Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This 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!


  Search this Thread
Old 01-31-2002, 02:03 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Alicante , Spain
Posts: 7

Rep: Reputation: 0
Booting and lilo (for dummies)

Hi All ,
After my recent problems with my Suse 7.0 installation I'm left with a few questions/doubts about the Linux boot process and Lilo . Hopefully one of you guys will shed some light on the subject .

Let's say you start a new installation from floppy on a clean HD .
The floppy boots and you go through the installation . Linux partitions your drive /dev/hda1 (boot) /dev/hda2 (swap) and /dev/hda3 (/) . On reboot the mbr tells the system where to find the /boot directory and the system boots up from there , no ?
Then the /boot directory gives you the "boot:" prompt and from there it tells the system where to find the /root directory ?
Is that right ??

The problem I have is understanding what exactly lilo does . I had the option of installing lilo to the mbr but isn't lilo a bigish file ?? The mbr is small . What exactly is lilo going to do in my mbr . Is it like installing a seperate boot manager . i.e it takes over the boot process from the mbr . Do I need it at all . ??

As you can see I'm missing something (as usual) .

Any help would be appreciated .

Old 01-31-2002, 02:20 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2002
Distribution: LFS
Posts: 90

Rep: Reputation: 15
LILO is the part of the system that does the booting. When the computer is turned on, it checks several places for boot instructions: floppy, cd-rom and the MBR (not necessarily in that order). When the computer finds one that has bootup instructions, it follows those.

The MBR isn't a program that can tell the computer how to boot, rather it's a place on the hard drive that the computer will look to find instructions. When you put LILO in the MBR, it provides the boot instructions (and as a side-note, it's not the whole LILO executable file that goes into there - it's just a set of instructions that LILO writes to it). If you don't have LILO, or some other bootloader, installed and written to the MBR, the computer won't be able to startup.
Old 01-31-2002, 02:53 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Alicante , Spain
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks TacKat,
I appreciate the info .


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SUSE Linux 9.3 for Dummies (For Dummies S.) samuelmp SUSE / openSUSE 11 08-01-2005 02:42 PM
booting from another hd without lilo headlessspider Linux - Newbie 3 09-18-2004 09:31 AM
LILO: LILO lost upon booting. Nevchift Mandriva 3 09-16-2003 08:21 AM
booting from lilo!! marek Linux - Newbie 4 08-29-2003 12:41 AM
booting from lilo... apax Slackware 10 07-22-2003 05:41 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:03 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration