VectorLinux

The nuts and bolts => Installation & Updates => Topic started by: TLM on March 18, 2012, 11:44:01 am

Title: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 18, 2012, 11:44:01 am
Hi all, been using VL flawlessly for some years now. But yesterday a hiccup with LILO. Typically to add a Ubuntu based distro to my LILO, i would just copy the vmlinuz and initrd files from the distro into VL's /boot/tamu folder, and then create a new entry in my lilo.conf to point to the new distro. I have done this dozens of times successfully. But yesterday i had installed Viperr (Fedora version of CrunchBang) and my procedure to add it to LILO failed with error message as follows:

Fatal: Setup length exceeds 31 maximum; kernel setup will overwrite boot loader

After some research, it appears that this issue occurs with some of the newer 3xxx kernels, which the above mentioned Viperr has. I also read in more than one place that the newer version of LILO (version 23.2) has corrected this error. I am not sure what version of LILO VL is using, however it does not auto-detect my Viperr installation, nor will it allow me to add it manually, so i am thinking that LILO may need to be bumped up to a newer version.

BTW, the VL released i have tried are VL6 SOHO, VL7 Standard, and VL7 SOHO RC1.8. All return the same LILO error. Any help with this is greatly welcomed and appreciated, since i am not a GRUB man; LILO is what i know, use, and love.  :)
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: pierce.jason on March 19, 2012, 08:06:51 pm
Since you have VL7, try using Grub2 ;)

We really should drop lilo since its such a pain to deal with.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: sledgehammer on March 19, 2012, 10:24:07 pm
I don't dual boot, use lilo and have never had a problem with it.  Perhaps because I use VL7 for all my computer needs?  Perhaps because I don't know anything about bootloaders and therefore never fool with lilo?

Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 05:04:33 am
Since you have VL7, try using Grub2 ;)

We really should drop lilo since its such a pain to deal with.

I might consider this, but only if VL offers Grub Customizer in the repos.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: M0E-lnx on March 20, 2012, 05:57:57 am
Since you have VL7, try using Grub2 ;)

We really should drop lilo since its such a pain to deal with.

+1
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: M0E-lnx on March 20, 2012, 05:58:48 am
Since you have VL7, try using Grub2 ;)

We really should drop lilo since its such a pain to deal with.

I might consider this, but only if VL offers Grub Customizer in the repos.

what do you mean customizer?

Once you get to know grub, setting it up is really easy.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 20, 2012, 06:36:01 am
I still prefer lilo, mainly because it is faster.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 08:07:25 am
I still prefer lilo, mainly because it is faster.

I'm with you, mostly because i learned lilo and how to modify lilo.conf to use a custom bitmap, custom title names, etc. No doubt i could learn the same for GRUB, its just that i am reluctant to give up what i am used to and most likely a little bit lazy  :) about learning the same ins and outs of GRUB.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 08:12:13 am
Since you have VL7, try using Grub2 ;)

We really should drop lilo since its such a pain to deal with.

I might consider this, but only if VL offers Grub Customizer in the repos.

what do you mean customizer?

Once you get to know grub, setting it up is really easy.

GRUB customizer is a GUI for modifying GRUB (google grub customizer), however i am just being lazy about it. I learned to set my own bitmaps, OS titles, and so on in LILO by editing the text file, so i guess i can learn GRUB if i have to. LILO has worked so well for me up until now. I like to customize my PC right down to the bootloader, so that means i need the complete control and know how to mod everything, boot splashes, OS titles, etc. I am not saying GRUB is bad, rather LILO is what i am used to.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: sledgehammer on March 20, 2012, 08:17:20 am
So, having a choice, as now, is perfect.  Those, like me, who know only lilo are happy.  The GRUB folks are happy.

TLM, are you going to tell us someday why particle board is bad?
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 08:31:26 am
LILO 23.2 is out there in a .gz download. I have it somewhere. I will have to look and see where i downloaded it from. But i do not know exactly how to get it installed onto VL. Here is a change log for LILO 23.2

https://alioth.debian.org/frs/shownotes.php?release_id=1670

Apparently the part where they changed MAX_SETUPSECS from 31 to 63 is the part that fixes the error message i am getting with the newer kernels. Here is the changelog:

Change Log

Changes for version 23.2 (09-Apr-2011) - Joachim Wiedorn

  Documentations
  --------------
    - Optimize documentation generation and information.
    - Reformatting mkrescue.8 manpage. (thanks to Martin E. Schauer)
    - Update of lilo.conf.5 manpage and remove of OS/2 information.

