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Old 02-17-06, 08:44 AM   #1
kenyee
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Default /boot as FAT32?

noob Linux question: can you set up /boot as a FAT32 partition instead of using ext3 so Windows can also read/write it?
I don't see why not, but I've found no documentation via google that anyone has ever done this...
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Old 02-17-06, 09:20 AM   #2
evilghost
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Default Re: /boot as FAT32?

Why would you need Windows to read/write to /boot?
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Old 02-17-06, 09:35 AM   #3
kenyee
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Default Re: /boot as FAT32?

I partitioned a dual boot system the wrong way:
C: 150MB (currently FAT16)
D: 40GB for XP
E: etc. for Linux
and installed XP first. Of course, XP installed it's boot menu, etc. to C: which I had intended to use for /boot.
I'd like to convert C: to FAT32 so it can have the long filenames needed for /boot...
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Old 02-17-06, 12:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: /boot as FAT32?

Drive letters are Windows only; they are completly irrevealant to Linux. You could format your one partition as FAT and mount /boot to it, but there is no reason to do so, and would only greatly weaken your Linux system.

What you should do is simply install one of the Linux bootloaders; either LILO or GRUB. They are installed to the MBR or to one of the partition superblocks, and can boot both systems. The filesystem which it is formatted as does not matter.
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Old 02-17-06, 12:30 PM   #5
kenyee
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Default Re: /boot as FAT32?

yep, I was trying to simplify writing the partitions. C: is /dev/sda1, D: is /dev/sda5, etc. Grub is in the MBR. I'm trying to keep the first partition as FAT32 because I've read that every time you upgrade Windows, it blows away your MBR..and it seems to scribble on the first partition (writing its boot.ini menu there).
I was just wondering if there was a reason /boot had to be ext3...e.g., grub only understands ext3 but not FAT32...
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Old 02-17-06, 12:46 PM   #6
kenyee
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Default Re: /boot as FAT32?

More on putting /boot on FAT16/FAT32 (I googled for "grub FAT32" this time instead of "/boot FAT32"):
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bu.../msg00047.html

Looks like FAT16 is probably the way to go as long as Linux supports long filenames on FAT16 like Win2K/XP does...
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