[Techtalk] Grub & Puppy

Chris Wilson chris+linuxchix at aptivate.org
Tue Sep 22 08:42:48 UTC 2009

Hi Sara,

On Mon, 21 Sep 2009, Sara LeWinter wrote:

> I'm hearin the following from a friend of mine tryin to install a home 
> network:
> When the computer is turned on, a Dell laptop, the Grub display comes up 
> but that display is not interactive. The keyboard just beeps. Only 
> pulling the plug shuts the machine down as a result.

I assume that this is the actual problem that you're trying to solve? Is 
it fair to rephrase it as "you can't boot Puppy because the keyboard 
doesn't work in Grub"?

Is it this problem (unsolved)? 

Perhaps the same as this one? http://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?15618

Do you actually see the Grub menu? Could you post a photo of the screen 
with what you do see? Is it after selecting "Puppy Linux" from the GRUB 
menu that it hangs saying just GRUB and nothing else on the screen?

Sounds to me as though the laptop has a USB (embedded) keyboard and the 
BIOS needs to be configured to enable legacy keyboard support so that GRUB 
can talk to it.

Another possibility is that Puppy Linux is using an old version of Grub 
which isn't compatible with this system, in which case my best guess would 
be to ditch Puppy and install Ubuntu, at least as a test.

> Partitions are created and formatted. The latest version of Puppy is 
> installed on it. The partition that install is on is flagged bootable.
> Grub is installed, but not configured.

I don't know what you mean by "not configured". Any distro has to install 
a grub configuration if it wants to boot via Grub (and almost all do these 
days). Likely at least one option is configured for the installed distro 
(Puppy?) and therefore the Grub menu displays a menu containing at least 
"Puppy Linux" or similar.

> Was unable to understand the config file... Config off the Puppy live CD 
> or open a terminal session and say "Grub"?

My advice is don't try to configure Grub at all if you can avoid it (lest 
the system become unbootable), but especially not using its command line. 
Boot off the live CD and edit the grub.conf file if you really have to, 
but this is wizardry and best left alone by non-experts in my view.

I don't think that any option in the Grub configuration file 

Cheers, Chris.
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