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       lilo.conf - configuration file for lilo


       This  file,  by  default  /etc/lilo.conf,  is  read  by the boot loader
       installer ’lilo’ (see lilo(8)).

       It might look as follows:

              # lilo.conf
              #  global options:
              menu-title=" John’s Computer "
              #  bootable kernel images:
              #  other operating systems:
                   boot-as=0x80    # must be C:
                   boot-as=0x80    # must be C:
                   table=E:   # os2 sees as E:

       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

       When  booting, the boot loader will issue its boot: prompt and wait for
       you to enter the label of the kernel (and any options) which  you  wish
       to  boot.  At  any time you may hit [Tab] to see a list of kernel/other
       labels.  Alternately, if the menu boot loader is installed, a  menu  of
       boot  options  will be presented for your selection.  The title of this
       menu  is  overridden  with  the  menu  title  specification   in   this
       configuration  file.   If  you  enter  nothing, then the default kernel
       image, the first mentioned, (/boot/zImage-1.5.99) will be booted  after
       a  timeout  of  15 seconds (150 deciseconds).  There may be at least 16
       images  mentioned  in  lilo.conf.  (The  exact  number   depends   upon
       compilation options.)

       As  can  be  seen  above,  a configuration file starts with a number of
       global  options  (the  top  9  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.

       Comment lines may appear anywhere, and begin with the "#" character.


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

              Specifies  the location where a copy of any modified boot sector
              will be saved in a file. ’backup=’ may specify this location  in
              one  of  three  ways:  a directory where the default backup file
              ’boot.NNNN’ will be created; a file pathname template  to  which
              the  ’.NNNN’  suffix  will  be added; or the full file pathname,
              which  must  include  the  correct  ’.NNNN’  suffix.   All  RAID
              installations  should  use  only  the first two alternatives, as
              multiple backups may be created.   The  ’.NNNN’  suffix  is  the
              hexadecimal representation of the major and minor device numbers
              of the device or partition. If this option is not specified, the
              default  name  of boot sector backups is ’/boot/boot.NNNN’. If a
              backup  already  exists,  it  will  be  preserved,  rather  than
              overwritten.  C.f., force-backup= below.

              The  option  is  indicated  as  yes,  no,  or  unknown.   If not
              specified, a value of "unknown" is  assumed,  unless  additional
              information  is  available  to  the boot installer. When "no" is
              specified, it indicates that the BIOS is known not to  pass  the
              current  boot device code to the boot loader in the DL register.
              Its only function at this point is experimental, as certain RAID
              installations  may  benefit  from  knowing that the BIOS is 100%
              reliable.  Its use should be considered experimental.

              N.B.:  This option  may  not  be  retained  in  releases  beyond
              22.5.1,  and  may be specified on the command line with the ’-Z’
              switch:  yes=1, no=0.

              Specifies  use  of  a  640x480x16  (VGA  BIOS)  or   640x480x256
              (VGA/VESA  BIOS)  bitmap  file as the background on which a boot
              menu is displayed.  May not be used if ’message=’ is  specified.
              Use  of  this  option  will select a bitmap-capable boot loader,
              unless overridden with "install=" (see below).

              When a bitmap file is specified as a  background  screen  during
              the  boot  process,  the  color selection and layout of the text
              which overlays the graphic image must be specified in one of two
              ways.   One way, is to use a bitmap image (*.bmp) file which has
              had a header written by the lilo -E command.  If this command is
              used, then all of the information specified by the ’bmp-colors’,
              ’bmp-table’, and ’bmp-timer’ options is stored in a special LILO
              header  within the bitmap file.  Without this header, the ’bmp-’
              option values should be specified in the configuration file;  if
              not,  default  values  are  used.  Any use of the ’bmp-’ options
              within the configuration file overrides the values stored in the
              bitmap file header.

