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I am new to Ubuntu. What are the steps during the boot process of ubuntu ?

More specifically: what is a boot loader ? How are drives mounted ? How does your system know which drive to use? What are the important config files ? (What is /etc/fstab)

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closed as not a real question by Seth, Amith KK, hhlp, Chris Wilson, Eric Carvalho Feb 11 '13 at 13:19

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I would recommend checking out this wiki page on the Ubuntu boot process – Chris Wilson Feb 10 '13 at 19:27

Somewhat hand-wavy answer...

The BIOS looks at drives (floppies, harddrives, USB sticks, etc) and searches for a Master Boot Record. The MBR is usually the first 512 bytes of a disk and contains the partition table for the drive and part of GRUB (the Grand Unified Boot Loader).

This first GRUB stage is then run and ultimately handed off to another GRUB stage outside the tiny 512 byte MBR.

This then runs the kernel which in turn runs init which leads to a nice running Linux system.

I'm sure there some details in between, but that's the basics.

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At first the linux system would only have one partition '/'. A file under this, '/etc/fstab', describes the other partitions to mount and where they should go. – MattK Feb 10 '13 at 2:47

Okay. I'm just going to answer teh most basic questions.

A boot loader is a program that loads Ubuntu. This programs can be found on teh official sight. This will allow you to download and use Ubuntu.

How are drives mounted? Um, Your computer should automatically detect if a hard drive is connected no matter what.

How does the system decide which os to use? Right before you get Windows or ubuntu login, a screen pops up allwoing you to choose windows 7 or ubuntu or any toher os you are dual booting.

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