Boot loaders for Linux that can also boot FreeBSD

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at
Thu Nov 29 14:10:33 UTC 2012

Hi :)

my apologies for cross-posting this to several Linux mailing lists.

I need a boot loader for Linux, that is comfortable to use for my needs,
a Linux multi-boot with
trillions of Linux installs,
trillions ^ 2 kernels and
(trillions ^ 2) * 1024 entries with different boot options, so something
as GRUB 2 is unusable for my needs.

Until now I was comfortable with GRUB legacy, but now I add a FreeBSD
install to my machine and against the claims at

GRUB legacy does not boot FreeBSD (until now). I was thinking of
SYSLINUX, perhaps the most popular bootloader by Linux experts, but the
Wiki says it doesn't support booting BSD.

Since access to the freebsd-ufs partition by Linux is a PITA and Linux
is most important for me, I wont use a FreeBSD bootloader. I need easy
access to the bootloader's configuration file.

I still continue searching with Google.

Any hints are welcome!

On a FreeBSD mailing list somebody wrote:
> You might want to try a chainloader boot from grub.  The following is a
> chainloader rule that I have used, as well as a normal loader boot.  I
> use the loader boot, but I also tested the chainloader boot.  You will
> need a ufs2_stage1_5 file in your grub directory for a loader boot, and
> linux grub might not have it available.
> title           FreeBSD, sda3 (oak) chainloader
> root            (hd1,2)
> chainloader     +1
> boot
> title           FreeBSD, sda3 (oak) /boot/loader
> root            (hd1,2,a)
> kernel          /boot/loader
> boot

Yes, ufs2_stage1_5 is missing, so when I tested

#title FreeBSD
#root   (hd0,a)
#kernel /boot/loader

title FreeBSD
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

there was no error, but nothing happened, without the chainloader an
error 17, cannot mount selected partition appeared.

I wonder that so many *NIX users nag about Windows, but support to
access Windows files and to multi-boot with Windows is that easy. I
don't have Windows on my machine. I hope somebody is experienced with
multi-boot machines using different *NIX operating systems and will help


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