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#1 2020-04-06 17:15:32

thegreatzach
Member
Registered: 2020-04-06
Posts: 2

Systemd-Boot Installation XBOOTLDR

Hi all! First time posting here so I hope I am doing this right.

I was recently doing an Arch Install and I was looking at the wiki page for Systemd-boot and noticed it states that the current installation method is out of date.
Confused, I wrote a reddit post that went over what I was doing and my questions about the new Systemd-242. This post didn't quite catch the eye of the people who work closely with the wiki so I am hoping posting here will yield better results.

I'll spare you all from copy pasting the whole thing, But I will copy paste my TLDR and edit of the information I found out:

TLDR:
Does anyone have info about systemd-boot 242 using --esp-path and --boot-path? The wiki says the installation section is currently out to date and I cannot find a good guide that uses these options to make a system XBOOTLDR compatible.

EDIT:

After more closely reading this page
There is a different partition type that is needed for XBOOTLDR to work!

In cfdisk there is a type called "Linux Extended boot" which will have a Guid of "bc13c2ff-59e6-4262-a352-b275fd6f7172"
This partition is what should be used in --boot-path=

I'm confused as to what it should be formatted to. According to this it can be anything but the previously mentioned page says:

For systems where the firmware is able to read file systems directly, $BOOT must be a file system readable by the firmware. 
For other systems and generic installation and live media, $BOOT must be a VFAT (16 or 32) file system.
Applications accessing $BOOT should hence not assume that fancier file system features such as symlinks, hardlinks, access control or case sensitivity are supported.

So formatting to fat32 seems to be the safest bet
This method seems to achieve my goal of having the linux kernel somewhere else in case of windows updates because all that is put onto /efi is the systemd.efi which can be easily recovered with a live disk (not the most ideal but better then having to reinstall linux all together)
So the Systemd-boot page should have something along the lines of:

**Using XBOOTLDR:**

create a separate partition of atleast 250Mib labeled "Linux extended boot" (guid of bc13c2ff-59e6-4262-a352-b275fd6f7172) now referred to as $BOOT
Format $BOOT to fat32: mkfs.vfat -F 32 $BOOT
mount the ESP to /mnt/efi and the $BOOT to /mnt/boot
install with pacstrap per usual
in chroot use the command: (not sure it is needed as bootctl looks for this by default but good to specify)
bootctl --esp-path=/efi --boot-path=/boot install

edit /efi/loader/loader.conf to say:
"default arch
timeout 3"

edit /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf to:
"title Arch_Linux_extendedboot
linux /vmlinuz-linux
initrd /initramfs-linux.img
initrd /initramfs-linux-fallback.img
options root=/dev/sdX"

reboot and enjoy

Obviously a rough draft of what should be in the wiki but the fundementals of what to do are there.

Basically the systemd-boot wiki page needs to be updated in the installation section. The current man pages for bootctl no longer include documentation for --path.
Now there are 2 different path commands --esp-path and --boot-path. esp--path seems to work like the old --path command, but --boot-path allows you to define a different partition (so long as its guid "bc13c2ff-59e6-4262-a352-b275fd6f7172") that can be used by systemd-boot during startup.

This also seems extremely useful for windows dual booting because before Windows would only make a 100mb EFI partition that a copy of the kernel had to exist on. Now you can create a new partition that can be much larger and all of your kernels can be held there instead of on the ESP

I'm sure there is more testing to be done, and the write up for  the wiki could be better but I figure this is a great start for a change!

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#2 2020-04-06 17:36:51

lahwaacz
Wiki Admin
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2012-05-29
Posts: 687

Re: Systemd-Boot Installation XBOOTLDR

Posting on the forums won't quite catch the eye of the people who work closely with the wiki either, you should use the wiki talk page. That said, you shouldn't copy-paste there either - just describe what and how needs to be updated and just link to your posts elsewhere for reference.

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#3 2020-04-06 19:44:40

thegreatzach
Member
Registered: 2020-04-06
Posts: 2

Re: Systemd-Boot Installation XBOOTLDR

Thanks!

I just added an entry to the talk page

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ta … e_XBOOTLDR

Hopefully I did it right!

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#4 2020-04-06 19:57:05

lahwaacz
Wiki Admin
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2012-05-29
Posts: 687

Re: Systemd-Boot Installation XBOOTLDR

Looks good, thanks.

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