Linux - NewbieThis Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question?
If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
There are previous threads that discuss this issue in detail. Please search for "lilo grub" on this site and also look at the bottom of this page to see similar threads to yours. Its important that you search first before starting a new thread because there could already be threads that discuss the same issue as yours.
I started prefering GRUB when I discovered it did not need to be rerun with every configuration change. Creating a generic GRUB boot floppy is fairly simple and quite useful.
LiLo works fine but I no longer prefer it.
I had problem in the past with Lilo when compiling a custom kernel. Lilo said the image was too big, the kernel couldn't boot... So I installed Grub and It all went fine. Using a custom splash screen image is easier to configure in Grub than in Lilo.
So my vote goes to Grub!
Both are equal when comparing advantages and disadvantages. LILO is machine language based while Grub is userspace. Grub contains its own command prompt when something goes wrong which makes it easier to boot up any OS if you forgot to make a menu.lst file or the partition where grub stores its files has been corrupted or accidently deleted. I prefer novice Linux users to use Grub instead of LILO because it is a lot easier to work with.
I believe that the main difference between GRUB and LILO is that GRUB can read a file system and LILO cannot. That's the reason why you have to run LILO after reconfiguring it - so the configuration can be written to LILO itself. GRUB doesn't require this because since it can read a file system, it can read a conf file - menu.lst.
The "LI" that LILO leaves behind when it fails actually means something.
LI: The first stage boot loader was able to load the second stage boot loader, but has failed to execute it. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.
I used to use LiLo in the past, before I learned to configure GRUB manually; in the beginning LiLo seemed easier, but nowadays I think differently. As heatsink mentioned, LiLo needs to be run (installed) each time it's config file is altered, because it saves the settings to MBR where it resides itself. GRUB, on the other hand (again as heatsink said), stores it's configuration to a regular partition and reads it at every boot; this way the file can just be edited and that's it; GRUB doesn't have to be "reinstalled" every time you do something about it.
LiLo seems to have some minor problems that GRUB does not have (might be vice versa too); I have encountered one lately - when I used GRUB, changing it's configuration was a piece of cake. At the moment I'm using LiLo again, and though the installation went fine, I can't reconfigure it anymore since running "lilo" refuses to install it (claims that at least one filesystem doesn't match something, and ought to be fixed -- I'm not that sure about it, and won't "fix" anything as nothing seems to be broken). Also, when I needed to do a fresh reinstall, LiLo suddenly refused to install all right, and after 3 or 4 identical tries it suddenly just dropped in.
Some people complain that GRUB's way of dealing with partitions is difficult especially after one has learned LiLo's way; I agree, they don't match, but if one looks closely to the GRUB way (hd(0,0) instead of hda1, for example), it looks perfectly intelligent; as it's very easy to configure after spending a few minutes with the help documentation, it does not need to be reinstalled if changes are made (thus enabling you to do some automation on handling/updating the config), it just seems to be less problem-causing than LiLo (my experience) and many modern distributions use it by default..well, to cut it short, I see no reason why not to use it.
Of course LiLo has a nice name, anyway a lot better than the four other letters.
GRUB provides its own shell that helps you find the hd number and partition number because of command complete feature. At GRUB shell type "root (<tab>". It will list all the hard drives. If you type "root (hd0,<tab>", it will list the partitions of hd0.
Like I said in my previous post, GRUB is userspace which means you can rename the device naming scheme.
One disadvantage of GRUB is it is not safe to use on public computers. The encrypted password can be seen and decrypted. LILO is best when security needs to be high.