              Specifies  the  decimal  values of the colors to be used for the
              menu display on a ’bitmap=’ background.  The list consists of  6
              entries,  3  for normal text followed by 3 for highlighted text.
              The order of each triple is: foreground color, background color,
              shadow   color.    If   background   color   is  not  specified,
              "transparent" is assumed.  If shadow  color  is  not  specified,
              then  "none"  is  assumed.   The  list  entries are separated by
              commas, with no spaces.

              Option applies to all  ’image=’  and  ’other=’  sections.   (See
              COMMON OPTIONS, below.)

              Specifies  the  location  and layout of the menu table.  <x>,<y>
              specify the starting x- and y-position of the upper left  corner
              of  the  table  in  character  coordinates:  x  in [1..80], y in
              [1..30]. <ncol> is the number of columns in the menu (1..5); and
              <nrow>  is the number of rows (entries) in each column.  If more
              than one column is specified,  then  <xsep>  is  the  number  of
              character  columns  between  the  leftmost  characters  in  each
              column: (18..40), and <spill> is the number of  entries  in  one
              column  which  must be filled before entries spill into the next
              column. <spill> must be .le.  <nrow>.  If  pixel  addressing  is
              used,  instead of character addressing, then any of <x>, <y>, or
              <xsep> may be specified with a ’p’ suffix on the decimal  value.

              Optional   specification  of  the  ’timeout=’  countdown  timer.
              <x>,<y> specifies the character (or  pixel)  coordinate  of  the
              location  of  the  timer the same as ’bmp-table=’ above; and the
              color triple specifies the character color attributes  the  same
              as  ’bmp-colors=’  above, with the exception that the background
              color  must  be  specified.   If  used  to  override  the  timer
              specification in a bitmap file, then the form ’bmp-timer = none’
              is acceptable.  This will disable the timer display entirely.

              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.  A raid installation is initiated by
              specifying  a  RAID1  device   as   the   boot   device;   e.g.,
              "boot=/dev/md0".   Note that LILO version 22.0 and later operate
              differently from earlier versions with  respect  to  the  actual
              location of the boot records.

              Defines  boot-time changes to partition type numbers (‘hiding’).


              The above excerpt from a configuration file specifies  that  all
              default change-rules are removed ("reset"), and the change-rules
              for three partition types are specified.  Without the reset, the
              three  types  specified  would  have  been added to the existing
              default  change-rules.   Normally,   the   default   rules   are
              sufficient.   The  strings  which define the partition types are
              used  in  a  change  section  (see  below),  with  the  suffixes
              "_normal"  or  "_hidden"  appended.  See section "Partition type
              change rules" of user.tex for more details.

              Tries to merge read requests for adjacent sectors into a  single
              read  request.  This drastically reduces load time and keeps the
              map file smaller. Using ‘compact’ is especially recommended when
              booting using a map file on 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. See also, vmdefault below.

              Specifies  the  number  of  tenths  of  a second the boot loader
              should wait before automatically booting a locked command  line,
              a  command line pre-stored by "lilo -R", or the default ‘image=’
              or ‘other=’.  When ‘delay’ is non-zero,  the  boot  loader  will
              wait  for  an  interrupt  for  the  specified  interval.  If  an
              interrupt is received, or is already waiting, the  boot:  prompt
              will  be  be  issued, and no automatic boot will take place. The
              setting of CAPS LOCK or SCROLL LOCK, or any  of  the  keys  ALT,
              CTRL, or SHIFT, when held down, are taken as interrupts.

              This action is modified by specifying ‘prompt’ (see below).

              Defines  non-standard  parameters  for  the specified disk.  See
              section "Disk geometry" of user.tex for details.   For  versions
              of LILO prior to 22.5, the ‘bios=’ parameter is quite useful for
              specifying how the BIOS has assigned device codes to your disks.
              For example,


              would  say  that  your  SCSI disk is the first BIOS disk (0x80),
              that your (primary master) IDE disk  is  the  second  BIOS  disk
              (0x81),  and  that  your second SCSI disk (perhaps a USB device)
              receives no device code, and is therefore inaccessible  at  boot

              NOTE:  Use  of  the ’bios=’ option is largely obsolete beginning
              with LILO version 22.5, as the boot loader now identifies  disks
              by  32-bit  Volume-ID, and defers BIOS device code determination
              until boot time.

              Most USB devices which are implemented as  SCSI  disks  MUST  be
              marked  inaccessible  unless they are actually assigned a device
              code by the BIOS.

              Other options include the specification of disk geometry; e.g.,


              probably only useful for  floppy  disks  and  loopback  devices,
              since  for  hard  disks  the  lba32 disk addressing option (LILO
              21.2) ignores disk geometry.

              (22.5.8) Developers who have implemented a disk driver for a new
              block  storage  device will have to indicate to LILO the maximum
              number of partitions on the device.   This  is  in  addition  to
              making all of the necessary entries for the device in the "/dev"
              directory (with ’mknod’).  The maximum number of partitions must
              be  one  of  63 (like an IDE disk), 31 (uncommon), 15 (like SCSI
              disks -- most common value), or 7 (like one  array  controller).
              An example specification would be:


              In   cases  where  there  is  no  kernel  partition  information
              available,  such   as   on   loopback   devices,   the   ’disk=’
              specification may include paritition start information; viz.,

                          bios=0x80              # use this BIOS code
                          max-partitions=7       # declare partitionable
                               start=63          # offset from sector 0
                               start=102400      # offset from sector 0

              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.

              Flag  second  stage  loader  to  terminate  disk  emulation when
              booting from an El Torito Bootable CD. This option  is  used  by
              the mkrescue utility when the "--iso" switch is specified.

              This  allows  lilo  to  adjust 3D addresses in partition tables.
              Each partition entry contains a 3D (cylinder/head/sector) 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-table’ 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.

              Operation is identical to  backup=  above,  except  an  existing
              backup file is unconditionally overwritten if it exists.

              Force disk addressing which is compatible with older versions of
              LILO.  Geometric addressing uses cylinder/head/sector addresses,
              and  is  limited  to disk cylinders up to 1023.  If inaccessible
              cylinders are referenced, diagnostics will be  issued  at  boot-
              install  time, rather than boot-time.  With a newer BIOS, use of
              ’lba32’ is recommended.

              tells lilo to ignore corrupt partition tables.

              Selects the user interface which will be seen at boot time.  One
              of the following three options may be specified:  text, menu, or
              bmp. The traditional LILO interface is ‘text’; but ‘menu’ is now
              the   default,   unless  the  configuration  file  contains  the
              ‘bitmap=’ specification.   The  text  interface  is  strictly  a
              command-line  interface  as  though  the  console  were  a  dumb
              terminal.  The menu interface is a text-based screen of the boot
              choices,  with  the  option  to  enter  additional  command line
              parameters.  And the bmp interface is a menu presented against a
              graphic  screen, specified as a 640x480 BitMaP file of 16 or 256
              colors.  (See the ’lilo -E’ switch for editing options).

              (Prior to LILO  version  22.3,  ‘install=’  specified  the  user
              interface as a file in the ‘/boot’ directory.)

              Normally  any  initial  ramdisk (initrd) loaded with a kernel is
              loaded as high in memory as  possible,  but  never  above  15Mb.
              This  is  due  to  a BIOS limitation on older systems.  On newer
              systems, this option enables using memory above 15Mb  (up  to  a
              kernel  imposed  limit,  around 768Mb) for passing the initrd to
              the kernel.  The presence of this option merely  indicates  that
              your system does not have the old BIOS limitation.

