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       This  file, by default /etc/lilo.conf, is read by the boot
       loader installer 'lilo' (see lilo(8)).

       It might look as follows:

              # lilo.conf
              #  global options:
              menu-title=" John's Computer "
              #  bootable kernel images:
              #  other operating systems:

       This configuration file specifies that lilo uses the  Mas­
       ter Boot Record on /dev/hda. (For a discussion of the var­
       ious ways to use lilo,  and  the  interaction  with  other
       operating  systems,  see user.tex from the lilo documenta­

       When booting, the boot loader will issue its boot:  prompt
       and wait for you to enter the label of the kernel (and any
       options) which you wish to boot. At any time you  may  hit
       [Tab]  to see a list of kernel/other labels.  Alternately,
       if the boot-menu.b boot loader is  installed,  a  menu  of
       boot  options  will  be presented for your selection.  The
       title of this menu is overridden with the menu title spec­
       ification  in this configuration file.  If you enter noth­
       ing, then the default kernel image, the  first  mentioned,


       There are many possible keywords. The description below is
       almost  literally  from  user.tex  (just slightly abbrevi­

              Copy the original boot sector to backup-file (which
              may  also  be a device, e.g.  /dev/null) instead of

              Specifies use of a 640x480x16 bitmap  file  as  the
              background  on which a boot menu is displayed.  May
              not be used if 'message=' is  specified.   Requires
              that  'install='  specify  a  boot-loader  which is
              capable of displaying the bitmap; i.e., boot-bmp.b.
              (Version  22.3): Use of this option now implies use
              of a bitmap-capable boot loader, unless  overridden
              with "install=" (see below).

              Specifies  the  decimal  values of the colors to be
              used for the menu  display  on  a  'bitmap='  back­
              ground.  The list consists of 6 entries, 3 for nor­
              mal text followed by 3 for highlighted  text.   The
              order  of  each  triple is: foreground color, back­
              ground color, shadow color.  If background color is
              not specified, "transparent" is assumed.  If shadow
              color is not specified,  then  "none"  is  assumed.
              The  list  entries are separated by commas, with no

              Specifies the  location  and  layout  of  the  menu
              table.  <x>,<y> specify the starting x- and y-posi­
              tion of the upper left corner of the table in char­
              acter  coordinates:  x  in  [1..80],  y in [1..30].
              <ncol> is the number of columns in the menu (1..5);
              and  <nrow> is the number of rows (entries) in each
              column.  If more than one column is specified, then
              <xsep>  is  the number of character columns between
              the leftmost characters in each  column:  (18..40),
              and  <spill> is the number of entries in one column
              which must be filled before entries spill into  the
              next  column. <spill> must be .le. <nrow>. If pixel
              addressing is used, instead of  character  address­
              ing,  then any of <x>, <y>, or <xsep> may be speci­
              fied with a 'p' suffix on the decimal value.

              Optional specification of the 'timeout='  countdown
              timer.   <x>,<y> specifies the character (or pixel)
              mounted  as root.  A raid installation is initiated
              by specifying a RAID1 device as  the  boot  device;
              e.g., "boot=/dev/md0".  Note that LILO version 22.0
              and later operate differently from earlier versions
              with  respect  to  the  actual location of the boot

              Defines boot-time changes to partition type numbers


              The  above excerpt from a configuration file speci­
              fies that  all  default  change-rules  are  removed
              ("reset"), and the change-rules for three partition
              types are specified.  Without the reset, the  three
              types specified would have been added to the exist­
              ing default change-rules.   Normally,  the  default
              rules are sufficient.  The strings which define the
              partition types are used in a change  section  (see
              below),  with  the  suffixes "_normal" or "_hidden"
              appended.   See  section  "Partition  type   change
              rules" of user.tex for more details.

              Tries  to  merge read requests for adjacent sectors
              into  a  single  read  request.  This   drastically
              reduces  load time and keeps the map smaller. Using
              `compact' is especially  recommended  when  booting
              from a floppy disk.

              Uses the specified image as the default boot image.
              If `default' is omitted, the image appearing  first
              in the configuration file is used.

