Provided by: lilo_23.2-2_i386 bug


       lilo - install boot loader


       Main function:

        /sbin/lilo - install boot loader

       Auxiliary uses:

        /sbin/lilo -A - activate/show active partition
        /sbin/lilo -E - edit header or update a bitmap file
        /sbin/lilo -I - inquire path name of current kernel
        /sbin/lilo -M - write a Master Boot Loader on a device
        /sbin/lilo -q - query map
        /sbin/lilo -R - set default command line for next reboot
        /sbin/lilo -T - tell more about specified topic
        /sbin/lilo {-u|-U} - uninstall LILO boot loader


       lilo  installs  a  boot loader that will be activated the next time you
       boot your system. The default configuration  file  /etc/lilo.conf  (see
       'man  lilo.conf')  will contain most options, but many, including those
       which override the configuration file, may be specified on the  command

       -A master-device [ N ]
              Used  with  a  single  argument,  inquire of active partition on
              device master-device; e.g., /dev/hda.  With N==0, deactivate all
              partitions  on the device.  With N in the range [1..n], activate
              the specified partition and deactivate  all  others.   Normally,
              only  primary  partitions  [1..4]  may  be activated, but if the
              Extended Master Boot Loader is present on the Master Boot Record
              of  the  device  (see  the -M option), any partition may be made
              active.  Whether the actual OS in the partition will  boot  from
              an  extended partition depends on the characteristics of the OS.
              LILO boot records for Linux  may  be  booted  from  an  extended

       -b bootdev
              Specify  the  boot  device;  i.e., where the boot loader will be
              installed.  "-b /dev/hda" specifies the Master Boot Record;  "-b
              /dev/sdb5"  specifies the first extended partition on the second
              SCSI disk.

       -B bitmap-file
              Specify  a  bitmap  file  for  the  boot-time  graphics  screen,
              preferably one already pre-processed with the 'lilo -E' command.

       -c     Enable  map  compaction.  This  will  merge  read  requests from
              adjacent  sectors.  Speeds  up  the  booting  (especially   from

       -C config-file
              lilo  Specify  an alternate pathname for the configuration file.
              This option overrides the use of the default configuration file,

       -d delay
              Specifies  the  delay  time  in  tenths of a second (20 = 2 sec)
              before automatically booting the first image.  Gives you time to
              interrupt  the  automatic  boot  process  with Shift, Alt, Ctrl,
              ScrollLock, or CapsLock.  If interrupted, the `boot:' prompt  is
              displayed.   This  switch  is  overridden  by  the appearance of
              prompt in the configuration file.

       -D label
              Use the kernel with the given label, instead of the first one in
              the list, as the default kernel to boot.

       -E filename.ext
              If  .ext is .bmp, then take the file to be a bitmap graphic file
              for use in the "bitmap=" configuration file directive.  Enter an
              interactive  editor  to  create  or  update  the color/placement
              information in the bitmap file LILO header.  (see  'bmp-colors',
              'bmp-table',    and    'bmp-timer'   on   the   man   page   for

              If .ext is .dat, then take the file to be a  configuration  file
              which specifies bitmap graphic parameters, which are transferred
              into the LILO header in the bitmap file of the same name.

              When a .bmp file is modified  using  a  graphics  editor  (e.g.,
              GIMP),  the  LILO header will be lost.  It can be restored using
              the .dat file, which is used as a text-based backup for the LILO
              header information.

       -f disk-tab
              Specify   disk   geometry   parameter   file.  (The  default  is

       -F     Override boot sector check for  filesystems  (e.g.,  swap,  XFS,
              ...)  which  might  be destroyed by the installation of the LILO
              boot sector  on  the  first  sector  of  the  partition.   These
              filesystems use the first sector as a superblock.

              Compare with "-P ignore", which bypasses certain partition table

       -g     Generate  cylinder/head/sector   (geometric)   disk   addresses.
              Limited  to  cylinders  up  to  1023.  Forces compatibility with
              older versions of LILO.

       -H     Override fatal halt when a RAID array does not  have  all  disks

       -i boot-loader
              Specify  a  file to be used as the new boot loader. (The default
              is /boot/boot.b.)

       -I label [D|a|i|k|r|R]
              label is taken to be the name  of  an  image  specified  in  the
              configuration  file.   This  command will print the path name of
              the corresponding kernel file, keytable  file,  initial  ramdisk
              file,  root  specification,  or "append=" string ("i", "k", "r",
              "R",  or  "a"  option).   The  "D"  option  ignores  the   label
              parameter,  and  prints  the  default  "image="  label, or first
              "image=" label if no default image is specified.

       -l     Generate   24-bit   linear   sector   addresses    instead    of
              cylinder/head/sector addresses.

       -L     Generate    32-bit    Logical   Block   Addresses   instead   of
              cylinder/head/sector   addresses,   allowing   access   to   all
              partitions on disks with more than 1024 cylinders.

       -m map-file
              Use specified map file instead of the default.