              This  switch  (or  its absence) is not passed to the kernel, and
              does not in any way affect the amount of physical  memory  which
              it  will  use.   (See  the  kernel  documentation for the kernel
              command line parameter "mem=" for limiting the  memory  used  by
              the kernel.)

       lba32  Generate    32-bit    Logical   Block   Addresses   instead   of
              cylinder/head/sector 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 with  more  than
              1024 cylinders.  If the BIOS does not support packet addressing,
              then ’lba32’ addresses are  translated  to  cylinder/head/sector
              (’geometric’), just as for ’linear’.  All floppy disk references
              are retained in C:H:S form.  Use of ’lba32’  is  recommended  on
              all  post-1998 systems.  Beginning with LILO version 22, ’lba32’
              is the default disk addressing scheme.

       linear Generate   24-bit   linear   sector   addresses    instead    of
              cylinder/head/sector (geometric) addresses. Linear addresses are
              translated at run time to geometric addresses, and  are  limited
              to  cylinders  <=  1023.  When  using ‘linear’ with large disks,
              /sbin/lilo  may  generate  references   to   inaccessible   disk
              cylinders. ’lba32’ avoids many of these pitfalls with its use of
              packet addressing, but requires a recent BIOS (post-1998).   The
              ’linear’  option is considered obsolete, and its use is strongly

       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.

              The per-image password option ‘mandatory’ (see below) applies to
              all images.

              Specifies the location of the map file. If ‘map’ is omitted, the
              file /boot/map is used.

              On machines with a pre-1998 BIOS, the EDD bios extensions  which
              are  required  to support "lba32" disk sector addressing may not
              be present.  In  this  case,  the  boot-loader  will  fall  back
              automatically   to   "geometric"   addressing;  this  fall  back
              situation, or  the  specific  use  of  "geometric"  or  "linear"
              addressing,  will  require the map file to be located within the
              first 1024 cylinders of the disk drive. This BIOS limitation  is
              not  present  on  post-1998  systems,  most of which support the
              newer EDD disk BIOS calls.

              Specifies the title line (up to  37  characters)  for  the  boot
              menu.  This  title  replaces  the default "LILO Boot Menu" title
              string. If menu  is  not  installed  as  the  boot  loader  (see
              install= option), then this line has no effect.

              The  default  color scheme of the boot menu may be overridden on
              VGA displays  using  this  option.  (The  color  scheme  of  MDA
              displays  is  fixed.)  The general color-scheme string is of the


              where each entry is two characters which  specify  a  foreground
              color  and a background color. Only the first entry is required.
              The default highlight is the reverse of the text color; and  the
              default  border and title colors are the text color.  Colors are
              specified using the characters kbgcrmyw, for blacK, Blue, Green,
              Cyan,  Red,  Magenta,  Yellow, and White: upper case for intense
              (fg only), lower case for dim.  Legal color-scheme strings would

                  menu-scheme=Wm     intense white on magenta
                  menu-scheme=wr:bw:wr:Yr    the LILO default
                  menu-scheme=Yk:kw    bright yellow on black

              If  menu is not installed as the boot loader, then this line has
              no effect.

              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.  This  is
              undesirable when the menu boot loader is installed.  The size of
              the  message file is limited to 65535 bytes. The map file has to
              be rebuilt if the message file is changed or moved.   ’message=’
              and ’bitmap=’ are mutually exclusive.

              (22.8) Disables pre-loading of the internal device cache. May be
              needed for Linux distributions  which  use  non-standard  device
              naming  conventions;  e.g.,  when  the  first  IDE  disk  is not

              (22.7.2) The named descriptor is taken to be  the  default  boot
              image  if  no IBM-PC keyboard is present. If no serial interface
              ("serial=") is in use, then any "prompt" keyword  and  "timeout"
              value  are  bypassed, and default booting occurs as specified by
              "delay=".   The  keyboard  detection  codes  cannot  detect  the
              presence or absence of a newer USB keyboard.

       noraid Disables  the  automatic  marking  of  disk  volumes  which  are
              components of RAID arrays as inaccessible.  This allows the user
              to   edit   the  disk=  /  inaccessible  declarations  into  the
              configuration  file   himself.    Without   such   declarations,
              duplicate  Volume  IDs will be overwritten, leading to confusing
              situations at boot-time, and possible failure to boot.  The  use
              of this keyword is generally not necessary.

       nowarn Disables warnings about possible future dangers.