              Specifies the number of tenths of a second the boot
              loader should wait before automatically  booting  a
              locked  command  line, a command line pre-stored by
              "lilo -R", or the  default  `image='  or  `other='.
              details.  Especially useful is the `bios='  parame­
              ter.   The BIOS numbers your disks 0x80, 0x81, etc.
              and it is impossible to  decide  which  Linux  disk
              corresponds  to which BIOS disk (since this depends
              on the BIOS setup, and on the type of BIOS), so  if
              you  have  an  unusual  setup you need to state the
              correspondence between Linux disks and BIOS  disks.
              For example,


              would  say  that  your  SCSI disk is the first BIOS
              disk, and your (primary master)  IDE  disk  is  the
              second BIOS disk.

              Specifies  the  name  of  the disk parameter table.
              The map installer looks for /etc/disktab if  `disk­
              tab'  is  omitted.  The use of disktabs is discour­

              This allows lilo to adjust 3D addresses  in  parti­
              tion  tables.  Each  partition  entry contains a 3D
              (cylinder/head/sector) and a linear address of  the
              first  and  the  last sector of the partition. If a
              partition is not track-aligned and if certain other
              operating  systems  (e.g.  PC/MS-DOS  or  OS/2) are
              using  the  same  disk,  they  may  change  the  3D
              address.  lilo  can  store  its boot sector only on
              partitions where  both  address  types  correspond.
              lilo  re-adjusts  incorrect  3D  start addresses if
              `fix-table' is set.

              WARNING: This does not guarantee that other operat­
              ing  systems  may  not attempt to reset the address
              later. It is also possible  that  this  change  has
              other,  unexpected side-effects. The correct fix is
              to re-partition the drive with a program that  does
              align  partitions  to tracks. Also, with some disks
              (e.g. some large EIDE disks with  address  transla­
              tion  enabled),  under  some  circumstances, it may
              even be unavoidable to have  conflicting  partition
              table entries.

              Like  `backup', but overwrite an old backup copy if
              it exists.

              Starting  with  version  21.5, two boot loaders are
              available: boot-text.b and boot-menu.b, with boot.b
              a  symbolic  link  to the latter. Both boot loaders
              allow the entry of kernel command line  options  in
              exactly  the  same  fashion.  Both  also  have full
              serial line support (see serial=  below),  although
              no  menu  capabilities  are available on the serial
              terminal. The former is available for  strict  com­
              patibility  with  previous  versions  of  LILO.  If
              `install' is omitted, /boot/boot.b is used  as  the

              Beginning  with version 22, a third user-interface,
              boot-bmp.b,  is  available.  This  presents  a  GUI
              interface,  the  background  for  which is selected
              with "bitmap=".

              (Version 22.3): The selection of the user interface
              with  "install="  is dependent upon the presence of
              the substrings "text",  "menu",  or  "bmp"  in  the
              parameter  to  the  "install=".  The  boot  loaders
              selected are no longer  files,  but  are  contained
              within  the  boot-installer  binary  /sbin/lilo. If
              "install=" is omitted, the default boot  loader  is
              "menu",  unless "bitmap=" is specified (see above),
              in  which  case  the  boot  loader  "bmp"  will  be

              (Version  22.3): Normally any initial ramdisk (ini­
              trd) loaded with a kernel is loaded as high in mem­
              ory as possible, but never above 15Mb.  This is due
              to a BIOS limitation on older  systems.   On  newer
              systems,  this  option  enables  using memory above
              15Mb (up to a kernel imposed limit,  around  768Mb)
              for passing the initrd to the kernel.  The presence
              of this option merely indicates  that  your  system
              does not have the old BIOS limitation.

              This  switch (or its abscence) is not passed to the
              kernel, and does not in any way affect  the  amount
              of  physical  memory  which  it will use.  (See the
              kernel documentation for the  kernel  command  line
              parameter  "mem="  for  limiting the memory used by
              the kernel.)

       lba32  Generate 32-bit Logical Block Addresses instead  of
              cylinder/head/sector  addresses.  If  the BIOS sup­
              ports packet addressing, then packet calls will  be
              used  to  access the disk. This allows booting from
              any partition on disks with more than  1024  cylin­
              ders.  If the BIOS does not support packet address­
              its use of packet addressing, but requires a recent
              BIOS (post-1998).

       lock   Enables automatic recording of boot  command  lines
              as  the defaults for the following boots. This way,
              lilo "locks" on a choice until it is manually over­

              The  per-image  password  option  `mandatory'  (see
              below) applies to all images.

