Slackware - InstallationThis forum is for the discussion of installation issues with Slackware.
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This is just a wild guess, but it sounds like you might have been using an "initrd" file when it was not required. Probably the "initrd" file was not up to date, or not correct. The huge Slackware kernel usually doesn't require an "initrd".
It's also a common problem to have the root device name wrong. That can cause the wrong "init" task to be run (the one from some other OS).
If I was going to impress someone with Slackware, I probably wouldn't point out the installer as the strong point. It's designed to be simple rather than completely automatic. In many cases that is an advantage, but it can also choose defaults that won't work for a particular configuration. It is important to understand something about disk partitioning and installing boot loaders.
So far when I've provided constructive criticism to the Slackware team, they've always given my suggestions careful consideration. It does help to provide plenty of details about the configuration and the exact circumstances where there is a problem.
In order for lilo to work, you need a proper /boot/initrd. Did you invoke mkinitrd after installing the kernel? /boot/README.initrd
I have GRUB on another drive. I never have to change it, except for the slackware version in the menu entry, that's because I installed the initrd on the slackware-current partition, not the MBR of the drive. Only install lilo on the mbr of the system boot disk, then you can add menu entries for everything else. Too much work for me, I'd rather just sed grub.conf.
This /etc/lilo.conf works for me, with vmlinuz and initrd soft links to the real files (handy for installing new kernels). Your mileage may vary. Objects are closer than they appear.
If Grub was installed to the master boot record, attempting to install Lilo to the MBR may not work unless the MBR is first reformatted.
Also, I have never had Slackware's so-called "install Lilo automatically" option work, and I've never had the "expert" Lilo install fail, as long as I did not skip a step (which is admitted easy to do the first time)--except when Grub was previously installed to the MBR. In that case, see above.
frankbell, you're probably on the right path, in fact what Pedroski is describing here is exactly the same issue I had after installing Slackware the first time. I wanted to multi-boot it alongside with Debian and m$-XP, and I was using Grub. After installing Slackware I tried to put Lilo on the MBR: this made both Linuxes unbootable (but not m$-XP) and I had to chroot into Debian, reinstall Grub and only then I could boot all systems again. I put Lilo in a corner (not because of Lilo, but for my lacking knowledge of it) until I ended up using Slackware as my only OS. I don't think the issue here is related to a missing initrd (the huge kernel booted just fine here).
I found a link about clearing out the MBR, I never tried that and I wonder if it's the right way to solve such issues: [link removed].
Last edited by Philip Lacroix; 06-27-2013 at 05:00 PM.
Reason: Removed link to obsolete documentation.
It should not be necessary to zero the MBR before installing a new boot loader. The boot loader should preserve the partition table part of the MBR and write over the software part of the MBR. Windows uses the bytes from 1B8 through 1BB (hex) to store a disk signature, so changing or zeroing those bytes can prevent Windows from booting. Most boot loaders now preserve the disk signature bytes during installation.
The instructions that you referenced zero the entire MBR including the partition table and disk signature. You should only do that if there are no partitions defined on the disk drive that you want to preserve. After clearing the MBR to zero there will be no partitions defined.
Also, the instructions do not completely remove a GPT (GUID Partition Table). A GPT is stored at both the beginning and end of the hard disk. To clear a GPT you can use the "gdisk" utility with the "-z" option.
Thanks Erik FL for the valuable insight, it seems that I have digged up a piece of obsolete documentation, linking it too quickly here. I'll remove it from my post, to avoid suggesting disastrous steps. Sorry for that.
Last edited by Philip Lacroix; 06-27-2013 at 11:56 PM.
Grub2 is very good about detecting and managing multiple operating systems on a hard drive. You shouldn't have had to even install LILO at all. My question is these:
1. Where did you attempt to install LILO?
A) Master Boot Record
B) USB Thumb Drive
C) SuperBlock of Hard Drive
D) I didn't install LILO at all, I skipped it.
If you're using Grub2 or Grub, you don't need to install LILO/eLILO at all. Grub2 should use the os-prober's scripts to detect which operating systems are on your drive(s) and add the appropriate lines to the boot scripts of Grub2's configuration file.