              The  per-image  option  ‘optional’  (see  below)  applies to all

              The per-image option ‘password=...’ (see below) applies  to  all
              images.  This  option  may  prevent  unattended  booting, if the
              default image is ‘password=’  protected  at  the  default  level
              ‘mandatory’, which is a level higher than ‘restricted’.

       prompt Automatic booting (see ‘delay’ above) will not take place unless
              a locked or pre-stored ("lilo  -R")  command  line  is  present.
              Instead,  the  boot  loader will issue the boot: prompt and wait
              for  user  input  before   proceeding   (see   timeout   below).
              Unattended  default  image reboots are impossible if ‘prompt’ is
              set and ‘timeout’ is not,  or  the  default  image  is  password
              protected at a higher level than ‘restricted’.

              This  option  only  has  meaning  for  RAID1 installations.  The
              <option> may be specified as none, auto,  mbr,  mbr-only,  or  a
              comma-separated  list  of  devices;  e.g., "/dev/hda,/dev/hdc6".
              Starting with LILO version 22.0, the  boot  record  is  normally
              written to the first sector of the RAID1 partition.  On PARALLEL
              raid sets, no other boot records are needed.  The default action
              is  auto, meaning, automatically generate auxiliary boot records
              as needed on SKEWED raid sets.  none means  suppress  generation
              of  all  auxiliary boot records.  mbr-only suppresses generation
              of a boot record on the raid device,  and  forces  compatibility
              with  versions of LILO earlier than version 22.0 by writing boot
              records to all Master Boot Records (MBRs)  of  all  disks  which
              have partitions in the raid set. mbr is like mbr-only except the
              boot record on the RAID partition is not suppressed.  Use of  an
              explicit  list  of  devices,  forces  writing  of auxiliary boot
              records only on those devices enumerated,  in  addition  to  the
              boot  record  on  the  RAID1  device. Since the version 22 RAID1
              codes will never automatically write a boot record on the MBR of
              device  0x80,  if such a boot record is desired, this is one way
              to have it written. Use of mbr is the other way to force writing
              to the MBR of device 0x80.

              The  per-image  password 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-protected  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(default),
              4800,   9600,   plus   the  extended  rates  19200,  38400,  and
              57600(56000).  115200 is allowed, but may not work with all COMx
              port hardware.

              <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

              <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

              This  option  specifies  that  boot images or ’other’s are to be
              selected and launched with a  single  keystroke.   Selection  is
              based  upon  the  first  character  of  each name, which must be
              unique.  This option should not be used with the menu or  bitmap
              user interface ("install=").

              Causes  the  operation  of the boot installer and boot loader to
              bypass the use of Volume-ID information, and to revert to a mode
              of  operation  of  versions  of  LILO  from 22.4 backward.  With
              Volume-ID booting (22.5 and later), the BIOS codes of disks  are
              determined  at  boot  time,  not install time; hence they may be
              switched around, either by adding or removing disk(s)  from  the
              hardware  configuration,  or  by using a BIOS menu to select the
              boot device.

              With the use of  this  option,  BIOS  codes  of  disks  MUST  be
              correctly specified at install time; either guessed correctly by
              LILO  (which  often  fails  on  mixed  IDE/SCSI   systems),   or
              explicitly  specified with ’disk=/dev/XXX bios=0xYY’ statements.
              The use of this option precludes any activity which  may  switch
              around  the  BIOS  codes assigned to particular disk devices, as
              noted above.

              In general, this option should never be used, except  as  a  bug

              This global option suppresses the boot-time real mode collection
              of BIOS data on systems which hang on certain BIOS calls.  It is
              equivalent to using the boot-time switch ’nobd’.

