Syslinux is a collection of boot loaders capable of booting from hard drives, CDs and over the network via PXE. It supports the fat, ext2, ext3, ext4 and btrfs file systems.
Using syslinux to boot your Arch Linux system
Make sure you have the syslinux package installed. Then install syslinux onto your boot partition, which must contain a ext2, ext3, ext4 or btrfs file system.
# mkdir /boot/syslinux # extlinux --install /boot/syslinux /boot/syslinux/ is device /dev/sda1
Next, you need mark your boot partition active in your partition table:
# fdisk -l /dev/sda [...] Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 2048 104447 51200 83 Linux /dev/sda2 104448 625142447 312519000 83 Linux
Once that is the case, install a master boot record:
# cat /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sda
When you reboot your system now, you will have a syslinux prompt. To automatically boot your system, you still need to create a configuration file.
The syslinux configuration file is syslinux.cfg in the syslinux folder, in our case /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg.
Booting Arch Linux
This is a simple configuration file that will show a boot: prompt and automatically boot after 5 seconds.
PROMPT 1 TIMEOUT 50 DEFAULT arch LABEL arch LINUX /vmlinuz26 APPEND root=/dev/sda2 ro INITRD /kernel26.img
This example assumes that /boot is a separate mount point. If /boot is the same partition as /, you have to replace /vmlinuz26 by /boot/vmlinuz26 and so on.
If you want to boot directly without seeing a prompt, set PROMPT to 0 above. Instead of LINUX, the keyword KERNEL can also be used. KERNEL tries to detect the file type of the file, while LINUX always expects a Linux kernel.
Syslinux also allows you to use a boot menu. To use it, copy the menu COM32 module to your syslinux folder:
# cp /usr/lib/syslinux/menu.c32 /boot/syslinux/
If /boot is the same partition as /, a symlink will also work
# ln -s /usr/lib/syslinux/menu.c32 /boot/syslinux/
Now, adjust the configuration file:
UI menu.c32 PROMPT 0 MENU TITLE Boot Menu TIMEOUT 50 DEFAULT arch LABEL arch MENU LABEL Arch Linux LINUX /vmlinuz26 APPEND root=/dev/sda2 ro INITRD /kernel26.img
For more details about the menu system, see .
If you want to chainload other operating systems (such as Windows) or boot loaders, copy (or symlink) the chain.c32 module to the syslinux folder (for details, see the instructions in the previous section). Then, create a section in the configuration file:
LABEL windows MENU LABEL Windows COM32 chain.c32 APPEND hd0 3
hd0 3 is the third partition on the first BIOS drive - drives are counted from zero, but partitions are counted from one. For more details about chainloading, see .
Use this LABEL section to launch memtest (install the memtest86 package):
LABEL memtest MENU LABEL Memtest86+ LINUX /memtest86+/memtest.bin
HDT (Hardware Detection Tool) displays hardware information. Like before, the .c32 file has to be copied or symlinked from /boot/syslinux/.
LABEL hdt MENU LABEL Hardware Info COM32 hdt.c32
Reboot and power off
Use the following sections to reboot or power off your machine.
LABEL reboot MENU LABEL Reboot COM32 reboot.c32 LABEL poweroff MENU LABEL Power Off COMBOOT poweroff.com