[syslinux] 10 year old question

Ady ady-sf at hotmail.com
Thu May 14 09:00:15 PDT 2020

Several comments...

1. Readers / Subscribers might note that I am replying to the email thread, but 
I'm not quoting any prior text; intentionally. Please carefully read the whole 
email before acting on any particular aspect / topic / step.

2. When reading something (a book, or source code, or whatever), I tend to go 
"forward", usually from the start to the end - call me crazy :o. I don't know 
anyone that reads a sentence from the last word towards the first one. Any 
message board of any kind shows the messages from top to bottom, not the other 
way around. In other words, to anyone participating in this mailing list, 
please, _avoid_ top-posting!!! Really.

3. Generally speaking, replies should be sent to the Syslinux mailing list's 
email address (not to private email addresses). Unfortunately, there are 
several reasons and circumstances that make this less intuitive than it should. 
Yet, please pay attention.

4. Regarding Unetbootin, LiLi, or whichever other tool that is being used in 
order to initially boot whichever distro's ISO / installer, the version of 
SYSLINUX and/or ISOLINUX that they use should not be relevant for the purpose 
of installing a specific version of SYSLINUX as bootloader on the destination 
device. To be clear, I don't mean that these tools have no influence at all, 
but rather that I am suggesting to use the official binaries distributed by The 
Syslinux Project - see the "Download" wiki page in the official Syslinux wiki. 
In other words, install the OS in whichever way you can, and then replace the 
bootloader with the desired version of Syslinux.

5. After downloading the relevant official upstream distribution archives, go 
back to the Syslinux wiki and search for the "Install" wiki page.

6. The point is that I am suggesting for the OP to replace the version of 
SYSLINUX that is being used as bootloader with whichever version is known to 
work in this hardware, independently of the specific package that some Linux 
distro is using. Beware: if using c32 modules, they should be from the same 
version of the bootloader; e.g. installing version 3.86 by means of the 
official upstream binaries / installers / commands shall imply that also the 
corresponding c32 modules need to be copied to the relevant location, such as 
"/boot/syslinux/*" for instance, if the c32 modules are in use (in 
syslinux.cfg). Please be careful not to overwrite ldlinux.c32 when manually 
copying c32 files (if it exists).

7. In order to evaluate whether any specific version of SYSLINUX successfully 
boots in this hardware, I would suggest temporarily renaming your 
"syslinux.cfg" to something else. It doesn't matter that the next step (i.e. 
booting your OS) would fail; the goal is still to check whether SYSLINUX was 
successfully installed as bootloader and able to boot in this hardware. The 
specific "successful" behavior depends on the version of SYSLINUX (v.3.85+ 
should show at least a "boot:" prompt); the "failure" behavior should be some 
kind of hang / freeze, even before attempting to load any kernel. Once SYSLINUX 
works correctly, rename back the cfg file, review the configuration and reboot.

8. There are many other / additional / possible troubleshooting steps. If the 
above is not enough, please carefully read the wiki. Without having access to 
the specific hardware, there are too many variables to troubleshoot in one 
email. Narrowing down the problem would help, and clear info posted in an 
orderly manner would too (if the wiki is not enough).


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