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The GRUB Manual

The GRUB Manual

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Grub manual
Grub manual

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Published by: sukalyan_g6864 on Feb 09, 2010
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the GRUB manual
The GRand Unified Bootloader, version 0.95, 11 May 2004.
Gordon MatzigkeitYoshinori K. Okuji
 
Copyrightc
1999,2000,2001,2002,2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided thecopyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies. Permission is grantedto copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatimcopying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of apermission notice identical to this one.Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another lan-guage, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission noticemay be stated in a translation approved by Free Software Foundation.
 
Chapter 1: Introduction to GRUB 1
1 Introduction to GRUB
1.1 Overview
Briefly, a
boot loader 
is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. Itis responsible for loading and transferring control to an operating system
kernel 
software(such as Linux or GNU Mach). The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operatingsystem (e.g. a GNU system).GNU GRUB is a very powerful boot loader, which can load a wide variety of freeoperating systems, as well as proprietary operating systems with chain-loading
1
. GRUBis designed to address the complexity of booting a personal computer; both the programand this manual are tightly bound to that computer platform, although porting to otherplatforms may be addressed in the future.One of the important features in GRUB is flexibility; GRUB understands filesystemsand kernel executable formats, so you can load an arbitrary operating system the way youlike, without recording the physical position of your kernel on the disk. Thus you can loadthe kernel just by specifying its file name and the drive and partition where the kernelresides.When booting with GRUB, you can use either a command-line interface (seeSec-tion 12.1 [Command-line interface], page 22), or a menu interface (seeSection 12.2 [Menuinterface], page 23). Using the command-line interface, you type the drive specification andfile name of the kernel manually. In the menu interface, you just select an OS using thearrow keys. The menu is based on a configuration file which you prepare beforehand (seeChapter 5 [Configuration], page 13). While in the menu, you can switch to the command-line mode, and vice-versa. You can even edit menu entries before using them.In the following chapters, you will learn how to specify a drive, a partition, and afile name (seeChapter 2 [Naming convention], page 4) to GRUB, how to install GRUB onyour drive (seeChapter 3 [Installation], page 5), and how to boot your OSes (seeChapter 4 [Booting], page 9), step by step.Besides the GRUB boot loader itself, there is a
grub shell 
grub
(seeChapter 15[Invoking the grub shell], page 42) which can be run when you are in your operating system.It emulates the boot loader and can be used for installing the boot loader.
1.2 History of GRUB
GRUB originated in 1995 when Erich Boleyn was trying to boot the GNU Hurd with theUniversity of Utah’s Mach 4 microkernel (now known as GNU Mach). Erich and BrianFord designed the Multiboot Specification (seesection “Motivation” in
), because they were determined not to add to the large number of mutually-incompatible PC boot methods.Erich then began modifying the FreeBSD boot loader so that it would understandMultiboot. He soon realized that it would be a lot easier to write his own boot loader fromscratch than to keep working on the FreeBSD boot loader, and so GRUB was born.
1
chain-load
is the mechanism for loading unsupported operating systems by loading another bootloader. It is typically used for loading DOS or Windows.

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