LILO(8)                      System Manager's Manual                     LILO(8)

       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 line.

       -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 partition.

       -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 floppy).

       -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 'lilo.conf(5)'.)

              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

       -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

       -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 lba32).

       -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

       -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

       -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 line.

       -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

                 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 LILO.

       -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

       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 uppercase.

       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.

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

                                   07 Oct 2005                           LILO(8)