View Full Version : F8 boot or similar

10th March 2004, 05:09 AM
Hi All,

As a confirmed RH/FC1 user, this may seem to be an unusual request; but there seems (to me) to be a need in Fedora for a better "rescue mode" in those rare cases that things go wrong. Booting from the FC1 CD1 is OK, sometimes, and a boot disk made using the "mkbootdisk" command is better than nothing. Using the (pretty confusing for newbies) commands from the grub command line is an alternative, but for new users not an easy one. In fact, I have had to resort on several occasions to using a Knoppix disk to boot hurting Linux systems, then mount the file systems and repair them, to fix them.

An equivalent to the <flamesuit> MSWindows </flamesuit> F8 boot and boot menu which would permit users to boot to Linux single or Linux rescue might be a good addition to Fedora. A boot which would permit aloow booting with minimal drivers to text mode or perhaps even a "safe mode" so that problems could be repaired; preferably one which would require and/or allow manual mounting of the hard drive(s).

This is just a suggestion and not a criticism of FC1. If this has been posted in an inappropriate forum, please excuse me.

Jim Dishaw

10th March 2004, 04:01 PM
This can be accomplished pretty easily

Just add a new boot entry called "Fedora Single/Safe" in grub or lilo using the same image and kernel parameters but adding -single to the kernel options.

Btw : Mandrake does this by default - maybe you can find a grub config from mandrake on the net ??

10th March 2004, 10:09 PM
This can be accomplished pretty easily

Just add a new boot entry called "Fedora Single/Safe" in grub or lilo using the same image and kernel parameters but adding -single to the kernel options.

I'm not arguing that there aren't ways of doing it. Your suggestion of editing /etc/grub/grub.conf is one excellent one. Knoppix is another, and both grub and lilo will accept commands which will also work. Tom's root boot disk has bailed me on more than one occasion.

It's just that there a lot of new Linux users and by default FC1 (and a lot of other distributions as well) boots to runlevel 5. If X gets hosed, or a new monitor is installed, or whatever, and Linux fails to boot to the GUI, new users come running to people like us and there is no *easy* way to help them boot to runlevel 3 and walk them through simple editing of a config file or two to get them back up.

I have the /etc/inittab set to runlevel 3 in all my computers and that works out fine for me. This is just a thought on how to help the many new Linux users fix things and get to a stripped text mode boot so that they can begin to repair their system. Another thing that I've noticed is that running "setup" doesn't allow users set video modes as it did in earlier versions of Red Hat. Also, running redhat-config-XFree86 dumps you out of text mode and automatically fires up the GUI. This is fine if the XWindows is operable and just needs tweaking, but not much help if X is hosed.

Again, I'm a serious Linux enthusiast and use Linux at home and at work. But since more and more people are realizing the benefits of Linux in general and desktop Linux in particular, it just seems to me that this functionality might be sensible to include.

Jim Dishaw

4th April 2004, 12:04 PM
Adding a single user boot mode to the bootloader, without other means of protecting the system once it boots to that runlevel, is simply making a foolproof hole in your system: granted only to local users who can reboot it. From single user mode the root password can be reset without any auth--selinux may have this protected soon (maybe already) but runlevel 1 must be protected by a grub password or any user who can sit down at the machine can gain root. Not a good idea for a default configuration.

I think addition of a second / containing the cd rescue environment could be useful however, similar to having the 'Windows XP Recovery Console' installed as a boot target for XP.

A better idea in my opinion would be a live cd with X support specifically for Fedora recovery since the idea was for noobs anyway. In any case, the idea should be brought up for the future, so post an RFE to bugzilla or drop a suggestion to the devel mailing list.