to mount your linux
    partition. If you can manually enter the commands necessary to mount the
    partition, then you /*might*/ be able to fix whatever is broken about your
    setup.

    Also, placing the kernel on a non-encrypted partition is probably a good
    idea (if not essential).

    --Douglas Mayne
    Douglas Mayne Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Installing from GRUB

    On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 08:37:24 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    > Tue, 08 Jul 2003 13:50:38 +0000, Douglas Mayne wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 06 Jul 2003 04:19:40 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    >
    >>> Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it
    >>> possible
    >>>
    >> Do you mean "linux is using an encrypted partition"? Otherwise, I
    >> don't know what "crypted hd" is. BTW, was your "crypted hd" ever
    >> bootable in that mode?
    >> Caveat: I am not using any "crypted hd's" For general advice, try
    >> booting into rescue mode using the RedHat CD, and try to mount your
    >> linux partition. If you can manually enter the commands necessary to
    >> mount the partition, then you /*might*/ be able to fix whatever is
    >> broken about your setup.
    >
    > Yep, RH is using (and installed on) an encrypted partition. It has been
    > indeed an bootable one, and still is, to the point of GRUB. I can boot
    > from a CD, but because whole HD is crypted, the RedHat installer wont
    > get wet with the encrypted disk, from which it cannot understand a word.
    > Would nicely format it though...:)
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > ... But you dont have any idea about
    > instructing GRUB to boot from CD, for example root(cd0,0) or something
    > alike? Maybe the only thing is to instruct GRUB to do a root(fd0,0)
    > boot...
    >
    > -i
    Booting "to the point of grub" isn't what I meant. Was your linux
    partition ever fully bootable into RH9? Was it bootable using the
    encrypted filesystem?

    Ok, just for fun, I tested starting a CD from within the grub startup shell.
    The problem is that a CD is not a hard disk, and it is not acceptable. I
    agree this seems like a good idea; support for booting from an el torito
    CD should be added to grub. But, at this point, I am not sure why you
    are intent on using grub to boot a CD. The direct method is to set your
    system to boot from a floppy or bootable CD. This will load the kernel,
    and initiate a rescue mode.

    If you need a different rescue mode, then you can make a grub floppy as
    explained here:
    [url]http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/grub-faq.en.html#q4[/url]

    Note: the syntax you used above is a bit off -- floppies don't have
    partitions.

    Also, from any startup environment, the kernel is going to need to be
    "visible." Otherwise, you may be up against catch-22. That is
    why I suggested the kernel should be on a non-encrypted partition.

    --Douglas Mayne
    Douglas Mayne Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Installing from GRUB

    Tue, 08 Jul 2003 15:31:55 +0000, Douglas Mayne wrote:
    > On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 08:37:24 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    >
    >> Tue, 08 Jul 2003 13:50:38 +0000, Douglas Mayne wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Sun, 06 Jul 2003 04:19:40 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    >>
    >>>> Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it
    >>>> possible
    >>>>
    >>> Do you mean "linux is using an encrypted partition"? Otherwise, I
    >>> don't know what "crypted hd" is. BTW, was your "crypted hd" ever
    >>> bootable in that mode?
    >>> Caveat: I am not using any "crypted hd's" For general advice, try
    >>> booting into rescue mode using the RedHat CD, and try to mount your
    >>> linux partition. If you can manually enter the commands necessary to
    >>> mount the partition, then you /*might*/ be able to fix whatever is
    >>> broken about your setup.
    >>
    >> Yep, RH is using (and installed on) an encrypted partition. It has been
    >> indeed an bootable one, and still is, to the point of GRUB. I can boot
    >> from a CD, but because whole HD is crypted, the RedHat installer wont
    >> get wet with the encrypted disk, from which it cannot understand a word.
    >> Would nicely format it though...:)
    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >> ... But you dont have any idea about
    >> instructing GRUB to boot from CD, for example root(cd0,0) or something
    >> alike? Maybe the only thing is to instruct GRUB to do a root(fd0,0)
    >> boot...
    >>
    >> -i
    > Booting "to the point of grub" isn't what I meant. Was your linux
    > partition ever fully bootable into RH9? Was it bootable using the
    > encrypted filesystem?
    Sorry that I did not explain exactly. I meant that it has been fully bootable to
    RH9, and also at the moment GRUB passes the boot-process to RH9 correctly, but
    the kernel hangs pretty soon. (Never gets to "Welcome to RedHat"-text)
    > The problem is that a CD is not a hard disk, and it is not acceptable. I
    > agree this seems like a good idea; support for booting from an el torito
    > CD should be added to grub. But, at this point, I am not sure why you
    > are intent on using grub to boot a CD. The direct method is to set your
    > system to boot from a floppy or bootable CD. This will load the kernel,
    > and initiate a rescue mode.
    But, with bootable floppies or CD I have no use, because of they cannot
    rescue my encrypted disk. What I'm trying to do, is to get GRUB load for
    example RedHat installation floppy, better even a CD, and start the rescue
    operation from there. The first thing (I think in MBR) what gets loaded from
    my HD during startup is the password prompt of the encryption software. After
    that GRUB gets alive (might be the first block on the disk).

    If I boot from CD or floppy, encryption software never gets alive and the disk
    remains encrypted, and therefore cannot be rescued.

    What I see I would like to type to GRUB:

    root (fd0,0)
    kernel /blaahblaah ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=floppy
    initrd /blaahblaah
    boot

    Something what remains me about what I would like to use is the example of
    Utah Mach4 multiboot of

    [url]http://www.gnu.org/manual/grub/html_mono/grub.html#Configuration[/url]

    I do not know what is inside RH Installation disk, but I assume there has
    to be some kind of a kernel GRUB can load.

    -i




    ipsum Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Installing from GRUB

    Tue, 08 Jul 2003 20:30:47 +0300, ipsum wrote:
    > Tue, 08 Jul 2003 15:31:55 +0000, Douglas Mayne wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 08:37:24 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    >>
    >>> Tue, 08 Jul 2003 13:50:38 +0000, Douglas Mayne wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> On Sun, 06 Jul 2003 04:19:40 -0600, ipsum wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>> Having a crypted harddrive with GRUB-dualboot to XP/RH9, is it
    >>>>> possible
    >>>>>
    >>>> Do you mean "linux is using an encrypted partition"? Otherwise, I
    >>>> don't know what "crypted hd" is. BTW, was your "crypted hd" ever
    >>>> bootable in that mode?
    >>>> Caveat: I am not using any "crypted hd's" For general advice, try
    >>>> booting into rescue mode using the RedHat CD, and try to mount your
    >>>> linux partition. If you can manually enter the commands necessary to
    >>>> mount the partition, then you /*might*/ be able to fix whatever is
    >>>> broken about your setup.
    >>>
    > If I boot from CD or floppy, encryption software never gets alive and the disk
    > remains encrypted, and therefore cannot be rescued.
    >
    > What I see I would like to type to GRUB:
    >
    > root (fd0,0)
    > kernel /blaahblaah ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=floppy
    > initrd /blaahblaah
    > boot
    Just to report, if someone happens to be interested, I got booted with
    floppy with the abovementioned GRUB command sequence.

    Anyway, I think the idea of creating GRUB who understands about CD's might
    be a good idea, specially today when floppies are going to disappear from
    laptops.

    Thanks to them, who created this marvellous GRUB, I got my data back
    and running...

    -i



    ipsum Guest

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