              This  option defeats the disk volume recognition and BIOS device
              code detection features of LILO on systems with  more  than  one
              disk.  Thus  the  use  of  this  option  will  produce  a strong
              cautionary message, which cannot be suppressed.

              sets a timeout (in tenths of a second) for keyboard input at the
              boot:  prompt.   "timeout"  only  has  meaning  if  "prompt"  is
              mentioned.  If no key is pressed for  the  specified  time,  the
              default  image  is  automatically booted. The default timeout is

              (22.6) Alters the operation of  the  "timeout"  parameter  in  a
              manner  which  is  useful on noisy serial lines.  Each typed (or
              noise) character restarts the "timeout" timer and a timeout will
              always  boot  the  default  descriptor, even if noise characters
              have appeared on the input line.

              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.

              The  named  boot image is used as the default boot if booting in
              "virtual" mode with a virtual monitor, such as VMware(tm).  Thus
              a  real  mode  boot  and a virtual mode boot can be made to have
              different default boot images.

       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 third case, ’nsec=1’ is assumed.


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

              (22.6) The kernel parameters  from  the  specified  string,  are
              concatenated  to  the parameter(s) from an append= specification
              (see below).  The string must be enclosed within double  quotes.
              Usually,  the previous append= will specify parameters common to
              all kernels by appearing in the top, or global, section  of  the
              configuration  file  and  addappend=  will  be used to add local
              parameter(s) to an individual image.   Addappend=  may  be  used
              only once per "image=" section.

              Appends  the  options  specified to the parameter line passed to
              the  kernel.   This  is  typically  used  to  specify   hardware
              parameters  that  can’t  be  entirely auto-detected or for which
              probing  may  be  dangerous.  Multiple  kernel  parameters   are
              separated  by  a blank space, and the string must be enclosed in
              double quotes.  A local  append=  appearing  withing  an  image=
              section  overrides  any  global  append=  appearing  in  the top
              section of the configuration file.  Append=  may  be  used  only
              once per "image=" section. To concatenate parameter strings, use
              "addappend=". Example:

                   append="mem=96M hd=576,64,32 console=ttyS1,9600"

              Specifies the initial  ramdisk  image  to  be  loaded  with  the
              kernel.   The  image  will  contain modules needed at boot time,
              such as network and scsi drivers. See man pages for mkinitrd(8).

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

              This  specifies  the  size  (e.g.,  "4096k") 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
              configured into the boot image is used.

              This specifies that the root file system should be mounted read-
              only.   It  may be specified as a global option.  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.  It may be specified as a global option.

              This specifies the device that should be mounted  as  root.   It
              may  be  specified  as  a  global  option.   If the special name
              current 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.)

              (22.6) The root filesystem may also be specified by a LABEL=  or
              UUID= directive, as in ’/etc/fstab’.  In this case, the argument
              to root= must be enclosed in quotation marks, to avoid a  syntax
              error on the second equal sign; viz.,


              Note:   The  command  line  root= parameter passed to the kernel
              will be: ’root=LABEL=MyDisk’; i.e., without the quotation marks.
              If  the  root=  parameter  is  passed  from  the boot time boot:
              prompt, no quotes are  used.   The  quotes  are  only  there  to
              satisfy  the  requirements  of  the boot-installer parser, which
              treats an equal sign as an operator.  The  kernel  command  line
              parser  is  very  much  simpler,  and must not see any quotation
              marks.  Simply stated,  only  use  the  quotation  marks  within

              This  specifies  the  VGA text mode that should be selected when
              booting.  It may be specified as a global option.  The following
              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

              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.)


