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Thread: Dual-booting BT4 via grub2?

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  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Dual-booting BT4 via grub2?

    Hello there,

    As many posting in this forum, I'm new to BackTrack. I'm using another version of Linux which comes packaged with Grub2 as its bootloader. No, I do not wish to dump it for Grub Legacy. I'm trying to find out what I need to do to load BackTrack 4 via Grub2. Here's my grub.cfg entry:
    menuentry "Linux BT (/dev/sda7)" {
    	insmod ext2
    	set root=(hd0,7)
    	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 5d7b3aa8-f5ee-46fe-8552-74461364e061
    	linux /boot/vmlinuz- root=UUID=17dc73e0-6a15-4485-81ca-905eb4525084 ro vga=0x317 acpi_osi=Linux
    	initrd /boot/initrd.img-
    This code was mostly generated by the terminal command "update-grub." The only change I added was to the entry name and I added an extra command for boot, "acpi_osi=Linux."

    However, upon booting the entry, BT4 freezes with an error message mentioning I did not have video resources necessary for standard GUI graphics (which I know is not true, since I launched the LiveCD). In addition, my mouse and mousepad (I'm using a laptop) were not functional. There were multiple failures during startup suggesting failure to load or mount certain files. I didn't think about writing any of them down since I was more interested in determining if the boot would work.

    My question... Does anyone know how to boot BT4 via Grub2? One method I thought of was to load BT4's GRUB Legacy bootloader through GRUB2. Yet I have no idea how to accomplish this and also didn't find any revealing material via a google search.

    Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Dual-booting BT4 via grub2?

    I am also in the same boat. I prefer Grub2 to Legacy Grub and want to either put Backtrack entries directly into Grub2 or chainload into Legacy Grub.

    When I try the chainload approach, it doesn't even try to boot; it takes me right back to the Grub2 screen.

    When I try BT boot entries in Grub2, it says it cannot find the Ubuntu Kernel (even though I have the backtrack kernel and path specified) or it just fails and drops into BusyBox or whatever it's called.

    Anyone who has experience in this area, your input would be greatly appreciated.


  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Dual-booting BT4 via grub2?

    did you find a good solution ?
    Grub2 on Ubuntu 10.10 detected backtrack partition and it's working, but still look for a better way to do it - as it is now, backtrack appears with only one boot option as ubuntu 8.04.

  4. #4
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Dual-booting BT4 via grub2?

    Seeing as the last post in this thread was made a while back, an answer may not be needed.
    I came across this thread whilst learning myself, so I'll pop a bit here about what is working for me.

    My set-up includes;

    MacBook 60GB HD (Yes, I've squeezed all below on a 60GB drive)
    • EFI Partition - 200MB - sda1 (Mac specific. I list here for other Mac users, it is sda1 in partition table)
    • OS x 10.7 - 30GB - sda2
    • GRUB2 Partition - 113MB - sda3
    • (GRUB2 Partition not Necessary, more of a learning tool for me and I recommend for 3+ OS's)
    • Partition that I plan to use for various tools/small iso's/img's/etc... - 600MB - sda4
    • Ubuntu 10.10 Using GRUB2 - 12GB - sda5
    • BT4 R2 Using GRUB Legacy - 10GB - sda6
    • SWAP Partition - 3GB - sda7

    Gosh, where do I start? I'll try to keep it short.
    1. To start, I had OS x on 1 partition. (In reality 2, the EFI is not visible from within OS x)
    2. Ran Ubuntu 10.10 Live from CD. (Try Ubuntu... Not the Install now button)
    3. Used GParted from the System/Administration menu to create all partitions in advance. (2+5 new,7 in total)
    4. Installed GRUB2 to dedicated partition, sda3. First mounting the GRUB2 partition, then using
      sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/GRUB2 /dev/sda
    5. Installed Ubuntu to sda5. Installed GRUB2 to sda5 and chose sda7 as SWAP during the process.
    6. Ran BT4 R2 Live from DVD.
    7. (I had a little trouble with startx. It may be MacBook specific, I'll cover that at the end of this post)
    8. Installed BT4 R2 to sda6. Installed GRUB (Legacy) to sda6 and chose sda7 as SWAP during the process.
    9. Ran Ubuntu 10.10 Live from CD.
    10. Used Terminal to create a grub.cfg file in /GRUB2/boot/grub/ using,
      sudo grub-mkconfig -o /GRUB2/boot/grub/grub.cfg
      mainly to get correct uuid from the partition of which Linux using GRUB2 is residing.
    11. Directly edited GRUB2/boot/grub/grub.cfg, removing all entries between the following lines;

      ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
      ### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

      ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
      ### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###

      ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
      ### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

      ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
      ### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

    12. Added these lines to GRUB2/boot/grub/grub.cfg after '### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###'

      ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/06_gabeech ###
      menuentry "Ubuntu" {
      set root=(hd0,gpt5)
      chainloader +1
      menuentry "BackTrack 4 R2" {
      set root=(hd0,gpt6)
      chainloader +1
      menuentry "Reboot" {
      ### END /etc/grub.d/06_gabeech ###

    After all that, the moral is;

    If Dual Booting;
    • Install Distro with GRUB2 first.
    • Then when installing BT4 R2 (or GRUB Legacy Distro), make sure you install GRUB to the same partition as BT4 R2.
    • Then add a chainloader menuentry to you grub.cfg file (direct editing not advised), pointing to the BT4 R2 partition.
    • This will run BT4 R2's GRUB menu. You can then treat this menu like you would with BT4 R2 as your only OS... Within reason.

    If Triple Booting (or more),
    • I recommend having a Dedicated GRUB2 Partition and following a similar path to what I've covered above.
    • Be sure to only have one chosen Distro install it's GRUB2 to the MBR (or equivalent) of your drive.
    • All GRUB legacy and other Distros should have GRUB/2 installed to the same partition as the Distro in question.
    • Edit the grub.cfg file directly on GRUB2 partition, removing all listed Distros and pop in your chainloader menuentry's after the 05_... entry's.
    • Doing this gives you a neat list of Distros to start. When one is chosen, it takes you to the GRUB/2 menu for that Distro.

    ps. The startx issue I mentioned way up there;

    I could not get into the GUI/X environment to even attempt to install BT4 R2.
    It froze on a black screen when I entered startx at the prompt.
    I was in... Installed, then on first boot from hard drive;
    Every boot after that was fine for me.
    (I've either bored people by now or got it all wrong somehow, I'm a beginner... just wish I'd come across this post... it would of helped me a lot)

    That was mainly a list of what I did, it's not instructions on what to do.
    That seamed very long, for you and for me.
    If any of the above helps you and you know what your doing... Always a pleasure.
    If any of it gets you thinking and your not sure, post a reply (I'm subscribed) and we'll discuss/learn together.

    grub.cfg direct editing not advised unless you have GRUB2 on it's own partition/drive.

    Oh, I forgot to mention;

    The reason I do not mention OS x an awful lot and the reason I don't add OS x to grug.cfg GRUB2 partition is;
    OS x is loaded by default via EFI, it behaves as if it is the only OS.
    To load my GRUB2 menu, I hold the alt key on power up. which lets me choose my boot device for that session.
    From the little I have seen, it looks awfully complex to boot OS x from GRUB2.
    Last edited by gabeech; 04-11-2011 at 05:28 AM. Reason: Missing letter/word/spelling

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