Boot manjaro with syslinux

I have a ssd formated in three partitions.

On the first partition is manjaro (sda1). For now manjaro deepin, but I will install manjaro xfce or thru net install or directly thru manjaro xfce.

On the second partion (sda5), there is porteus linux a slacware derivative. Porteus has been installed thru syslinux. Here is the menu entries:

[code]PROMPT 0
UI vesamenu.c32
MENU TITLE Porteus-v3.1 64bit


menu color screen	37;40      #00000000 #00000000 none
menu color border	30;44      #00000000 #00000000 none
menu color title	1;36;44    #ffF6FF00 #00000000 none
menu color unsel	37;44      #ffffffff #00000000 none
menu color hotkey	1;37;44    #ff8037b7 #00000000 none
menu color sel		7;37;40    #ff111B78 #003f7fbf none
menu color hotsel	1;7;37;40  #ffaf67f7 #003f7fbf none
menu color scrollbar	30;44      #00000000 #00000000 none

menu color tabmsg	31;40      #ffB6F538 #00000000 none
menu color cmdmark	1;36;40    #ffff0000 #00000000 none
menu color cmdline	37;40      #ffffffff #ff000000 none
menu color pwdborder	30;47      #ffff0000 #00000000 std
menu color pwdheader	31;47      #ffff0000 #00000000 std
menu color pwdentry	30;47      #ffff0000 #00000000 std
menu color timeout_msg	37;40      #ff809aef #00000000 none
menu color timeout	1;37;40    #ffb72f9f #00000000 none
menu color help		37;40      #ffD5F538 #00000000 none
menu color msg07	37;40      #90ffffff #00000000 std

LABEL arch
MENU LABEL manjaro Linux
LINUX /boot/vmlinuz-4.4-x86_64
APPEND root=/dev/sda1 rw
INITRD /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64.img

MENU LABEL Linux 4.4.12-1-MANJARO x64
KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz-4.4-x86_64
APPEND initrd=/boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64.img root=UUID=9d7e6e8a-d65b-4036-8f72-dd8069fdbdb9 rw resume=UUID=ad800b6d-428c-451f-8eb8-1ee7ecaac8f1 quiet splash
Run Manjaro the best way we can.../initramfs-linux.img

#echo 'Loading Linux 4.4.12-1-MANJARO x64 ...'

linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.4-x86_64 root=UUID=9d7e6e8a-d65b-4036-8f72-dd8069fdbdb9 rw resume=UUID=e84dce4a-6c3d-493e-9c71-34798a0f0b3f quiet splash

echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'

initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64.img

MENU LABEL Graphics mode (KDE)
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=initrd.xz from=/64_V31 changes=/64_V31/kde extramod=/64_V31/kde login=root
Run Porteus the best way we can.
Try to autoconfigure graphics
card and use the maximum
allowed resolution

MENU LABEL Graphics mode (XFCE)
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=initrd.xz from=/64_V31 changes=/64_V31/xfce extramod=/64_V31/xfce login=root
Run Porteus the best way we can.
Try to autoconfigure graphics
card and use the maximum
allowed resolution

Can someone correct the menu entries for manjaro, there is a kernel panic, the way I set them. I have put the vmlinuz an initrams in both sda1 and sda5.



LABEL arch
MENU LABEL Linux 4.4.12-1-MANJARO x64
KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz-4.4-x86_64
APPEND root=/dev/sda1 rw quiet intel-pstate=disable
INITRD /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64.img

Something like above should be working better for Manjaro, but why are they two entries for or where is the entrie for Porteus ?

But above all you need also specific Porteus something.img & vmlinuz-something for LABEL gui which is default one (you'll find them on sda5 under /boot)

Your instructions did the job.

Is there a way to chainload to sda1 instead of having manjaro initramfs and vmlinuz in a folder in the porteus partition.


Yep & it's the only not obvious issue with syslinux & multiboot in case of kernel update of the "slave" distrib, you have to copy new initramfs & vmlinuz each time* ! I assume you want to mainly use manjaro, so you just have to reinstall syslinux from it as following:

syslinux-install_update -i -a -m

& copy/modify porteus /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg in manjaro at the same place & change default line by arch instead of gui & logicly the two following lines too (with a new .png in syslinux directory):

MENU TITLE Porteus-v3.1 64bit

  • It can be also & simply solved with an alias :wink:

By chainloading I was thinking about something like chainloading from syslinux to grub2(/mnt/sda1), see hyperlinks:

COM32 chain.c32 APPEND hd0 1 text help Boot into manjaro endtext


Maybe, but i don't really know because i don't use grub anymore since i've no more redmondia on my DD..!

You've used this "redmondia" several times in the past. I assumed you mean Windows.
In this case, substituting "windows" for "redmondia" doesn't mean much.

So what's redmondia?