  Sources
  -------
    - Remove obsolete BIOS workaround from 2002 (src/second.S)
    - Add information about -H option.   (src/lilo.c)
    - Save errno for second command.     (src/device.c)
    - Fix missleading error message.     (src/geometry.c)
    - Remove obsolete OS/2 code.   (src/boot.c, src/temp.c)
    - Enlarge maximum number of sectors (MAX_SETUPSECS) for
        kernel setup code to 63.   (src/bootsect.S, src/lilo.h)
    - Fix for many small flaws in source code. (Many thanks to
        Solar Designer and Vasiliy Kulikov of the openwall project).

  General
  -------
    - Remove obsolete OS/2 code.   (make.vars, src/Makefile)
    - Optimize Makefile and src/Makefile for use of $(MAKE).
    - Use mktemp utility for floppy image generation in mkrescue.
        (Many thanks to Solar Designer and Vasiliy Kulikov of the
        openwall project).
    - Add new scripts with Makefile (already used for Debian):
        * liloconfig (for creating new lilo.conf)
        * lilo-uuid-diskid (convert device names to UUID/DiskID)


Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 08:33:50 am
So, having a choice, as now, is perfect.  Those, like me, who know only lilo are happy.  The GRUB folks are happy.

TLM, are you going to tell us someday why particle board is bad?

Used to work construction. Saw it used in places where it should not have been. (damp environments, shelving without proper ribbing to prevent bowing, etc. Just always found good old plywood better. Except maybe for loudspeaker cabinets, where particle board density is a good thing  :)
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 20, 2012, 08:34:57 am
At any rate, a newer version of LILO exists, and if it did not create a large headache in the way of dependencies, then why shouldn't it be included in the next release of VL?
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: pierce.jason on March 21, 2012, 07:12:03 pm
I still prefer lilo, mainly because it is faster.

Faster?? This has to be a joke... I can imagine no possible way for you to qualify or quantify "speed" of a bootloader. Set both to 0 timeout for menu and there will be no perceivable difference in time from when the boot sector is first read and when the kernel is first read. Anything before or after these two "checkpoints" is outside the realm of the bootloader and not in question.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 22, 2012, 07:16:27 am
I did a quick speed test on a reasonably fast machine (P4 3 GHz), timed from the point where the boot loader starts.
GRUB: I first get the message "GRUB Loading", then "Welcome to GRUB!", and finally the boot menu. Total time: 4 seconds.
LILO: there is a quick flash that shows the lilo version and then the boot menu appears. Total time is 1 second or less (my timer does not have fractions of seconds).
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 22, 2012, 09:00:02 am
I do not need a timer. Just from booting from both GRUB and LILO hundreds of times, i can tell that LILO is faster.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 22, 2012, 09:08:19 am
Another issue i have with GRUB is that is messes up my splash screens of other distros after installing proprietary video drivers on those distros. Example:

I install ZorinOS. GRUB works fine and ZorinOS splash screen works. Now, i then install the proprietary Nvidia driver for my card in ZorinOS. After this, GRUB shows an ugly blue and white progress bar near the bottom of my screen instead of the ZorinOS splash. LILO, however, has no problem with displaying the ZorinOS splash in any instance. This splash screen occurs with other distros as well.

Sigh, i really think that according to my research, that LILO 23.2 would fix all of this, however i lack the skills to actually install it it on VL. Not sure if any other distros are still using LILO or not. Its in the repos for PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu, but i need to check the versions.

I would gladly use GRUB in order to boot the newer Linux kernels, if i could resolve the splash screen issue. I can wait a few extra seconds for boot times, no worries.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 22, 2012, 11:35:11 am
Interesting discussion, but I think we're overlooking the fact that the 23.2 version of lilo is in our repository:
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-7.0/packages/a/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.txz
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: roarde on March 22, 2012, 08:35:21 pm
At any rate, a newer version of LILO exists, and if it did not create a large headache in the way of dependencies, then why shouldn't it be included in the next release of VL?

I didn't see it before, either, but apparently it's not too large a headache; it's now in the 32-bit repo. And it ships with the new Light.

@nightflier:
I'm even less familiar with grub than you are, but perhaps there's some setting that would speed grub up like "compact" does for lilo.

Fact is, both are needed. Both are better for those already familiar. Grub is what's likely to be "imported" from other OS installations, and due to larger developer and user bases is quicker to get fixes, patches, and new features. Lilo will still go in some small places that Grub2 won't, and shows signs of expanding its versatility thanks to somewhat recent new development. Rather than thinking about dumping a bootloader, what about adding one more (repo only, not in distro) that's designed without a specific OS in mind? Grub's getting closer here, but really a different point of view would be nice.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 22, 2012, 09:39:40 pm
Interesting discussion, but I think we're overlooking the fact that the 23.2 version of lilo is in our repository:
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-7.0/packages/a/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.txz

Interesting! I will have to install a VL7 (currently using VL6 SOHO) and see how the new LILO works. According to my Google searches, the error msg i originally referenced in my first post of this thread has been resolved in LILO 23.2
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 23, 2012, 05:46:45 am
When these kinds of exchanges are objective, they can be very productive.  :)

Frankly, I am not emotionally attached to any boot loader. I want my OS, ASAP. This got me thinking if there may be ways of speeding up grub. Apparently, there is a "profile" option, but I could not see any difference after following the guides for that.

