[syslinux] syslinux vs grub
Patrick J. LoPresti
patl at users.sourceforge.net
Sat Jan 8 18:04:20 PST 2005
"H. Peter Anvin" <hpa at zytor.com> writes:
> Sorry about that, I've been a bit down in the dumps lately, in case
> it's not obvious.
You shouldn't be. SYSLINUX/ISOLINUX/PXELINUX is a great tool used by
thousands (and probably millions) of people, even if most of them
don't know it. Everyone who has anything to do with boot-time issues
knows that your work is excellent. I think you should be proud!
> What I really mean is I'm still debating whether or not to develop
> syslinux further, whether or not I should develop it further but in
> a different direction, or take the project to maintenance-only mode.
You asked what it would take to replace GRUB. For that, I do think
handling file systems other than FAT and ext2 is a requirement. Last
I checked, SUSE still defaulted to reiserfs. And I have seriously
considered moving my own systems to XFS. If you do not want to code
support for each file system yourself (and I don't blame you), then I
would suggest providing some kind of framework where other motivated
hackers can add support for their favorite file systems.
File system "modules" was just an idea, as was the command-line stuff.
They would be useful for floppy boot disks, which I myself have found
handy once or twice. But I could still use GRUB for that if my system
were normally booted by EXTLINUX (or XFSLINUX or whatever).
> In particular, I'm starting to seriously questioning the value of
> some of the advanced features I have on the drawing board (and in
> some cases, partially implemented) when built on top of the syslinux
> framework. I don't want to spend a lot of time building those new
> features if they are ultimately useless.
Well, I guess it depends on what your goals are. GRUB is certainly
ripe for replacement in a lot of ways, IMO. It is bloated, the
maintainers are largely non-responsive, and the whole project is
pretty much stalled. If you want to try to supplant it, I think you
will find lots of people rooting for you and wanting to help where we
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