the boot directory exist on both the ESP(sda1) and root(sda5) partition.

when i use this sample command to copy vmlinuz and initrd files:

sudo cp -a initrd.img-4.15.0-43-generic /boot

i was able to get the system to boot and thought i had copied the file to the ESP. i also checked the root partition after using the command and confirmed it does not exist.

however, after a few days, i discovered the files had appeared in the boot directory of the root partition.

before that, i had also manually moved the files to the boot directory of the root partition using a file manager(dolphin) but was unable to get the system to boot.

so i would like to ask what is the command to copy files to the ESP partition, and the command to copy the same file to the root partition? basically, i would like to know how the linux system differentiate between the ESP and root partition for the same sets of command, i.e, cp, mkdir..etc


  • What is ESP and which distribution are you talking about? – UVV Jan 17 at 7:50
  • @UVV The ESP is the "EFI system partition". – Sparhawk Jan 17 at 8:13
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    On Linux or any UNIX you can mount file systems to any directory, so without further information we don't know where /boot is located. What does mount show? – Bodo Jan 17 at 8:30
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    Can you also provide the output of lsblk, so that we can see how your disks are organized? – Haxiel Jan 17 at 9:21

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