extlinux (syslinux) debian style

my path away from grub2 took me via lilo to extlinux. i stayed with lilo for a while. syslinux was on my mind, but for something rather trivial/straightforward i couldn't crack. i finally got my head around it, and my usb sticks were the first ones to get it.

next stop was debian on my laptop, which has just been converted. the below steps are for debian systems only. if you want a how-to for other systems, let me know.

# apt-get --no-install-recommends install extlinux
step 1: install the package(s)
i always exclude the recommended packages (bloatware?). interestingly extlinux is smaller than lilo, which pleasantly surprised me.

# extlinux-update
step 2: create configs
this step generates the config files in /boot/extlinux/.

# extlinux-install {/dev/sda7}
step 3: install the bootloader to pbr (or mbr, if you want)
i always install bootloaders to pbr, thereby keeping each system independent along with bootloader/file configs. change the active partition to boot, without worrying about what else you might break.

that's it! reboot, and enjoy your new spartan bootloader :-)

something very interesting is that i can boot live .iso/.img files from the boot menu, without any additional complexity. simply copy those files into /boot/, and run step 2 again.

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