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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for lilo.conf (redhat section 5)

LILO.CONF(5)			       File Formats Manual			     LILO.CONF(5)

       lilo.conf - configuration file for lilo

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

       It might look as follows:

	      boot = /dev/hda
	      delay = 40
	      vga = normal
	      root = /dev/hda1
	      image = /zImage-2.5.99
		      label = try
	      image = /zImage-1.0.9
		      label = 1.0.9
	      image = /tamu/vmlinuz
		   label = tamu
		   root = /dev/hdb2
		   vga = ask
	      other = /dev/hda3
		   label = dos
		   table = /dev/hda

       This configuration file specifies that lilo uses the Master Boot Record on /dev/hda.  (For
       a  discussion  of  the  various ways to use lilo, and the interaction with other operating
       systems, see user.tex from the lilo documentation.)

       When booting, the boot loader will wait four seconds (40 deciseconds)  for  you	to  press
       Shift.	If  you  don't,  then  the first kernel image mentioned (/zImage-1.5.99, that you
       probably installed just five minutes ago) will be booted.  If you do, the boot loader will
       ask  you  which	image  to boot.  In case you forgot the possible choices, press [TAB] (or
       [?], if you have a US keyboard), and you will be presented with a menu.	You now have  the
       choice  of  booting this brandnew kernel, or an old trusted kernel, or a kernel on another
       root file system (just in case you did something stupid on your usual rootfs), or  booting
       a different operating system.  There can be up to 16 images mentioned in lilo.conf.

       As can be seen above, a configuration file starts with a number of global options (the top
       6 lines in the example), followed by descriptions of the options for the  various  images.
       An option in an image description will override a global option.

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

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

	      Sets  the  name  of  the device (e.g. a hard disk partition) that contains the boot
	      sector. If this keyword is omitted, the boot sector  is  read  from  (and  possibly
	      written to) the device that is currently mounted as root.

	      Defines  boot-time changes to partition type numbers (`hiding').	See section "Par-
	      tition type change rules" of user.tex for 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 espe-
	      cially 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 boot-
	      ing the first image. This is useful on systems that immediately boot from the  hard
	      disk after enabling the keyboard.  The boot loader doesn't wait if `delay' is omit-
	      ted or is set to zero.

	      Defines non-standard parameters for the specified disk.  See section  "Disk  geome-
	      try"  of	user.tex  for  details.  Especially useful is the `bios=' parameter.  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 correspon-
	      dence 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 `disktab' is omitted. The use of disktabs is discouraged.

	      This  allows  lilo to adjust 3D addresses in partition tables. Each partition entry
	      contains a 3D (sector/head/cylinder) 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-ta-
	      ble' is set.

	      WARNING:	This  does  not guarantee that other operating 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  translation 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.

	      tells lilo to ignore corrupt partition tables.

	      Install the specified file as the  new  boot  sector.   If  `install'  is  omitted,
	      /boot/boot.b is used as the default.

       linear Generate	linear sector addresses instead of sector/head/cylinder addresses. Linear
	      addresses are translated at run time and do not depend on disk geometry. Note  that
	      boot  disks  may	not  be portable if `linear' is used, because the BIOS service to
	      determine the disk geometry does not work reliably for  floppy  disks.  When  using
	      `linear'	with large disks, /sbin/lilo may generate references to inaccessible disk
	      areas, because 3D sector addresses are not known before boot time.

       lba32  Generate 32-bit Logical Block Addresses instead of sector/head/cylinder  addresses.
	      If  the  BIOS  supports packet addressing, then packet calls will be used to access
	      the disk. This allows booting from any partition on disks greater than  8.4Gb,  the
	      translated geometry limit for C:H:S addressing. If the BIOS does not support packet
	      addressing, then 'lba32' addresses are translated to C:H:S, just as  for	'linear'.
	      Using 'lba32', all floppy disk references are retained in C:H:S form.

       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 overridden.

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

	      specifies  a file containing a message that is displayed before the boot prompt. No
	      message is displayed while waiting for a shifting key after printing  "LILO  ".  In
	      the  message,  the FF character ([Ctrl L]) clears the local screen. The size of the
	      message file is limited to 65535 bytes. The map file has to be rebuilt if the  mes-
	      sage file is changed or moved.

       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.

       prompt forces entering the boot prompt without expecting any prior key-presses. Unattended
	      reboots are impossible if `prompt' is set and `timeout' isn't.

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

	      enables control from a serial line. The specified serial port  is  initialized  and
	      the  boot  loader  is accepting input from it and from the PC's keyboard. Sending a
	      break on the serial line corresponds to pressing a shift	key  on  the  console  in
	      order  to get the boot loader's attention.  All boot images should be password-pro-
	      tected if the serial access 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 following baud rates  are  supported:
	      110, 150, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800 and 9600 bps.  Default is 2400 bps.

	      <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 parity,  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 automatically raised to 20.

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

	      sets a timeout (in tenths of a second) for keyboard input. If no key is pressed for
	      the  specified  time,  the first image is automatically booted. Similarly, password
	      input is aborted if the user is idle for too long. The default timeout is infinite.

	      Turns on lots of progress reporting. Higher numbers give more  verbose  output.  If
	      -v   is  additionally  specified	on  the lilo command line, the level is increased
	      accordingly. The maximum verbosity level 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 sectors to be mapped using


       In the latter case (booting another system) there are the three options

	      This  specifies  the chain loader that should be used.  By default /boot/chain.b is
	      used. The chain loader must be specified if booting from a device  other	than  the
	      first hard or floppy disk.

	      This  specifies the device that contains the partition table.  The boot loader will
	      not pass partition information to the booted operating system if this  variable  is
	      omitted. (Some operating systems have other means to determine from which partition
	      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 parti-
	      tion table mapped referenced with `table' is modified.

       unsafe Do not access the boot sector at map  creation  time.  This  disables  some  sanity
	      checks,  including a partition 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. `unsafe' and `table' are mutually incompati-

       In both cases the following options apply.

	      The boot loader uses the main file name (without its path) of each image specifica-
	      tion  to identify that image.  A different name can be used by setting the variable

	      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 creation  time.   This  is  useful  to
	      specify test kernels that are not always present.

	      Protect the image by a password.

	      A  password  is  only required to boot the image if parameters are specified on the
	      command line (e.g. single).

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

	      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. Example:

		   append = "hd=64,32,202"

	      Like  `append',  but  removes  all other options (e.g. setting of the root device).
	      Because vital options can be removed unintentionally with  `literal',  this  option
	      cannot be set in the global options section.

	      This specifies the size of the optional RAM disk. A value of zero indicates that no
	      RAM disk should be created. If this variable is omitted, the RAM disk size  config-
	      ured into the boot image is used.

	      This  specifies  that the root file system should be mounted read-only.  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.

	      This specifies the device that should be mounted as root.  If the special name cur-
	      rent 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. The  follow-
	      ing 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.)

       lilo(8), rdev(8).
       The lilo distribution comes with very extensive documentation of which  the  above  is  an

					  20 March 2000 			     LILO.CONF(5)

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