       Used to load systems other than Linux. The ‘other = <device>’ specifies
       the  boot  sector  of an alternate system contained on a device or disk
       partition; e.g., DOS on, say, ‘/dev/hda2’, or a floppy  on  ‘/dev/fd0’.
       In the case of booting another system there are these options:

              This  specifies  the  chain  loader that should be used.  It may
              also be specified as a global option.  By default chain is used.
              This  chain loader passes partition and drive information in the
              boot sector it loads only to DOS on FAT12 or FAT16,  Windows  on
              FAT16  or  FAT32, or OS/2 on FAT16 or HPFS.  The alternate chain
              loader,   os2_d   passes   partition   and   drive   information
              unconditionally,  and  uses  a  format suitable for OS/2 and DOS
              (see table=<letter> below).

              This specifies the device that  contains  the  partition  table.
              The  boot  loader will pass default 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 partition table  mapped
              referenced with ‘table’ is modified.

              This is a special case for the os2_d chain loader.  It specifies
              the DOS drive letter for the  partition  that  will  be  booted.
              This  is  mandatory  when  booting OS/2 installed on an extended
              partition.  The drive letter may be specified with or without  a
              trailing colon.

       change This  keyword  starts  a  section  which  describes  how primary
              partition IDs  are  changed,  and  how  primary  partitions  are
              activated  and  deactivated.  If change is omitted, change rules
              are generated as though the automatic  keyword  were  specified.
              The  keyword  change  alone,  without  any rules following, will
              suppress automatic change-rules.  For example,


              specifies that  when  primary  partition  /dev/hda2  is  booted,
              automatic  change-rules  will be in effect; plus, partition 1, a
              DOS12 partition,  will  be  set  hidden,  and  deactivated.   In
              addition,  partition  2,  will  be  set  normal,  and activated.
              Activation sets the  boot-flag  in  the  partition  table.   The
              automatic keyword may conflict with default change rules, so the
              set= lines above may be redundant.

              This option (LILO version 22.5.1) indicates the BIOS device code
              which  must  be assigned to the specified drive in order for the
              "other=" operating system to boot.  If the chain loader  detects
              that  another BIOS device code is assigned to this disk, then it
              will  dynamically  swap  the  assigned  device  code  with   the
              specified device code.

              This  option  is  easier  to  specify than "map-drive=" and more
              general than "master-boot"  in  that  any  device  code  may  be
              specified.   Unlike  "map-drive=",  the determination whether to
              swap device codes is made at boot time, not install time.   This
              is  advantageous  on systems where the BIOS presents a boot menu
              of devices, and will map disks to  devices  in  different  ways,
              depending upon the BIOS boot selection.

              This  option  may be specified as a global option, in which case
              it applies to all "other=" sections  unless  overridden  with  a
              specific "master-boot" option.  If one of "boot-as=" or "master-
              boot" is specified as a global option, it is better  to  specify
              "master-boot"  as  the  global  option, as it will not interfere
              with floppy disk BIOS device codes; "boot-as=" is then used as a
              local option to override "master-boot" as necessary.

              This  flag  (LILO  version  22.5) indicates a DOS/Windows/OS2 or
              other system which will only boot from  BIOS  device  0x80,  the
              "C:"  drive,  or  BIOS device 0, the A: drive. When this flag is
              specified, if this drive is not assigned device code 0x80  or  0
              by  the  BIOS,  then  the chain loader will dynamically swap the
              device code actually assigned with device code 0x80 or 0 to make
              this  drive appear to be the first hard or floppy drive, "C:" or

              This flag is easier to use than "map-drive=" (see below), and is
              preferred,  if simple forcing of device code 0x80 is all that is
              required. It is also more general, in that the necessity to swap
              BIOS device codes is determined dynamically at boot-time, not at
              boot install-time, as with "map-drive=".  It  is  slightly  more
              powerful  than  "boot-as=",  in  that  the  device code which is
              assigned, 0 or 0x80, is determined dynamically.

              This option may be specified as a global option, in  which  case
              it  applies  to  all  "other=" sections unless overridden with a
              specific "boot-as=" option.

