Can't install Ubuntu bootloader to Linux partition

#1
Hi,

I tried installing Ubuntu 10.04 today, as a dual boot with my already installed Windows 7 (and of course intending to use one of my favorite programs, EasyBCD).

I made my partitions--one for root (sda5), one for /home (sda6) and the swap partition (within the Ubuntu install, of course).

I get to the advanced tab, it gives me a drop down list of partitions into which to install the bootloader, however, when I choose any of the Linux partitions, the " ok" button remains grayed out and I cannot select it. It will only let me install to Windows partitions.

Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks,
James
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
I know in previous versions you had to type in the device (ie. (hd0,1) or /dev/sda1) manually. Does it give you a place to do that?
 
#3
I know in previous versions you had to type in the device (ie. (hd0,1) or /dev/sda1) manually.
Yes, I've done this before with Hardy, back in the day. Different versions of the OSes, different interfaces, but same install.

Does it give you a place to do that?
You can choose from the drop down menu, or type it in. I've tried both.

If I select any of the three Windows partitions, or my thumb drive, or the hard drive itself (dev/sda) or even the Ubuntu Live CD, it will allow it. If I choose any of the three Linux partitions, the "ok" button is grayed out. Can't do it.

I might try typing in hd0,5. Never know...
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Is it a primary/logical thing ?
I know Linux previously didn't suffer from MS's insistence on booting from a primary, but maybe they've taken a step backwards ?
 
#5
Tried that, too. Assigned the Linux boot partition to be a primary, and suddenly all my 130 some gigs of available space was no longer available.

It' weird.

Over at the Ubuntu forums, along with a couple recommendations to choose not to install the bootloader from the advanced tab and then install it manually, someone said this in response to a comment that grub2 doesn't like being installed to the root partition:

Grub2 should work fine being installed to the partition, it just isn't the recommended way since it has to use block lists, so if the core file ever moves it will totally break booting
Though I have never had a problem before, that made me kinda nervous.

Addendum:

Well, I just successfully installed Ubuntu 9.10, and can boot into both Windows 7 and Ubuntu using EasyBCD 2.0.

So, as soon as I get my wireless working in Ubuntu, I'll just update to 10.04. Seemed like the easiest solution.

Thanks for the responses.

PS. People over at Ubuntu forums keep telling me I am asking for problems not letting Grub be the boot manager. Any comments/reassurance as to what they are talking about and why it is perfectly fine to use EasyBCD?
 
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#6
Its all about personal preference really. If you want Grub as your boot manager, then you can put it back in the MBR by using a Super Grub disk. However, having the Windows boot manager in the MBR has certain advantages: One, with the help of EasyBCD, it is very easy to add/remove entries from your boot menu using an easy GUI, and customize your boot. With Grub, you'd have to manually edit a menu.lst or grub.cfg file in order to change your boot menu. Either one is fine, but you'd probably be better off leaving the Windows bootloader in charge.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
For GRUB2 and Ubuntu with EasyBCD 2.0, you can just go ahead and install GRUB2 to the MBR every time, then use EasyBCD to (1) reinstall the Vista/7 bootloader and (2) add a GRUB2 entry and it'll pick it up automagically :smile:
 
#8
For GRUB2 and Ubuntu with EasyBCD 2.0, you can just go ahead and install GRUB2 to the MBR every time, then use EasyBCD to (1) reinstall the Vista/7 bootloader and (2) add a GRUB2 entry and it'll pick it up automagically :smile:
Well, I already installed grub2 to the Linux root partition, and it's all working fine so far, just as it worked fine with Hardy when I installed that a couple years ago in a dual boot setup with Vista (Hardy didn't work fine at all, but that's another issue).

So, I guess what they are telling me over there at the Ubuntu forums about this being a bad way to do it, I am asking for trouble, etc., is pretty much nonsense?

And this comment:

Grub2 should work fine being installed to the partition, it just isn't the recommended way since it has to use block lists, so if the core file ever moves it will totally break booting
Is that really a big issue? What the **** are block lists, and which core file should not move (grub2 core file?)? If this does break booting, it would only break the Linux boot, and not the Windows boot, right?

This is rather beyond my level of competence. I appreciate your help in understanding it.
 
#9
My overall understanding from GRUB 2 is that it has become more sophisticated in that it accompanies more state-of-the-art operating systems, but it has completely failed to provide user friendliness along with important features that its predecessor GRUB 1.0 offered. Whenever I contact GRUB support (on IRC or elsewhere) regarding GRUB 2, I get told that "this" or "that is not supported, encouraged or recommended". EasyBCD is much easier, straightforward and professionally developped, in my opinion.

With regard to installing GRUB 2 on the partition where Linux sits, how did you do it? Are you saying it was possible in Hardy Heron but not in Lucid Lynx?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
It's not an issue - Windows isn't loading Linux, GRUB2 still is. And Linux gets full control over how it's done, and gets to freely modify the location of the kernel, etc. with updates.

They're referring to the old way of loading GRUB, which EasyBCD no longer does.
 
#11
sanctimon said:
With regard to installing GRUB 2 on the partition where Linux sits, how did you do it? Are you saying it was possible in Hardy Heron but not in Lucid Lynx?
I did it by installing Karmic (9.10) instead of Lucid. From the installation (using the "advanced" button at the last step).

I couldn't install it to the Linux root partition in Lucid from the Lucid installation. It wouldn't let me. I could have done it manually, probably, but I didn't want to mess with it.

Yes, Hardy also allowed you to install Grub to the Linux partition. So did every Ubuntu version until Lucid, far as I know. I don't know if my problems installing Grub to the Linux partition in Lucid was just a fluke problem I was having, or a new "feature."

Addendum:

It's not an issue - Windows isn't loading Linux, GRUB2 still is. And Linux gets full control over how it's done, and gets to freely modify the location of the kernel, etc. with updates.

They're referring to the old way of loading GRUB, which EasyBCD no longer does.

Thanks, that makes me feel better.
 
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#12
Just wanted to let you know that I've had the same issue on a couple of machines.

The work around for this is to setup your partitions for Ubuntu before you start the install (gparted is on the disk), then start the install. When it comes to setting up the partitions choose the custom partition scheme and format and set the mount points up. After this you will be able to select the Linux partition from the drop down menu when using the Advanced button.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies, Alfihar.
 
T

Tex

Guest
#14
The problem AFAIK, is that GRUB2 doesn't yet support being in the root partition. Lucid (and Karmic) use GRUB2 as bootloader, the reason why hardy (in fact jaunty and earlier) did install grub to the root partition is because they all use the older and more supported grub 0.9x.
 
#15
In lucid lynx, if I let grub2 be the main boot manager I am just dropped to a rescue grub prompt upon boot up. :frowning: Vista is on sda, Ubuntu is on 2nd drive - sdb.... not sure why this should be so difficult. Previous Ubuntu installs worked just fine.
 
#16
I get to the advanced tab, it gives me a drop down list of partitions into which to install the bootloader, however, when I choose any of the Linux partitions, the " ok" button remains grayed out and I cannot select it. It will only let me install to Windows partitions.
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I just had the same problem installing Ubuntu 10.04. When I clicked on the "Detail" button, it showed that there was an error creating the partition. I tried several times, and got a different error each time. So I just booted from the LiveCD, created the partitions myself using GParted, and then ran the Ubuntu installer again. This time, I was able to install the bootloader to the Linux partition without any issues.