What effect does setting a partition to active still have with common boot loaders. For instance if you install grub on the mbr, do you still need to specify the /boot as active, or does grub just select it anyway.

I am asking because it say old bootloaders would load the volume boot record of the active partition. Is it still done this way with linux and grub, depending on where you install grub?

This question was posted under superuser before in case any one was looking for it, but I felt it was more appropriate to move it here

2 Answers 2


Here was a similiar question The answer was basically: The MBR does the job nowadays - is ignores the bootable flag.

IMHO this is not true, but I did not test that (with Linux).

  • I apologize for that I didn't realize there was already an answer. Thank you for linking it.
    – rubixibuc
    Dec 24, 2011 at 22:27
  • The question had a slightly other focus - but the same direction. No problem!
    – Nils
    Dec 25, 2011 at 20:21

Considering you are talking about the boot flag when saying active, this is not important at all for at least grub-legacy and grub2. For what I know only the Windows boot partition needs it, if you chainload into it on a multiboot environment.

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