You are not logged in.

#1 2012-07-11 16:53:20

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

[solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

In light of http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/ … 23211.html I decided to try syslinux, but couldn't get it to work. I think I followed the wiki (i.e. the /boot partition is marked active etc.) but still got  "Missing operating system" error and had to use a liveCD.
If anyone is using syslinux for their bootloader, can you pleas post the configs or give me a hint what could have gone wrong?

Last edited by karol (2012-07-13 22:25:03)

Offline

#2 2012-07-11 16:56:56

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

crap... now I have to try and understand Grub2. I did install syslinux on my wife's machine, so maybe I'll move to that as well.


Forum Rules

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

Offline

#3 2012-07-11 17:01:32

Psykorgasm
Member
From: England, UK
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 158

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

I switched to it ages ago on impulse, I saw that email come through earlier and was quite suprised actually! Almost as suprised as seeing karol posting a help wanted thread in newbie corner!

Anyway, maybe post your syslinux.cfg?
Also, did you take a look here?

Edit, spelling.

Last edited by Psykorgasm (2012-07-11 17:01:48)

Offline

#4 2012-07-11 17:05:30

skanky
Member
From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,838

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

I used Jason Wryan's post to get me sorted (and I'll add a thanks to him from me, for the simple guide).
http://jasonwryan.github.com/blog/2012/07/09/syslinux/


"...one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin."  - John Ruskin
"Life in general is a bit shit, and so too is the internet. And that's all there is." - scepticisle

Offline

#5 2012-07-11 17:08:04

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,110

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

I use syslinux (or more precisely the extlinux that boot from an ext{2,3,4} partition) successfully. Hereafter I briefly post what have to be done. If it still does not work. Repost posting exactly what you have tried.

1) create a directoty /boot/syslinux, containing syslinux.cfg and possibly modules that you will refer in this file (notably menu.c32 and chain.c32). You can put symlinks on the condition that the symlinks point to file in the same partition.
small edit: pay attention of 2) if you use symlinks. the / of the pointed file is the root of the partition where syslinux it. It does not correspond to the way you see it in the system if this partition is not mounted in /. See 2).

2) Place syslinux.cfg in this directoty. The root of the file mentionned are relative to the root of the partition containing the /boot/syslinux directory. You can also use relative paths that are relative to the directory /boot/syslinux (so if you have a /boot partition, the linux kernel will be referenced as /vmlinuz-linux, if /boot is on the same partition as / then /boot/vmlinuz-linux). I put here my config as an example: http://pastebin.com/zNunwupx

3) Make the partition containing /boot/syslinux bootable.

4) Put an mbr on the hard disk to be booted:

 dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda bs=440 count=1 

Replace /dev/sda by your hard disk. If you use gpt partition, you may have to use /usr/lib/syslinux/gptmbr.bin

5) run

extlinux /boot/syslinux

Last edited by olive (2012-07-11 19:18:42)

Offline

#6 2012-07-11 17:22:22

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

does syslinux support UEFI ?

if not, then I might as well learn Grub2 now so that I am prepared when my next machine has a UEFI bootloader.


Forum Rules

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

Offline

#7 2012-07-11 17:27:47

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,110

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Inxsible wrote:

does syslinux support UEFI ?

if not, then I might as well learn Grub2 now so that I am prepared when my next machine has a UEFI bootloader.

I do not think so. But syslinux is well maintained and active. I expect that it will support UEFI once it became common. Actually I think it is possible to boot linux directly from the UEFI firmware without an additional bootloader.

Last edited by olive (2012-07-11 17:29:10)

Offline

#8 2012-07-11 17:29:05

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Inxsible wrote:

does syslinux support UEFI ?

I don't think so...

if not, then I might as well learn Grub2 now so that I am prepared when my next machine has a UEFI bootloader.

Go for CONFIG_EFI_STUB instead, bootloaders suck anyway. smile


ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

Offline

#9 2012-07-11 17:36:28

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Why does everyone seem to hate grub2?

Offline

#10 2012-07-11 18:17:53

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,452

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Inxsible wrote:

does syslinux support UEFI ?

Not yet, but the "elflink" branch that will eventually be released as syslinux 5 will. Though, like litemotiv says, you don't need a bootloader with UEFI anyway. Optionally a manager like gummiboot (extremely simple) or rEFInd (graphical eye-candy), if your EFI's built-in selection mechanism sucks.

@Šaran: Grub2 is not a bootloader, it's an over-engineered, over-complex mess of a thing that also happens to include a bootloader.

@karol: Do you have the boot flag set on your partition? Check with fdisk, you can also set the flag with it. Grub doesn't care about it, but syslinux will select which partition to boot based on this flag.

Offline

#11 2012-07-11 18:41:32

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

I had read a little about EFISTUB before, but these 2 statements kinda confuse me

wiki wrote:

......capable of acting as the kernel's UEFI bootloader (which in a way means the kernel is its own bootloader), thus removing the need for a separate bootloader to launch the kernel (a boot manager might be required though, explained in detail later).

wiki wrote:

Since the kernel is responsible for booting only itself, a single EFISTUB enabled kernel is not capable of launching other kernels.

