Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 97211
Stated usage of active partition flag is misleading
Last modified: 2014-08-04 18:23:51 EDT
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Description of problem:
On page 108 a sentence reads:
The "active" flag is used by some operating systems' boot loaders.
This is possibly correct, but misleading. The "active" flag is actually used by
the computer's BIOS to select which hard disk primary partition to boot. The
contents of that partition may be an operating system boot loader or an
operating system selection program such as GRUB, LILO or OS/2 Boot Manager.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1.Read page 108
As I got further into the installation I realized I didn't give the correct
interpretation either. In section 3.20.1 the book correctly states that the
MBR, not the active partition, is the code loaded by the BIOS. I think the
description on page 108 should connect the two ideas. All MBRs that I know of,
except those supplied with Linux, use the "active" flag to determine which
partition to boot. Operating system selectors such as OS/2 Boot Manager take up
a partition and reside in the one marked active. Some selectors such as GRUB
and LILO apparently are different in that they can reside entirely or partially
in the MBR. I say partially because the MBR isn't very big and I wonder if that
much function will fit.
Thanks again for the feedback. I'll work with the original author of this
content to clarify this as well as relate it back to the partitioning
information earlier in the Installation Guide.