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From: Maxim Cournoyer <>
To: Vagrant Cascadian <>
Subject: bug#48172: support split /boot partition
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2022 14:46:23 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <87zgwmlbxl.fsf@yucca> (Vagrant Cascadian's message of "Sat, 22 May 2021 14:02:14 -0700")

Hi Vagrant,

Vagrant Cascadian <> writes:

> On 2021-05-02, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
>> Unfortunately, guix doesn't currently support booting off of a separate
>> /boot partition, since the kernel and initrd are in /gnu/store; your
>> bootloader needs to be able to mount the partition that /gnu/store is
>> located on.
>> The workaround would be to manually copy all files mentioned in grub.cfg
>> (kernel, initrd, possibly others) into a partition somewhere on boot
>> media, and tweak the grub.cfg appropriately...
>> There are several cases where this sort of thing would be desireable:
>> * The above scenario; the system does not expose an NVMe drive from EFI
>>   or BIOS.
>> * Using u-boot and you want root on lvm, raid, encryption, etc. which
>>   u-boot does not support
>   * Using luks1 format for /boot and luks2 format for / (unless grub2
>     learns how to read luks2 already/soon)

On top of the above use cases, I'll add one I found recently, after
upgrading my disk array to 2.5 TiB on my aging BIOS desktop:

* Keep boot files under the maximum 2 TiB addressable sector on BIOS
  (non-UEFI) systems using > 2 TiB drives.

The problem would manifest itself by this cryptic GRUB error:

"error: attempt to read or write outside of disk `proc'"

The solution was to have a separate *and* standalone boot partition.
The separate part is easy; just create a new partition and mount it as
/boot in your config file system definitions.

The second "standalone" part is not taken care by Guix System yet; with
the help of Tobias I devised the following script that copies the
minimum (init RAM disks and kernel images) to /boot and strips the
prefixes on these paths, if any (I use Btrfs subvolumes):

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -e

# Copy kernel and initrd images to /boot
images=$(grep -E '^  (linux|initrd) ' /boot/grub/grub.cfg \
    | awk '{ print $2 }' | sed 's|.*/gnu|/gnu|g' | sort | uniq)

for image in $images; do
    mkdir -p /boot$(dirname $image)
    if [ ! -e /boot$image ] || ! cmp -s $image /boot$image; then
        echo copying cp $image to /boot$image... > /dev/error
        cp $image /boot$image

# Adjust /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
sed -E -e 's/.*search.*--set.*//' \
    -e 's/^insmod luks.*//' \
    -e 's/^cryptomount.*//' \
    -e 's,^(  (linux|initrd) )[^ ]*(/gnu/[^ ]* ?),\1\3,' \
  -i.bak /boot/grub/grub.cfg
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

It's on my TODO to address this properly in Guix when I'll have the

I hope that helps,



      reply	other threads:[~2022-06-08 18:47 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 2+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
     [not found]   ` <871raovntj.fsf@yucca>
     [not found]     ` <87pmy8u7s3.fsf@yucca>
2021-05-22 21:02       ` Vagrant Cascadian
2022-06-08 18:46         ` Maxim Cournoyer [this message]

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