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Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Updated: 20 March 2000
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lilo - install boot loader  


Main function:

/sbin/lilo - install boot loader

Auxiliary uses:

/sbin/lilo -q - query map
/sbin/lilo -R - set default command line for next reboot
/sbin/lilo -I - inquire path name of current kernel
/sbin/lilo {-u|-U} - uninstall lilo  


lilo installs a boot loader that will be activated next time you boot. It has lots of options.

Increase verbosity. Giving one or more -v options will make lilo more verbose.
List the currently mapped files. lilo maintains a file, by default /boot/map, containing the name and location of the kernel(s) to boot. This option will list the names therein.
-m map-file
Use specified map file instead of the default.
-C config-file
lilo reads its instructions about what files to map from its config file, by default /etc/lilo.conf. This option can be used to specify a non-default config file.
-d delay
If you have specified several kernels, and press Shift at boot-time, the boot loader will present you with a choice of which system to boot. After a timeout period the first kernel in the list is booted. This option specifies the timeout delay in deciseconds.
-D label
Use the kernel with the given label, instead of the first one in the list, as the default kernel to boot.
-r root-directory
Before doing anything else, do a chroot to the indicated directory. Used for repairing a setup from a boot floppy.
Test only. Do not really write a new boot sector or map file. Use together with -v to find out what lilo is about to do.
Enable map compaction. This will merge read requests from adjacent sectors. Speeds up the booting (especially from floppy).
-f disk-tab
Specify disk geometry parameter file. (The default is /etc/disktab.)
-i boot-sector
Specify a file to be used as the new boot sector. (The default is /boot/boot.b.)
Generate linear sector addresses instead of sector/head/cylinder addresses.
Generate 32-bit Logical Block Addresses instead of C:H:S addresses, allowing access to all partitions on disks greater than 8.4Gb.
-P {fix|ignore}
Fix (or ignore) `corrupt' partition tables, i.e., partition tables with linear and sector/head/cylinder addresses that do not correspond.
-s save-file
When lilo overwrites the boot sector, it preserves the old contents in a file, by default /boot/boot.NNNN where NNNN depends on the device. This option specifies an alternate save file for the boot sector. (Or, together with the -u option, specifies from where to restore the boot sector.)
-S save-file
Normally, lilo will not overwrite an existing save file. This options says that overwriting is allowed.
-u device-name
Uninstall lilo, by copying the saved boot sector back. A time-stamp is checked.
-U device-name
Idem, but do not check the time-stamp.
-R command line
This option sets the default command for the boot loader the next time it executes. The boot loader will then erase this line: this is a once-only command. It is typically used in reboot scripts, just before calling `shutdown -r'.
-I label
The label of the running kernel can be found in the environment variable BOOT_IMAGE after startup. This command will print the corresponding path name on stdout.
Print version number.

The above command line options correspond to the key words in the config file indicated below.

-b bootdevboot=bootdev
-d dsecdelay=dsec
-D labeldefault=label
-i bootsectorinstall=bootsector
-f filedisktab=file
-m mapfilemap=mapfile
-P fixfix-table
-P ignoreignore-table
-s filebackup=file
-S fileforce-backup=file


The lilo distribution comes with very extensive documentation.  


Werner Almesberger ([email protected]).
John Coffman ([email protected]) (lba32 extensions).




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