              Specifies the location of the map file. If `map' is
              omitted, the file /boot/map is used.

              On  machines  with  a  pre-1998  BIOS, the EDD bios
              extensions which are required  to  support  "lba32"
              disk  sector addressing may not be present. In this
              case, the boot-loader will fall back  automatically
              to  "geometric"  addressing;  this fall back situa­
              tion, or the specific use of "geometric"  or  "lin­
              ear"  addressing,  will  require the map file to be
              located within the first 1024 cylinders of the disk
              drive.  This  BIOS  limitation  is  not  present on
              post-1998 systems, most of which support the  newer
              EDD disk BIOS calls.

              Specifies  the title line (up to 37 characters) for
              the boot menu.  This  title  replaces  the  default
              "LILO  Boot  Menu"  title string. If boot-menu.b is
              not installed as  the  boot  loader  (see  install=
              option), then this line has no effect.

              The  default  color  scheme of the boot menu may be
              overridden on VGA displays using this option.  (The
              color  scheme  of MDA displays is fixed.)  The gen­
              eral color-scheme string is of the form:


              where each entry is two characters which specify  a
              foreground  color  and a background color. Only the
              first entry is required. The default  highlight  is
              the reverse of the text color; and the default bor­
              der and title colors are the  text  color.   Colors
              are  specified  using  the characters kbgcrmyw, for
              blacK, Blue, Green, Cyan, Red, Magenta, Yellow, and
              White: upper case for intense (fg only), lower case
              for dim.  Legal color-scheme strings would be
              sirable  when  the  boot-menu.b  boot   loader   is
              installed.  The size of the message file is limited
              to 65535 bytes. The map file has to be  rebuilt  if
              the  message  file is changed or moved.  'message='
              and 'bitmap=' are mutually exclusive.

       nowarn Disables warnings about possible future dangers.

              The per-image option `optional' (see below) applies
              to all images.

              The  per-image  option  `password=...'  (see below)
              applies to all  images.  This  option  may  prevent
              unattended  booting, if the default image is `pass­
              word=' protected at the default level  `mandatory',
              which is a level higher than `restricted'.

       prompt Automatic booting (see `delay' above) will not take
              place unless a locked  or  pre-stored  ("lilo  -R")
              command  line  is present. Instead, the boot loader
              will issue the boot: prompt and wait for user input
              before  proceeding (see timeout below).  Unattended
              default image reboots are impossible if `prompt' is
              set  and  `timeout' is not, or the default image is
              password  protected  at   a   higher   level   than

              This  option  only  has meaning for RAID1 installa­
              tions.  The <option>  may  be  specified  as  none,
              auto,   mbr-only,  or  a  comma-separated  list  of
              devices; e.g., "/dev/hda,/dev/hdc6".  Starting with
              LILO  version  22.0,  the  boot  record is normally
              written to the first sector of  the  RAID1  device.
              On  PARALLEL  raid  sets, no other boot records are
              needed.  The default action is auto, meaning, auto­
              matically  generate auxilary boot records as needed
              on SKEWED raid sets.  none means  suppress  genera­
              tion  of all auxiliary boot records.  mbr-only sup­
              presses generation of  boot  records  on  the  raid
              device,  and  forces compatibility with versions of
              LILO earlier than  version  22.0  by  writing  boot
              records  to  all  Master Boot Records (MBRs) of all
              disks in the raid set.  Use of an explicit list  of
              devices,  forces  writing of auxiliary boot records
              only on those devices enumerated,  in  addition  to
              the boot record on the RAID1 device. Since the ver­
              sion 22 RAID1 codes will never automatically  write
              a  boot record on the MBR of device 0x80, if such a
              boot record is desired, this is the way to have  it
              is  less secure than access to the console, e.g. if
              the line is connected to  a  modem.  The  parameter
              string has the following syntax:


              <port>:  the number of the serial port, zero-based.
              0 corresponds to COM1 alias  /dev/ttyS0,  etc.  All
              four ports can be used (if present).

