Description and basics of lilo

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Information about Description and basics of lilo

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: iamumr



Describes the LILO bootloader and explains lilo.conf

LILO LInux LOader

What it is and What it is not.. ● LILO a bootloader for Linux /x86 and other PC -OS. ● Uses hard-drive or floppy to load. ● Can boot Linux as well as DOS,Windows (all versions), OS/2, and the BSD variants ● Does not understand filesystem. ● Code and Image stored in raw disk offset ● Uses BIOS routines to load.

Configuring LILO ● Configuration settings stored in lilo.conf ● First section has global options(parameters for boot location /etc/lilo.conf attributes) ● ● The second section(s) contain parameters associated with the operating system images to be loaded. Upto 16 boot selections.

Sample lilo.conf ● boot=/dev/hda ● map=/boot/map ● install=/boot/boot.b ● compact ● prompt ● timeout=50 ● image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.0.36 ● label=linux ● root=/dev/hda2 ● read-only ● other=/dev/hda1 ● label=win ● Run /sbin/lilo after editing for the changes to take place

Installation ● ● ● Kernel must live in some place that is accessible by the BIOS. Program builds the tables that list which sectors are used by the files used to load the operating system. As a consequence, all of these files must live in a partition that can be accessed by the BIOS. Lilo has to be reinstalled every time a change is made.

Installation...contd.. ● Precautions: – The 'boot=' directive in /etc/lilo.conf tells Lilo where it should place its primary boot loader. In general, you can either specify the master boot record (/dev/hda) or the root partition of your Linux installation (is usually is /dev/hda1 or /dev/hda2) – Install lilo on root partition if another O.S is already installed. In this case, you must mark the partition as ``bootable'' using the ``a'' command of fdisk or the ``b'' command of cfdisk. – "linear" keyword in /etc/lilo.conf can help in dealing with geometry problems. The keyword instructs Lilo to use linear sector addresses instead of sector/head/cylinder tuples. Conversion to 3D addresses is delayed to run-time, therefore making the setup more immune to geometry problems.

LILO Usage ● ● ● At boot-time LILO waits for specified time. Choose an operating system image to boot by typing its label.(Press TAB for available labels). Options can be – – dos – ● linux linux single(for recovery options) Command line arguments also supported.

Usage continued... ● ● root=: you can tell the Linux kernel to mount as root a different partition than the one appearing in /lilo.conf. init=: version 1.3.43 and newer of the Linux kernel can execute another command instead of /sbin/init, as specified on the command line.(Example:you can access the bare system by specifying init=/bin/sh) ● A number: by specifying a number on the kernel command line, you instruct init to enter a specific run-level (the default is usually 3 or 2).

Limitations ● ● ● ● The number of boot options (or something) is limited (only 19 or so). This plays a role if you always only add new kernels, as is advisable (cannot result in a non-bootable system). The label size is limited. If you have many boot options, you want descriptive names. It loads the kernel quite slowly (like, tens of seconds). It is not aware of filesystem thus images have to pointed with exact physical address.

Limitations...continued ➔ Bios Limitations: – The most common BIOS restrictions that affect LILO are the limitation to two hard disks and the inability to access more than 1024 cylinders per disk. LILO can detect both conditions, but in order to work around the underlying problems, manual intervention is necessary. – LILO depends on the BIOS to load the following items: /boot/boot.b /boot/map (created when running /sbin/lilo) a all kernels the boot sectors of all other operating systems it boots the startup message, if one has been defined

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