I had an unfortunate issue with grub yesterday on my Fedora 18 laptop at work. It refused to boot, leaving me with a “grub rescue>” terminal that I had no idea how to use (and with not a hint of help, either).
Throughout this process, I very much decided that as soon as I’d get the laptop booting again, I’d make a backup and obliterate the Fedora partition, replacing it with a stable Centos 6 that wouldn’t require any such heartaches I’ve had to tolerate throughout my years of using Fedora.
If grub hadn’t broken yesterday, I wouldn’t have learned that chrooting a 64bit environment from a 32bit livecd results in an obscure “Exec format error” that means that you must chroot a 64bit partition from a 64bit livecd. Also, if Grub hadn’t borked up on me yesterday, I wouldn’t have learned how to manually boot grub by using commands like
ls (hd0,msdos5)/ #Use this command to check your Linux partition
set root=(hd0,5) #Pro-tip, you can use msdos5 or 5 interchangeably
linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.6.7-latest root=/dev/sda5 rhgb #Protip, on grub2.0 you can tab to autocomplete the vmlinuz line. Thanks grub devs!
initrd /boot/initramfs-3.6.7-latest #My most heartfelt thanks to the devs that implemented autocomplete on grub.
Centos is stable, but I would not have learned these skills had I stuck with Centos since I started working here (Though odds are, I would’ve finished the current project I’m working on if I didn’t constantly have to fix postgres, grub and other pieces that might occasionally break).
I’m grateful to have learned these abilities for when I need them managing servers or just helping others fix their grub. I’m sticking with Fedora for the long run. Centos is stable, that is true, but stable is boring.
Live on the edge!