       -M master-device [mbr|ext]
              Install  a Master Boot Record on the device specified as master-
              device, selecting the Standard or Extended  Master  Boot  Loader
              per the option.  The primary partition table on master-device is
              undisturbed.  If no valid Volume-ID (serial number) is  present,
              then generate one and write it to the MBR.  If mbr is specified,
              the Standard Master Boot Loader will search partitions  1-4  for
              an active flag, and boot the flagged partition.  Only one active
              flag is allowed.  If ext is specified, the search for an  active
              partition   will  include  extended  partitions  as  well.   The
              presence of the Extended Master Boot Loader on the  Master  Boot
              Record  (MBR  = sector 0) of a disk affects the operation of the
              -A option.

       -p     Require interactive entry of all passwords specified  as  ""  in
              the configuration file.

       -P {fix|ignore|<global-option>}
              Fix or ignore `corrupt' partition tables, i.e., partition tables
              with linear  and  cylinder/head/sector  addresses  that  do  not
              correspond.  Always try -P ignore first, as -P fix will re-write
              the partition table, possibly destroying all partitions  on  the

              -P  ignore  is also used to bypass the partition table check for
              partition types within the partition table which might not allow
              the  installation  of a LILO boot sector.  Compare with the "-F"
              flag, which overrides the check of the actual boot sector.

              -P <global-option> allows the passing of any global option which
              may appear in the global section (top) of the configuration file
              (/etc/lilo.conf).   For  instance,  -P  nowarn  will  pass   the
              "nowarn"  option,  just  as  though  "nowarn"  appeared  in  the
              configuration file (same as the  "-w"  switch).   Similarly,  -P
              timeout=50  will  add  or  override  the  "timeout=" line in the
              configuration file.  Note that the general  -P  switch  actually
              duplicates  a  number of command line option switches.  However,
              it is not strictly the same as  some  switches  whick  cause  an
              override  of  other options; e.g., "-g" (-P geometric), "-L" (-P

       -q     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.
              Use  with  -v  for more detailed information about the installed
              boot loader.

       -r root-directory
              Before doing  anything  else,  do  a  chroot  to  the  indicated
              directory. The new root directory must contain a /dev directory,
              and  may  need  a  /boot  directory.  It  may   also   need   an
              /etc/lilo.conf file.

       -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'.  Used without
              any  arguments,  it  will  cancel  a lock-ed or fallback command

       -s save-file
              When lilo writes a new boot  sector,  it  preserves  the  former
              contents   of   the   sector   in   a  file,  named  by  default
              /boot/boot.NNNN, where NNNN is the hexadecimal representation of
              the  major and minor device numbers of the drive/partition. This
              option specifies the backup save file in one of  three  ways:  a
              save  directory  (default is '/boot') using the default filename
              'boot.NNNN' in the specified directory; a pathname  template  to
              which  '.NNNN'  is  appended (default would be '/boot/boot'); or
              the full pathname of the file, which must  include  the  correct
              '.NNNN'  suffix.  When  used  with  the -u option, the full file
              pathname must be specified.

       -S save-file
              Normally, lilo will not overwrite an existing boot  sector  save
              file.  This  options  says  that overwriting is to be forced. As
              with -s, the specification may be of a save directory,  pathname
              template, or full pathname (which includes the '.NNNN' suffix.)

       -t     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.

       -T option
              Print out system information, some  of  it  extracted  from  the
              system  bios.   This  is  more  convenient than booting the LILO
              diagnostic floppy on problem systems.  option may be any one  of
              the following:

                 help  - print a list of available diagnostics
                 ChRul - list the partition types subject to
                 EBDA  - list Extended BIOS Data Area information
                 geom=<drive> list drive geometry for bios drive;
                         e.g., geom=0x80
                 geom  - list drive geometry for all drives
                 table=<drive> list the primary partition table;
                         e.g., table=/dev/sda
                 video - list graphic modes available to boot

       -u [device-name]
              Uninstall  lilo by copying the saved boot sector back.  The '-s'
              and '-C' switches may be used with this option.  The device-name
              is optional.  A time-stamp is checked.

       -U [device-name]
              Idem, but do not check the time-stamp.

       -v     Increase verbosity. Giving one to five -v options will make lilo
              more verbose, or use, -v n (n=1..5) to set verbosity level 'n'.

       -V     Print version number.

       -w     Used as -w or -w-, suppress  warning  messages.   Used  as  -w+,
              override  nowarn  in  the  configuration  file, and show warning

       -x option
              For RAID installations only.  The  option  may  be  any  of  the
              keywords none, auto, mbr, mbr-only, or a comma separated list of
              additional boot devices (no spaces allowed in the list).

       -X     Reserved for LILO internal use.  May  produce  different  output
              for  different  LILO versions. The line beginning "CFLAGS=" will
              contain the compiler options used to generate  this  version  of

       -z     When  used  with the `-M' switch, clears the Volume-ID.  Usually
              used in the following sequence to generate a new Volume-ID:
                   lilo -z -M /dev/hda
                   lilo -M /dev/hda

       -Z option
              Tells the boot installer whether special precautions need to  be
              taken  because the BIOS fails to pass the correct device code in
              DL (-Z0). Or may specify that the  BIOS  always  gets  DL  right
              (-Z1).  Corresponds  to,  and  overrides, the configuration file
              option 'bios-passes-dl='.