One thing I did notice, is that most of the grub2 guides seem to be written for Debian/Ubuntu, which assume the presence of the "update-grub" or "update-grub2" script. This only launches "grub-mkconfig" with default options. VL does not use any of those files. No big deal when you know how this works, but I can see it being a stumbling block for someone.

Maybe someone more familiar with grub could look into this and see if we can get rid of that delay.

At least, I got one good thing out of this exercise: my scrolling wall of text is back when using grub!  ;D
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 23, 2012, 06:26:12 am
@TLM: I re-packaged the VL7 lilo package to tgz format and tested it on VL6. Seems to work just fine.

If you want to try it, download from here:
http://cincibjj.com/tmp/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
then, as root, upgrade your old version with command:
Code: [Select]
upgradepkg /type/path/to/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
You can also use the "installpkg" command.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 23, 2012, 08:56:07 am
@TLM: I re-packaged the VL7 lilo package to tgz format and tested it on VL6. Seems to work just fine.

If you want to try it, download from here:
http://cincibjj.com/tmp/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
then, as root, upgrade your old version with command:
Code: [Select]
upgradepkg /type/path/to/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
You can also use the "installpkg" command.
Thanks! I will try it and post back. It will take me some time however. I erased Viperr (the distro with the kernel LILO did not like), so i will need to set up some new partitions and install Viperr again, after which time i will install the new LILO on my current installation of VL 6 SOHO. Then i will have everything in place to see if LILO 23.2 corrects the problem. I also am thinking of putting VL7 Light on another partition, and it is my understanding that it has LILO 23.2 as well. I will post back how everything works out. Thanks again.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 23, 2012, 02:14:35 pm
@TLM: I re-packaged the VL7 lilo package to tgz format and tested it on VL6. Seems to work just fine.

If you want to try it, download from here:
http://cincibjj.com/tmp/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
then, as root, upgrade your old version with command:
Code: [Select]
upgradepkg /type/path/to/lilo-23.2-i586-1vl70.tgz
You can also use the "installpkg" command.
Have successfully updated LILO in VL6 SOHO. Verified version 23.2 using the lilo -v command. Rebooted a few times and all my current OSes still boot. Next i need to  make a new partition and reinstall a distro with a newer kernel and see if i can then add it to LILO.
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 23, 2012, 08:56:32 pm
Success! LILO 23.2 on VL 6 no longer returns the error mentioned in the first post of this thread. I added Viperr (a Fedora derivative) manually. Only had one small issue: Viperr did not have an initrd, but rather had a initramfs. I pointed the initrd line in LILO toward this, and booting into Viperr resulted in kernel panic, keyboard flashing, hard power off required. I then booted into VL and totally removed the initrd line for Viperr, and Success!! Viperr now boots from LILO, correct splash and everything. Additionally, the LILO 23.2 package created by nightflier places a nice lilo.conf example in /etc, which is very informative about configuring LILO. To sum it all up, LILO is alive and well and capable.

BTW, maybe that LILO 23.2 package should be put in the VL 6 repo. That way if anyone else has this problem, all they will need to do is update LILO via Gslapt.

I have not tested whether or not the new LILO will autodetect the newer kernels, however, i will create another partitions and install VL7 Lite, which has the the newer LILO. I will then see during installation if it sees my Viperr installation. I will post this information back when i have completed the task.

Again, many appreciative Thanks to all who have helped on this issue. :)
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: roarde on March 23, 2012, 09:24:16 pm
Thanks to you for posting these results.  :)
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: TLM on March 24, 2012, 05:48:41 pm
Just installed VL7 Light, and here are my observations:

Does NOT detect Debian or Fedora distros during LILO setup (text installer never has; no graphical installer on VL Light)

VL7 Light DOES have the newer version of LILO (23.2) (and Linux kernel 3xxx too)
VL7 Light DOES allow the manual additions of Debian, Fedora, and other latest kernel distros.

Overall not bad. I was afraid that my favorite bootloader was no longer an option with the newer kernels, however i can happily say that this forum thread has revealed that i will most likely be able to continue using LILO for the next several years.  :)
Title: Re: New LILO version needed for recent kernel compatibilty
Post by: nightflier on March 25, 2012, 09:00:20 am
Good deal. In the past I have used a little hack that helped the detection of Debian distros: make a symlink in /boot called vmlinuz pointing to the kernel.