[syslinux] Making a 6.04

Didier Spaier didier at slint.fr
Tue Jun 14 11:03:12 PDT 2016

On 14/06/2016 04:35, Ady via Syslinux wrote:
>> How about the recently introduced weak issue?
>> On May 31, 2016 6:31 PM, "H. Peter Anvin via Syslinux" <syslinux at zytor.com>
>> wrote:
>>> There seem to be a bunch of bug fixes in the 6.04 branch that people
>>> really need.  Do we know of any current regressions?  Otherwise we
>>> really ought to just push the button...
>>>         -hpa
> How about the "HIDDEN" issue? How about updating and testing the 
> gnu-efi submodule? How about the "keeppxe" patch (perhaps solving a bug 
> that has been present since v.5+)? Or how about the feedback I wrote 
> when 6.04-pre1 was released? How about a "gptmbr.bin" that supports 
> XFS? How about the many regressions still present, for so many years? 
> And the pending patches?
> [sarcasm mode on]
> Let's have an automatic daily build! Moreover, let's have an automatic 
> daily release! One new official release version every single day. That 
> way, the so many many many users of Syslinux 6+ would get a newer 
> updated version, with a shiny new number, every single day! Yeah, I'm 
> sure that would solve all the problems.
> [sarcasm mode off]
> I seriously doubt that there are many people actually requesting for an 
> updated release, except maybe for super-lazy maintainers that don't 
> really care (and I am able to prove this with facts, but I won't waste 
> my own time with something that won't be even read).
> I wish and hope for actual development. Shiny and, at this point, 
> completely useless numbers, won't change the facts.

I agree with what Ady said. Let me add the perspective of an end user as
distribution maintainer, also interested in requirements management as
a basis for systems engineering.

When looking for a booting software I have mostly two use cases in mind:
_ boot the installation media, whateveer it be, 
_ boot the installed system (among others).

I have already posted what I will use in Slint but reminds it here:
_ for the installation media, syslinux for BIOS, elilo for UEFI
_ for the installed system, lilo for BIOS, elilo for UEFI (either or not
  registered by the firmware's boot manager). Maybe in some cases grub
  will be needed for UEFI.
As far as I know there is no "one tool suffice for all uses cases" for
booting but maybe grub (but at the price of an increasing complexity and
it fails with some hardware in cases where elilo doesn't).
Slackware uses grub for booting the installation media. 

For UEFI firmware I have also tried elilo, the EFI stub (works also with
an embedded command line, but I don't know how to provided several boot
options, or allow editing the command line before booting, and no help
screen), goofiboot (it has similar limitations) and syslinux 6.03.

What could make me adopt syslinux 6.xx would be that it provides
features that I need and lack in 4.xx, and be as reliable as 4.xx (and
of course I would inform users that they can't boot from a DVD in case
of UEFI). Apart from those mentioned in this mailing list I don't know
if the issues mentioned in this page:
have been worked out, or will be.

That syslinux be tagged 6.04 won't help me, I am afraid.

>From the website and this mailing list it is difficult for me to grasp
where the project leaders are heading to -- And there is no Cheshire Cat
in sight.

I am sorry for the negative tone of this post, that reflects my
pessimism about the evolution of the syslinux project. Please believe
that I am nevertheless still grateful for the great work that Peter and
others have done and a happy user of syslinux 4.07.

Best regards,


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