              <bps>:   the baud rate of the serial port. The fol­
              lowing baud rates are  supported:  110,  150,  300,
              600,  1200,  2400(default),  4800,  9600,  plus the
              extended  rates  19200,  38400,  and  57600(56000).
              115200  is  allowed, but may not work with all COMx
              port hardware.

              <parity>:  the parity used on the serial line.  The
              boot loader ignores input parity and strips the 8th
              bit. The following (upper or lower case) characters
              are  used  to describe the parity:  "n" for no par­
              ity, "e" for even parity and "o" for odd parity.

              <bits>:  the number of bits in a character. Only  7
              and 8 bits are supported. Default is 8 if parity is
              "none", 7 if parity is "even" or "odd".

              If `serial' is set, the value of `delay'  is  auto­
              matically raised to 20.

              Example:  "serial=0,2400n8"  initializes  COM1 with
              the default parameters.

              This option specifies that boot images or  'other's
              are  to  be  selected  and  launched  with a single
              keystroke.  Selection is based upon the first char­
              acter  of  each  name,  which must be unique.  This
              option should not be used with the menu  or  bitmap
              user interface ("install=").

              This  global  option  suppresses the boot-time real
              mode collection of BIOS data on systems which  hang
              on  certain  BIOS calls.  It is equivalent to using
              the boot-time switch 'nobd'.

              This option defeats the disk volume recognition and
              BIOS device code detection features of LILO on sys­
              tems with more than one disk. Thus the use of  this
              option  will  produce  a strong cautionary message,
              which cannot be suppressed.
              is 5.

       Additionally,  the kernel configuration parameters append,
       ramdisk, read-only, read-write, root and vga can be set in
       the  global  options section. They are used as defaults if
       they aren't specified in the configuration sections of the
       respective kernel images.


       A per-image section starts with either a line


       to  indicate a file or device containing the boot image of
       a Linux kernel, or a line


       to indicate an arbitrary system to boot.

       In the former case, if an  image  line  specifies  booting
       from  a device, then one has to indicate the range of sec­
       tors to be mapped using


       In the third case, 'nsec=1' is assumed.


       If the booted image is a Linux kernel, then one  may  pass
       command line parameters to this kernel.

              Appends the options specified to the parameter line
              passed to the kernel.  This is  typically  used  to
              specify   parameters  of  hardware  that  can't  be
              entirely auto-detected or for which probing may  be
              dangerous. Multiple kernel parameters are separated
              by a blank space, and the string must  be  enclosed
              in double quotes.  Append may be used only once per
              "image=" section.  Example:

                   append="mem=96M hd=576,64,32 console=ttyS1,9600"

              no  RAM disk should be created. If this variable is
              omitted, the RAM disk size configured into the boot
              image is used.

              This  specifies that the root file system should be
              mounted read-only.  It may be specified as a global
              option.   Typically,  the  system startup procedure
              re-mounts the root  file  system  read-write  later
              (e.g. after fsck'ing it).

              This  specifies that the root file system should be
              mounted read-write.   It  may  be  specified  as  a
              global option.

              This specifies the device that should be mounted as
              root.  It may be specified as a global option.   If
              the  special  name current is used, the root device
              is set to the device on which the root file  system
              is  currently mounted. If the root has been changed
              with  -r , the respective device is  used.  If  the
              variable `root' is omitted, the root device setting
              contained in the kernel image is used.   (And  that
              is  set at compile time using the ROOT_DEV variable
              in the kernel Makefile, and can  later  be  changed
              with the rdev(8) program.)

              This  specifies  the  VGA  text mode that should be
              selected when booting.  It may be  specified  as  a
              global option.  The following values are recognized
              (case is ignored):

              normal: select normal 80x25 text mode.

              extended (or ext): select 80x50 text mode.

              ask: stop and ask for user input (at boot time).

