Author Topic: pacman running update-grub after updating  (Read 1008 times)

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Offline boruch

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pacman running update-grub after updating
« on: 23. February 2016, 03:57:50 »
This is a bit of a nuanced issue, and I'm bringing it up at this time because Manjaro just announced a trend towards 'rolling' its 'desktop settings' in addition to 'rolling' its package deployment.

The current situation is that pacman (or something else) is automatically running update-grub after performing (some? all?) updates. Most people won't notice, but there are two important cases for which this is destructive, and I am suggesting that either Manjaro explicitly ask the sysadmin's permission before running update-grub, or checking a new documented value in some config file.

1] Dual - boot environments: Manjaro is making a big assumption when automatically running update-grub. How can it be sure that the sysadmin currently wants grub in this partition with whatever os-prober or grub defaults exist. The real solution for the sys-admin in that case is to remove the grub package from the install, but it often happens that one loses track, and its also prudent to keep grub installed and ready in case something "bad" happens.

2] Custom grub.cfg: This is my personal use-case. I do have a multi-boot system, and I've been very unhappy with the way grub does its auto- OS-probing, and the way it chooses to offer alternative and 'advanced' boot options for each OS. Because grub reads OS information differently from its current partition than it does from OS-probed partitions, the same version of grub will yield a different boot screen depending upon from which partition it was run. One issue is that when grub finds linux on a partition, it can't necessarily identify which distro in Linux, or identify the distro uniquely, so a user can have multiple grub entries with confusing or even identical descriptions (except for the partition identifier). [*1] So I've hand-customized my grub.cfg. My version has chain-loading to a live iso files on a dedicated partition, menu entries more useful to me, and sub-menus with options that clearly make sense should I need a recovery boot. Whenever Manjaro auto-runs update-grub, which seems to be almost every update, I need to undo the update (a simple copy from my backup).

Other considerations:

3] update-grub is slow. Real slow. Why run it if its not wanted, or unnecessary?

4] I've accumulated some familiarity with update-grub and with the grub.cfg file, and I can comfortably say that its real unlikely that any incremental or maintenance update to the grub package would break a grub.cfg file.

5] I'm not sure what this new Manjaro idea of 'rolling desktop settings' is going to mean, but the grub.cfg file does seem to me to qualify as a user-setting. Technically, grub originally wanted its users to never mess with the file, but they've back-pedaling and are now acknowledging that their script system is just too unwieldy and often yields unsatisfactory results.

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FOOTNOTE:
  • OTOH, grub will point its finger at the distro developer for not exactly following grubs rules for uniquely identifying a distribution. OTOH, the distro developer will point its finger at grub for having a complicated and burdensome rules-set.