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

              -b bootdev       boot=bootdev
              -B file.bmp      bitmap=file.bmp
              -c               compact
              -d dsec          delay=dsec
              -D label         default=label
              -i boot-loader   install=boot-loader
              -f file          disktab=file
              -g               geometric
              -l               linear
              -L               lba32
              -m mapfile       map=mapfile
              -P fix           fix-table
              -P ignore        ignore-table
              -s file          backup=file
              -S file          force-backup=file
              -v [N]           verbose=N
              -w               nowarn
              -x option        raid-extra-boot=option
              -Z option        bios-passes-dl=option


       The options described here may be specified at boot time on the command
       line when a kernel image is booted.  These  options  are  processed  by
       LILO,  and are removed from the command line before it is passed to the
       kernel, unless otherwise noted.

       lock   Locks the command line, as though 'lock' had been  specified  in

              Specifies  the maximum memory in the system in bytes, kilobytes,
              megabytes, or gigabytes.  This option is not  removed  from  the
              command line, and is always passed to the kernel.

       nobd   Suppresses the BIOS data check.  This option is reserved for use
              with non-IBM-compliant BIOS's which hang with the lines:

                   BIOS data check

              Allows overriding the default video mode upon kernel startup.


       The boot process takes place in two stages.  The first stage loader  is
       a single sector, and is loaded by the BIOS or by the loader in the MBR.
       It loads the multi-sector  second  stage  loader,  but  is  very  space
       limited.  When the first stage loader gets control, it types the letter
       "L"; when it is ready to transfer control to the second stage loader it
       types  the letter "I".  If any error occurs, like a disk read error, it
       will put out a hexadecimal error code, and  then  it  will  re-try  the
       operation.   All hex error codes are BIOS return values, except for the
       lilo-generated 40, 99 and 9A.  A partial list of error codes follows:

              00  no error
              01  invalid disk command
              02  address mark not found
              03  disk write-protected
              04  sector not found
              06  floppy disk removed
              08  DMA overrun

              0A  bad sector flag
              0B  bad track flag
              20  controller failure
              40  seek failure (BIOS)
              40  cylinder>1023 (LILO)
              99  invalid second stage index sector (LILO)
              9A  no second stage loader signature (LILO)
              AA  drive not ready
              FF  sense operation failed

       Error code 40  is  generated  by  the  BIOS,  or  by  LILO  during  the
       conversion  of  a  linear  (24-bit) disk address to a geometric (C:H:S)
       address.   On  older  systems  which  do  not  support  lba32  (32-bit)
       addressing, this error may also be generated.  Errors 99 and 9A usually
       mean the map file (-m or map=) is not readable, likely because LILO was
       not  re-run  after some system change, or there is a geometry mis-match
       between what LILO used (lilo -v3 to display) and what is actually being
       used  by  the  BIOS (one of the lilo diagnostic disks, available in the
       source distribution, may be needed to diagnose this problem).

       When the second stage loader has received control from the first stage,
       it prints the letter "L", and when it has initialized itself, including
       verifying the "Descriptor Table" - the list of kernels/others to boot -
       it  will  print  the  letter  "O",  to  form  the  full word "LILO", in

       All second stage loader error messages are English  text,  and  try  to
       pinpoint, more or less successfully, the point of failure.


       lilo  is  known  to have problems with the reiserfs introduced with the
       2.2.x kernels, unless the file system  is  mounted  with  the  'notail'
       option.   This  incompatibility  has been resolved with reiserfs 3.6.18
       and lilo 21.6.  reiser4 introduced with the 2.5.x kernels requires lilo
       22.5.2 or later.

       Beginning  with  version 22.0, RAID installations write the boot record
       to the RAID partition. Conditional writing of MBRs may occur to aid  in
       making  the  RAID set bootable in a recovery situation, but all default
       actions may be overridden.  Action  similar  to  previous  versions  is
       achieved using the `-x mbr-only' switch.


       Configuration file options `backup' and `force-backup' should specify a
       backup  directory  or  backup  file  pathname  template  on  all   RAID
       installations.  Use  of  an  explicit  filename  may not allow multiple
       backup files to be created correctly. It is best  to  use  the  default
       mechanism, as it works correctly in all cases.


       fdisk(8), lilo.conf(5), mkrescue(8), mkinitrd(8).

       The  lilo  distribution  comes  with  very  extensive TeX documentation
       through Version 21.  Text file README's in the source directory provide
       updates    on   more   recent   topics.    This   can   be   found   in
       /usr/share/doc/lilo-doc/ on Debian-based systems.


       Werner Almesberger <> (versions 0 to 21)
       John Coffman <> (21.2 to present date)

                                  07 Oct 2005                          LILO(8)