              <number>: use the corresponding text mode.  A  list
              of  available modes can be obtained by booting with
              vga=ask and pressing [Enter].

              If this variable is omitted, the VGA  mode  setting
              contained in the kernel image is used. (And that is
              set at compile time using the SVGA_MODE variable in
              the  kernel Makefile, and can later be changed with
              the rdev(8) program.)

              or HPFS.  The alternate chain loader, /boot/os2_d.b
              passes partition and drive information uncondition­
              ally, and uses a format suitalble for OS/2 and  DOS
              (see table=<letter> below).

              This  specifies the device that contains the parti­
              tion table.  The boot loader will pass default par­
              tition  information  to the booted operating system
              if this variable is omitted. (Some  operating  sys­
              tems  have other means to determine from which par­
              tition they have been booted.  E.g., MS-DOS usually
              stores  the  geometry of the boot disk or partition
              in its boot sector.)  Note that /sbin/lilo must  be
              re-run  if a partition table mapped referenced with
              `table' is modified.

              This is  a  special  case  for  the  os2_d.b  chain
              loader.   It specifies the DOS drive letter for the
              partition that will be booted.  This  is  mandatory
              when  booting  OS/2 installed on an extended parti­
              tion.  The drive letter may be  specified  with  or
              without a trailing colon.

       change This  keyword  starts a section which describes how
              primary partition IDs are changed, and how  primary
              partitions   are  activated  and  deactivated.   If
              change is omitted, change rules  are  generated  as
              though  the  automatic keyword were specified.  The
              keyword change alone, without any rules  following,
              will suppress automatic change-rules.  For example,


              specifies that when primary partition /dev/hda2  is
              booted,  automatic  change-rules will be in effect;
              plus, partition 1, a DOS12 partition, will  be  set
              hidden, and deactivated.  In addition, partition 2,
              will be set normal, and activated.  Activation sets
              the  boot-flag  in  the partition table.  The auto­
              matic  keyword  may  confict  with  default  change

       unsafe Do not access the boot sector at map creation time.
              This disables some sanity checks, including a  par­
              tition  table  check.  If  the  boot sector is on a
              fixed-format  floppy  disk  device,  using   UNSAFE
              avoids  the  need  to  put a readable disk into the
              drive when running the map installer. If  the  boot
              sector  is on a hard drive, the BIOS device code of
              the drive will have to be specified explicitly with
              "disk=/dev/XXXX bios=0x8X inaccessible" in the con­
              figuration file.  `unsafe' and `table' (explicit or
              implicit) are mutually incompatible.

COMMON OPTIONS (image= & other=)

       In both the image= and other= cases, the following options

              The boot loader uses the main  file  name  (without
              its  path)  of each image specification to identify
              that image.  A different name can be used  by  set­
              ting the variable `label'.

              A  second  name  for  the same entry can be used by
              specifying an alias.

       lock   (See above.)

              Omit the image if it is not available at  map  cre­
              ation  time.   It  may  be  specified  as  a global
              option.  This is useful  to  specify  test  kernels
              that are not always present.

              Protect  the  `image='  or `other=' with a password
              (or passphrase).  It may be specified as  a  global
              option.  The interpretation of the `password=' set­
              ting  is  modified  by   the   words   `mandatory',
              `restricted', and `bypass' (see below).
              The  password  may  be specified in the config-file
              (less secure) or  entered  at  the  time  the  boot
              loader  is  installed. To request interactive entry
              of the password,  it  should  be  specified:  pass­
              word="".   Passwords  entered interactively are not
              required to be entered again if the boot  installer
              is  re-run.  They  are cached, in hashed form, in a
              companion file to the  config-file,  default  name:
              /etc/lilo.conf.crc.  If the config-file is updated,
              a warning message will be issued telling you to re-
              run  lilo  -p  to force re-creation of the password
              indicate that the global password does not apply to
              this `image=' or `other='.


       lilo(8), mkinitrd(8), mkrescue(8), rdev(8).

       The lilo distribution comes with very extensive documenta­
       tion of which the above is an extract.  (lilo 22.3)

                           10 Oct 2002               LILO.CONF(5)



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