              Maps BIOS calls for the  specified  drive  to  the  device  code
              specified  on the next line as to=<num>.  This mapping is useful
              for booting operating systems, such as DOS, from the second hard
              drive.  The following, swaps the C: and D: drives,


              This   option   is  largely  rendered  obsolete  by  "boot-as=",
              introduced with LILO version 22.5.

       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. If the boot sector is on a
              hard  drive,  the  BIOS device code of the drive will have to be
              specified    explicitly    with    "disk=/dev/XXXX     bios=0x8X
              inaccessible"  in  the configuration file.  ‘unsafe’ and ‘table’
              (explicit or implicit) are mutually incompatible.


       In both the image= and other= cases, the following options apply.

       bypass No password is required to boot this  image.  Used  to  indicate
              that  the  global  password  does  not apply to this ‘image=’ or
              ‘other=’.  See ’password=’ below.

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

              A second name for the same entry can be used  by  specifying  an

              The  bitmap  graphic  (install=bmp)  is retained when control is
              passed to the loaded kernel image, or other=  bootloader;  i.e.,
              the  screen  is not blanked to alphanumeric mode before starting
              the kernel.  This feature is considered EXPERIMENTAL, for  those
              users working with startup splash screens.

              Specifies a string that is stored as the default command line if
              the current image is booted. This is useful  when  experimenting
              with  kernels  which  may crash before allowing interaction with
              the system. If using the fallback option, the next reboot  (e.g.
              triggered  by a manual reset or by a watchdog timer) will load a
              different (supposedly stable) kernel. The command line stored by
              the  fallback  mechanism  is cleared by removing or changing the
              default command line with the -R option, which should be a  part
              of the boot startup scripts.

       lock   (See above.)

              Omit  the image if it is not available at map creation time.  It
              may be specified as a global option.  This is useful to  specify
              test kernels that are not always present.

              Protect   the   ‘image=’   or   ‘other=’  with  a  password  (or
              passphrase).  It may be  specified  as  a  global  option.   The
              interpretation  of  the  ‘password=’  setting is modified by the
              words ‘mandatory’, ‘restricted’, and ‘bypass’ (see below).
              The password may be specified in the config-file  (less  secure)
              or  entered at the time the boot loader is installed. To request
              interactive entry of  the  password,  it  should  be  specified:
              password="".   Passwords  entered interactively are not required
              to be entered again if the boot installer is  re-run.  They  are
              cached,  in hashed form, in a companion file to the config-file,
              default name: /etc/lilo.conf.crc. If the config-file is updated,
              a  warning  message will be issued telling you to re-run lilo -p
              to force re-creation of the password cache file.

              A password is required to boot this image. This is the  default.
              May  be  used  on  a  single  ‘image=’ or ‘other=’ to override a
              different global setting.

              (22.7.2) The specified descriptor is not bootable if the  IBM-PC
              keyboard  is  not present.  This option is really only useful if
              the "serial=" boot terminal is in use.  With no keyboard (and no
              serial  terminal)  attached,  selecting  a boot descriptor other
              than the default is impossible.  See nokbdefault above.

              A password  is  only  required  to  boot  the  image  if  kernel
              parameters  are  specified  on the command line (e.g. ’single’).
              May be used on a single  ‘image=’  or  ‘other=’  to  override  a
              different global setting.

       vmwarn If booting under a virtual monitor such as VMware(tm), the image
              with this label will cause a cautionary warning to be issued  at
              boot time, and user intervention will be required to continue or
              to abort the boot process.

              If booting under a virtual monitor, the image  with  this  label
              will  not  be  displayed  as  a  boot option.  The image is only
              bootable in real mode.  See vmdefault above.


       lilo(8), mkinitrd(8), mknod(1), mkrescue(8), rdev(8).

       The lilo distribution comes with extensive TEX documentation  of  which
       the above is an extract.

                                  19 Feb 2007