Oh, also I don't use sysylinux, but try booting core.img instead of chainloading or the kernels.
It can be done from grub-legacy to boot grub2 and from what I read, lilo and others as well.
But I don't know syslinux to write the syntax.

Yep, it's just a turn of phrase about the historical registered office of the firm (like cupertinia for mac/apple :wink:)

For syslinux with linux-multiboot, except the kernel update of non default distrib wich can be easy solved, it's very simple. One command to install in mbr & one single text file to configure :wink:

Ps: & if all goes wrong (but it never happens) i have a mbr restore (via dd) ready to come back with this old good grub inside :wink:

Anyway, my last menu entry does not work. I was left with a command line entry:


Since then I am unable to reboot into porteus.

Personally, I was very happy with grub legacy, but when I installed manjaro with grub2, there is no way that I will achieve after that a grub legacy on mbr.

I too was very happy with grub-legacy. And I was happier when grub 2 came along. (I know many people were unhappy).

If you want (but up to you) to 'achieve' grub2 , we're here.

After posting this, it got me thinking that bootctl can also boot up core.efi (uefi, not bios-legacy, so core.efi, not core.img) since grub 2 is multiboot compliant. And it works. Here the link.

So it is possible to use core.img (or core.efi) on rEFInd, syslinux, lilo, bootctl, efistub, grub-legacy...etc to boot grub 2 OS's.
But need to write out proper syntax for each.
Good luck.

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To solve my problem in syslinux, I just reinstalled syslinux. It is ok now.

I am able to use grub2. It is just cumbersome with some files there and there. I have to use 40_custom for porteus. Automatic saving of the menu entry for grub2 will not work on the 40_custom entries. Unless I did miss something.

Grub legacy was really simple in terms of changing menu entries. You change a menu entry and the you save the menu.lst. Nothing more. But its obsolete.

I am trying to understand syslinux, I work with manjaro but also with another distribution that comes stock with syslinux.


@francois.e -> well done :wink:

To complete about syslinux:

  • if on a multiboot Hd you want "rock-solid" GPT instead of Extended + logical for having more than 4 partitions without any piece of the two Os (win*/osX*) which require EFI, it's absolutly possible to use it in bios mode.
    Personaly, "enjoying the simplicity" I have only 4 primary partitions in bios mode (three / & a common data) for a triple-boot -> 2 manjaro + Kaos at this time.
    Once said that, the three important entries of my syslinux.cfg as following:

LABEL archbase
MENU LABEL Manjaro Base
LINUX /boot/vmlinuz-3.18-x86_64
APPEND root=/dev/sda1 rw quiet intel-pstate=disable vga=773
INITRD /boot/initramfs-3.18-x86_64.img

LABEL arch
MENU LABEL Manjaro Light
LINUX /boot/light/vmlinuz-4.1-x86_64
APPEND root=/dev/sda3 rw quiet intel-pstate=disable vga=773
INITRD /boot/light/initramfs-4.1-x86_64.img

LABEL archtest
LINUX /boot/test/vmlinuz-linux
APPEND root=/dev/sda4 rw quiet intel-pstate=disable vga=773
INITRD /boot/test/initramfs-linux.img

Syslinux was installed from sda1 whis is also default, so it'll always boot with the wmlinuz & initramfs in /boot/ (even after a kernel update).
For the two other, i also create in /boot two repertories (test & light) with same name as partition label for keeping things as clearly as possible with different wmlinuz & initramfs (because it's so easy to play with kernel with manjaro :slight_smile:). I have special following alias for kernel update (this one for/in manjaro light):

alias sysly='sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /mnt && sudo cp /boot/initramfs-4.1-x86_64.img /mnt/boot/light && sudo cp /boot/vmlinuz-4.1-x86_64 /mnt/boot/light && reboot'

To run before or after reboot when it's failed via Ctrl+Alt+F* (only in case of kernel update). If you volontary change of kernel, you also have to edit /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg to chande kernel numbers/version. Notice that Kaos haven't any of these number in its initramfs & vmlinuz (it's not so easy to switch kernel in as with manjaro).

Tested with debian, ubuntu's like installed on sda4 (obviously without any bootloader/grub during install or otherwise in the just installed /. It always worked :wink:
& as already said, i had grub2 installed from sda1 before the switch to syslinux & a working copy of the mbr within via dd in case of..!

O_ops -> i have also the current mbr with syslinux saved if i forget to not install grub when i distro-hoppe on sda4 :wink:

  • For this one, i don't know if it's possible without f■■■■■g EFI/$ESP..!
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As I said I too was very happy with grub-legacy and was very busy in forums helping out with problems especially after a new install or with 2 or more disks.

find stage 1
setup (x,x)
root (x,x)

But when grub 2 came out, I was 'out of a job' :wink:
Until Manjaro implemented intel-ucode. :joy:

Cheers. Take care .

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Cheers to both of you.

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