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What is ExtLinux?

ExtLinux is a pretty simple and modern systemloader, bundled with the syslinux tools, installation is really simple for it and fast, and thanks to our CoreTeam member Slashbeast the configuration runs automated in an awesome way.

Installing ExtLinux for funtoo

Installing ExtLinux for funtoo is known to work and supported too. If you like to try it just emerge syslinux

root # emerge syslinux

with that you have the complete syslinux tools installed. Another helpful tool you should merge with syslinux is slashbeast's lazykernel tool, so let us merge it too:

root # emerge lazykernel

Installing extlinux

to install extlinux just follow these steps:

root # install -d /boot/extlinux
root # extlinux --install /boot/extlinux
root # cd /boot
root # ln -s . boot

the next steps are different depending if you use an MBR or GPT setup and the HDD you installed on and want to boot from. Let us now for general take /dev/sda as your boot device.


If you set up your disk with MBR partition scheme just do the next steps:

root # dd bs=440 conv=notrunc count=1 if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
root # cp /usr/share/syslinux/menu.c32 /boot/extlinux/
root # cp /usr/share/syslinux/libutil.c32 /boot/extlinux/
root # touch /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf


root # sgdisk /dev/sda --attributes=1:set:2
root # sgdisk /dev/sda --attributes=1:show
1:2:1 (legacy BIOS bootable)
root # dd bs=440 conv=notrunc count=1 if=/usr/share/syslinux/gptmbr.bin of=/dev/sda
root # cp /usr/share/syslinux/menu.c32 /boot/extlinux/
root # cp /usr/share/syslinux/libutil.c32 /boot/extlinux/
root # touch /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf

Setting up the Kernel

Now if you followed our advice to install lazykernel we have a pretty nice way to solve all the setup with a bit of prework and finish it then. If not you should go to the manual part. :)

lazykernel way

As you setup lazykernel, we now need to edit /etc/lazykernel.conf

make it to look like somethink like that:

# After configuring, hash or remove line below.

# Number of the kernels to keep so `lazykernel clean` will not propose to remove them. Default: 3

# Sort kernels by 'version' (biggest version first) or by 'mtime' (latest images first). Default: mtime
# Sorting by version may fail and 3.3.0-rc2 will be marked as newer than 3.3.0.

# The name for menu entry.
menu_entry_name="Funtoo Linux"

# Specify what initramfs image to use, if any. (Optional)

# Append kernel params, usualy you use it to specify rootfs device, but you can use it to pass switches to initramfs as well. (Optional)
#kernel_params="rootfstype=ext4 luks enc_root=/dev/sda2 lvm root=/dev/mapper/vg-rootfs uswsusp resume=/dev/mapper/vg-swap"
kernel_params="rootfstype=ext4 luks enc_root=/dev/sdb3 lvm root=/dev/mapper/vg-root uswsusp resume=/dev/mapper/vg-swap"

please make sure to comment out or delete the second line of the config file, else it will spit out an error for you... :)

Now let us setup our kernel with lazykernel if you have a manual kernel just run:

root # cd <kernel build dir>
root # lazykernel auto

that will generate the modules for you, copy your kernel form /usr/src/linux over to /boot and generate the /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf for you. The manual kernel will be the only supported one by lazykernel.

That's all you are ready to boot. :)

manual extlinux.conf

For other kernels, like those created by genkernel or by the binary USE-flag you need to edit your config by yourself. Just open /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf in your favorite editor and setup something like the following:

UI menu.c32

MENU COLOR title        1;37;40
MENU COLOR border       30;40
MENU COLOR unsel        37;40

LABEL funtoo1
        LINUX /<kernel>
        INITRD /<initramfs>
        APPEND rootfstype=ext4 luks enc_root=/dev/sdb3 lvm root=/dev/mapper/vg-root uswsusp resume=/dev/mapper/vg-swap

That's all again you are ready for boot. You can also define several LABELs in that list to have multiple kernels been booted... :)