[syslinux] Bootloader data in /boot vs package systems (and atomic updates)

Colin Walters walters at verbum.org
Tue Apr 22 15:58:07 PDT 2014


I'm working on https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/OSTree which is a 
general-purpose update system for Linux-based operating systems.  It 
isn't a package system itself, but operates at the same level.

A primary goal of OSTree is fully atomic updates, and the "swapped 
chroots" model works well for most of userspace and the 

However, syslinux relies on loadable modules in /boot.  At present in 
Fedora at least, the RPM package updates these, and it has a %post to 
ensure that when a newer version of extlinux is installed, we update 
both the boot modules and the MBR.

For more background, see:

In constrat, GRUB2 keeps its modules in /usr/lib, and grub-install 
*copies* them to /boot at the same time that the MBR is updated.

I like this model more as it allows me to decouple the delivery of 
updated bootloader data with its actual installation, and ensure that 
when I do want to update the bootloader, it can happen at a safe(r) 

Would there be any interest in patches for extlinux to support this 

Any thoughts on the general topic?

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