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22.6. Verifying the Boot Loader

When you install a kernel using rpm, the kernel package creates an entry in the boot loader configuration file for that new kernel. However, rpm does not configure the new kernel to boot as the default kernel. You must do this manually when installing a new kernel with rpm.
It is always recommended to double-check the boot loader configuration file after installing a new kernel with rpm to ensure that the configuration is correct. Otherwise, the system might not be able to boot into Fedora properly. If this happens, boot the system with the boot media created earlier and re-configure the boot loader.
In the following table, find your system's architecture to determine the boot loader it uses, and then click on the "See" link to jump to the correct instructions for your system.
Table 22.1. Boot loaders by architecture
Architecture Boot Loader See
x86 GRUB 2 Section 22.6.1, “Configuring the GRUB 2 Boot Loader”
AMD AMD64 or Intel 64 GRUB 2 Section 22.6.1, “Configuring the GRUB 2 Boot Loader”
IBM eServer System i OS/400 Section 22.6.2, “Configuring the OS/400 Boot Loader”
IBM eServer System p YABOOT Section 22.6.3, “Configuring the YABOOT Boot Loader”
IBM System z z/IPL

22.6.1. Configuring the GRUB 2 Boot Loader

Fedora 24 is distributed with GRUB 2, which reads its configuration from the /boot/grub2/grub.cfg file. This file is generated by the grub2-mkconfig utility based on Linux kernels located in the /boot directory, template files located in /etc/grub.d/, and custom settings in the /etc/default/grub file and is automatically updated each time you install a new kernel from an RPM package. To update this configuration file manually, type the following at a shell prompt as root:
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
Among various code snippets and directives, the /boot/grub2/grub.cfg configuration file contains one or more menuentry blocks, each representing a single GRUB 2 boot menu entry. These blocks always start with the menuentry keyword followed by a title, list of options, and opening curly bracket, and end with a closing curly bracket. Anything between the opening and closing bracket should be indented. For example, the following is a sample menuentry block for Fedora 21 with Linux kernel 3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64:
menuentry 'Fedora (3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64) 21 (Twenty One)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --unrestricted $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-3.17.4-301.fc21.x86_64-advanced-effee860-8d55-4e4a-995e-b4c88f9ac9f0' {
        load_video
        set gfxpayload=keep
        insmod gzio
        insmod part_msdos
        insmod ext2
        set root='hd0,msdos1'
        if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
          search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint='hd0,msdos1'  f19c92f4-9ead-4207-b46a-723b7a2c51c8
        else
          search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root f19c92f4-9ead-4207-b46a-723b7a2c51c8
        fi
        linux16 /vmlinuz-3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64 root=/dev/mapper/fedora-root ro rd.lvm.lv=fedora/swap rd.lvm.lv=fedora/root rhgb quiet LANG=en_US.UTF-8
        initrd16 /initramfs-3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64.img
}
Each menuentry block that represents an installed Linux kernel contains linux and initrd directives followed by the path to the kernel and the initramfs image respectively. If a separate /boot partition was created, the paths to the kernel and the initramfs image are relative to /boot. In the example above, the initrd16 /initramfs-3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64.img line means that the initramfs image is actually located at /boot/initramfs-3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64.img when the root file system is mounted, and likewise for the kernel path.
The kernel version number as given on the linux /vmlinuz-kernel_version line must match the version number of the initramfs image given on the initrd /initramfs-kernel_version.img line of each menuentry block. For more information on how to verify the initial RAM disk image, refer to Procedure 22.1, “Verifying the Initial RAM Disk Image”.

The initrd directive in grub.cfg refers to an initramfs image

In menuentry blocks, the initrd directive must point to the location (relative to the /boot directory if it is on a separate partition) of the initramfs file corresponding to the same kernel version. This directive is called initrd because the previous tool which created initial RAM disk images, mkinitrd, created what were known as initrd files. The grub.cfg directive remains initrd to maintain compatibility with other tools. The file-naming convention of systems using the dracut utility to create the initial RAM disk image is initramfs-kernel_version.img.
For information on using Dracut, refer to Section 22.5, “Verifying the Initial RAM Disk Image”.
After installing a new kernel with rpm, verify that /boot/grub2/grub.cfg is correct and reboot the computer into the new kernel. Ensure your hardware is detected by watching the boot process output. If GRUB 2 presents an error and is unable to boot into the new kernel, it is often easiest to try to boot into an alternative or older kernel so that you can fix the problem. Alternatively, use the boot media you created earlier to boot the system.

Causing the GRUB 2 boot menu to display

If you set the GRUB_TIMEOUT option in the /etc/default/grub file to 0, GRUB 2 will not display its list of bootable kernels when the system starts up. In order to display this list when booting, press and hold any alphanumeric key while and immediately after BIOS information is displayed, and GRUB 2 will present you with the GRUB menu.