How would you dual-boot with Windows then since you need to make changes to the boot partition?

EDIT : sorry for being OT

Last edited by Inxsible (2012-07-11 18:46:27)


Forum Rules

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

Offline

#12 2012-07-11 18:47:44

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,838

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

karol wrote:

If anyone is using syslinux for their bootloader, can you pleas post the configs

My config is identical to the default, except for the root device in the APPEND line.

I changed all my systems to syslinux at the end of last month, with no issues whatsoever.

Offline

#13 2012-07-11 18:54:32

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,452

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Inxsible wrote:

How would you dual-boot with Windows then since you need to make changes to the boot partition?

With EFI, each OS installs it's stuff into it's own separate dir on the ESP (EFI system partition). There's no overwriting of the MBR, like what happens on BIOS machines. So to boot Windows, you simply load what Windows has installed into it's dir; either through some built-in selector or through a manager (gummiboot/rEFInd).

Last edited by Gusar (2012-07-11 18:56:30)

Offline

#14 2012-07-11 18:57:35

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

ok thanks Gusar. That makes sense. Obviously I have a lot of reading up to do in this ...


Forum Rules

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

Offline

#15 2012-07-11 18:58:47

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Psykorgasm wrote:

Anyway, maybe post your syslinux.cfg?

I'm using the stock one. I tried using UUIDs instead of /dev/sda's but still no luck.

Psykorgasm wrote:

Also, did you take a look here?

Gusar wrote:

@karol: Do you have the boot flag set on your partition? Check with fdisk, you can also set the flag with it. Grub doesn't care about it, but syslinux will select which partition to boot based on this flag.

Yup, my boot partition is marked active:

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1      208844      104422   83  Linux
/dev/sda2          208845      738989      265072+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3          738990    16113194     7687102+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4        16113195    78156224    31021515   83  Linux

I double-checked after I had problems with syslinux and it still showed the same.


@olive
Thanks for the explanation. I'll try again and (hopefully ;P) report back.

Offline

#16 2012-07-11 19:33:23

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,110

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

karol wrote:
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1      208844      104422   83  Linux
/dev/sda2          208845      738989      265072+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3          738990    16113194     7687102+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4        16113195    78156224    31021515   83  Linux

I double-checked after I had problems with syslinux and it still showed the same.

Have you put an mbr on the disk? If you previously use grub, it put its own mbr whose comportment differ from the standard behaviour needed by syslinux: chainload the boot sector of the active partition. According to this, I suppose you have /boot on /dev/sda1, right?

Last edited by olive (2012-07-11 20:09:37)

Offline

#17 2012-07-11 19:34:24

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,834
Website

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

karol, what happens when you try and access the Label from the prompt? Does it show any completions?

Also, you might want to post your cfg, just in case there is something in there that is awry...


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Github

Registered Linux User #482438

Offline

#18 2012-07-11 20:05:50

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

I don't think you're having a config issue. Your bios doesn't seem to find the the bootsector or some sort.
Never had any problems with syslinux. Try Archboot it's alot better and sets up GPT and UEFI boot alongside
syslinux etc. At least it created a 100 MB UEFI Partition.

Last edited by blackout23 (2012-07-11 20:06:42)

Offline

#19 2012-07-11 20:05:53

skanky
Member
From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,838

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

karol wrote:

I'm using the stock one. I tried using UUIDs instead of /dev/sda's but still no luck.

One point if you're using UUID is that you have two options to specify it:

root=UUID=xxxxxxxxxx

or

root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/xxxxxxxxxx

Make sure you don't mix the two as I did first time round.


"...one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin."  - John Ruskin
"Life in general is a bit shit, and so too is the internet. And that's all there is." - scepticisle

Offline

#20 2012-07-11 21:08:41

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,428

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

Thanks for all your help - it's working now :-)

I went the automatic route the first time, but when I read what olive wrote, I realized I should have used the same settings as in grub, instead of blindly relying on the defaults (duh) or other users' settings (duh^2):

olive wrote:

if you have a /boot partition, the linux kernel will be referenced as /vmlinuz-linux, if /boot is on the same partition as / then /boot/vmlinuz-linux

I happen to have a separate /boot partition and that's why neither

LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux
INITRD ../initramfs-linux.img

nor

LINUX /boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
INITRD /boot/initramfs-linux-lts.img

worked.
EDIT: Using the relative paths should work. My bad again.

Good thing I posted this in the newbie corner ;P


It seems I don't know how to ask for help the smart way, as I provided virtually no info for you guys to work with. Sorry.
I've managed to familiarize myself a bit with the SystemRescueCd - it was trivial to launch Arch using it :-)

Last edited by karol (2012-07-14 11:19:58)

Offline

#21 2012-07-12 15:09:55

fsckd
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2009-06-15
Posts: 3,551

Re: [solved: PEBKAC] syslinux woes: "Missing operating system"

moderator comment: It turns out the issue was not solved. I split the second half here to keep the discussion clean and easy to follow. To help karol with his syslinux woes, continue there.


aur S & M :: forum rules :: Community Ethos
Resources for Women, POC, LGBT*, and allies

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB