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Funtoo boot-update provides a unified mechanism for configuring the GRUB 1.9x (sys-boot/grub) and GRUB 0.97 (sys-boot/grub-legacy) boot loaders. It is the recommended, official way to configure Funtoo Linux systems for booting.

Current Version

  • sys-boot/boot-update

Man Pages

Consult the following man pages for detailed, up-to-date information on configuration file settings and command-line arguments:

  • boot-update(8)
  • boot.conf(5)

Installing a Bootloader

These install instructions show you how to use GRUB to boot using BIOS (old-school) or UEFI (new-school). As of boot-update-1.7.2, now in Portage, the steps are very similar.

First, emerge boot-update. This will also cause grub-2 and efibootmgr to be merged, since they are dependencies:

(chroot) # emerge boot-update

Then, edit /etc/boot.conf using nano and specify "Funtoo Linux genkernel" as the default setting at the top of the file, replacing "Funtoo Linux".

/etc/boot.conf should now look like this:

boot {
	generate grub
	default "Funtoo Linux genkernel" 
	timeout 3 

"Funtoo Linux" {
	kernel bzImage[-v]

"Funtoo Linux genkernel" {
	kernel kernel[-v]
	initrd initramfs[-v]
	params += real_root=auto 

"Funtoo Linux better-initramfs" {
	kernel vmlinuz[-v]
	initrd /initramfs.cpio.gz

If you are booting a custom or non-default kernel, please read man boot.conf for information on the various options available to you.

Old School (BIOS) MBR

When using "old school" BIOS booting, run the following command to install GRUB to your MBR, and generate the /boot/grub/grub.cfg configuration file that GRUB will use for booting:

(chroot) # grub-install --target=i386-pc --no-floppy /dev/sda
(chroot) # boot-update

New School (UEFI) Boot Entry

If you're using "new school" UEFI booting, run of the following sets of commands, depending on whether you are installing a 64-bit or 32-bit system. This will add GRUB as a UEFI boot entry.

For x86-64bit systems:

(chroot) # grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id="Funtoo Linux [GRUB]" --recheck /dev/sda
(chroot) # boot-update

For x86-32bit systems:

(chroot) # grub-install --target=i386-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id="Funtoo Linux [GRUB]" --recheck /dev/sda
(chroot) # boot-update

First Boot, and in the future...

OK -- you are ready to boot!

You only need to run grub-install when you first install Funtoo Linux, but you need to re-run boot-update every time you modify your /etc/boot.conf file or add new kernels to your system. This will regenerate /boot/grub/grub.cfg so that you will have new kernels available in your GRUB boot menu, the next time you reboot.

GRUB 0.97 (grub-legacy) Quick Start

If using sys-boot/grub-legacy-0.97, perform the following steps:

  • Partition disk using MBR partitions (GPT not supported)
  • Install kernel/initrd to /boot
root # emerge sys-boot/boot-update
root # emerge ">=sys-boot/grub-legacy-0.97-r11"
root # grub-install-legacy /dev/sda

Due to an issue with grub-legacy, you may see the following message:

root # grub-install-legacy /dev/sda
The file /boot/grub-legacy/stage1 not read correctly.

Should you receive this message, you will have to install grub-legacy from the grub shell. Assuming /boot is the partition /dev/sda1 and you want to install grub to the MBR, you would run the following:

root # grub-legacy
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)

When adjusting to fit your setup, remember 'root' is the location of your boot partition, 'setup' is where you want to install grub, and don't forget about grub's unique naming conventions for hard drives / partitions. For more information run:

root # info grub-legacy

Ensure that /etc/fstab is correct, and edit /etc/boot.conf to reflect your installation. Ensure a generate grub-legacy setting in the boot section. Then run:

root # boot-update

This will auto-generate the /boot/grub-legacy/grub.conf required for booting. Note that grub-legacy-0.97-r11 and later stores grub.conf in the /boot/grub-legacy directory.

Re-run boot-update every time your available kernels / initrds or /etc/boot.conf configuration changes.