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Author Topic: HOWTO: Switch from LILO to GRUB bootloader on Vector Linux  (Read 18123 times)
M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3186



« on: January 09, 2007, 01:15:22 pm »

How to switch your boot loader from LILO to GRUB.

By default, VL ships with the LILO boot loader. After reading a thread here in the forum, on questions about making the switch, I decided to write this howto...
Added to that incentive, is the fact that when I installed VL on my Laptop, on boot, right after choosing VL from the LILO menu, my it would say "BIOS Datacheck Successful. Loading Linux ....."
And it will keep shooting out dots all the way across the screen at a really slow pace.... so slow, it would take up to 20 seconds to actually start booting. So I decided to make the switch.

THINGS TO KNOW....
Proceed at your own risk... If you're a newbie, I'd recommend doing some serious research on how Bootloaders work. Read this howto as many times as you need, and do not take the first step, unless you fully understand every single step in it.

RISKS INVOLVED:
If you don't know what your'e doing, after this procedure, you may end up with an unbootable install... (I'll show you a way around it at the end)

HOW TO DO IT:


You do not need to "uninstall LILO", you're dealing possibly with the MBR (I install to MBR) or a floppy or a sector in the drive, in any situation, make sure you know where your LILO is currently installed. For the sake of this howto, we will assume LILO is intalled to the MBR of the master hard drive in the box (hda)

So you get the GRUB package. You can find it here http://ftp://ftp.slackware.cz/slackware/slackware-current/extra/grub/grub-0.97-i486-2.tgz
Download it to your desktop or some place... and install it
Code:
installpkg grub-0.97-i486-2.tgz

After you're done installing it, still as root, run the config utility.
Code:
grubconfig

This utility will detect your installed Operating systems on the box, and write out a basinc config file. After that, it will ask you where to install the bootloader to, (this is where you need to remember where youre LILO is) so in my case, select MBR.

Your new boot loader configuration file will no longer be /etc/lilo.conf, but /boot/grub/menu.lst

Your config file should look somewhat like this http://ruslug.rutgers.edu/~mcgrof/grub-images/patches/grub-0.93+cvs20030224/docs/menu.lst

Some miror editing of the config file will be needed, to make it fit your needs. It's recommended that you edit the file to fit your particular needs as to OS titles and locations (if you have more than one)
You'll also need to fix the vmlinuz links to diferent kernels if you have more than one OS installed.

But remember. Always make a backup copy of the original config file.
Code:
# cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst-old
That way, if something goes B0nker, you have a fresh working copy to go from.

Grub works a little different than LILO... after modifying the lilo config file, you normally have to run lilo as root, to write out the changes. When using GRUB, you don't need to run anything after modifying the file... just save the file, and you're done..


With this, I was able to shave that 20 second lag LILO had to wait before actually booting VL.... so it worked like a charm for me..


So reboot, and cross your fingers....

IN CASE THINGS GO SOLID:
In case something went wrong, bad config file, bad vmlinuz link or anything... here is what you do....
Take a Vector Linux install CD (Any version will do I guess)... boot off the CD, and type this at the prompt
Code:
linux root=/dev/hda1 ro
Assuming of course, that the root partition to your Vector Linux is /dev/hda1... If it's not, then just replace the hda1 to wherever your Vector Linux is installed... boot into VL, and retry the configure....

If you get tired and decide you can't do it... simply run lilo as root in a terminal, and you should have your old lilo boot loader back.

Hope this helps....

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Joe1962
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2499



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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 02:29:17 pm »

Added to that incentive, is the fact that when I installed VL on my Laptop, on boot, right after choosing VL from the LILO menu, my it would say "BIOS Datacheck Successful. Loading Linux ....."
And it will keep shooting out dots all the way across the screen at a really slow pace.... so slow, it would take up to 20 seconds to actually start booting. So I decided to make the switch.

<snip>

With this, I was able to shave that 20 second lag LILO had to wait before actually booting VL.... so it worked like a charm for me..

Really?  Shocked  I have this issue with the new laptop, though not on any other PC or laptop. I'm a lilo fan (probably because I don't understand grub), but this is probably incentive enough to try the switch!
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
DrCR
Vectorite
***
Posts: 166


« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 07:38:28 pm »

Editing my HowTo: Multiple, Independent WinXP Installs on the Same HardDrive via Grub to include you HowTo.

Thanks Smiley
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easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2160



« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 01:14:19 am »

Quote
I have this issue with the new laptop, though not on any other PC or laptop. I'm a lilo fan (probably because I don't understand grub), but this is probably incentive enough to try the switch!

Yup, same here. Strangely enough this did not happen with kernel 2.6.17.13 when I was using 5.8RC2.

For those who also want extra security, GRUB is good because it allows a boot-up password to be set, and is saved by grub as an md5 hash.
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3186



« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 05:29:59 am »


Really?  Shocked  I have this issue with the new laptop, though not on any other PC or laptop. I'm a lilo fan (probably because I don't understand grub), but this is probably incentive enough to try the switch!

Yup....
The only way I was able to get rid of the lag
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 4026



« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 02:15:11 pm »

I can confirm the load time difference on my VIA CN700/VN800/P4M800CE P4 system. LILO takes 10 seconds longer, spending that time on "Loading Linux.................."

What would be nice to add to this HOWTO would be the necessary entries for getting the boot choices (GUI and TUI), like we get with LILO.
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Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 05:24:20 pm »

Well, I'm back to good old lilo. The "dots" delay is gone, just needed "compact" added in the general part of lilo.conf. It's just as fast as grub now, and way prettier. I couldn't really stand the 14 colour limit of grub.
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2160



« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 05:29:36 pm »

Well, I'm back to good old lilo. The "dots" delay is gone, just needed "compact" added in the general part of lilo.conf. It's just as fast as grub now, and way prettier.

Interesting, thanks for that bit of information!

Quote
I couldn't really stand the 14 colour limit of grub.

Funny, that colour limit is not mentioned by lilo bashers.... Roll Eyes
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Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 06:37:00 pm »

It's funny, "compact" used to be the default before 5.8, so I never even realized it was missing until uelsk8s told me to try it.
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 09:41:42 pm »

Well, I'm back to good old lilo. The "dots" delay is gone, just needed "compact" added in the general part of lilo.conf. It's just as fast as grub now, and way prettier. I couldn't really stand the 14 colour limit of grub.

Could you be more specific about where you add "compact" and what exactly you write? I get that delay on my laptop but not on either desktop. I'd like to use the "compact" fix on the laptop but I don't know how to do it.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 09:48:06 pm »

Something like this:

Code:
# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
#
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda
default = VL-2.6.19.2
prompt
compact
timeout = 1200
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
change-rules
  reset
bitmap = /boot/bitmap/boot.bmp
# VESA framebuffer console @ bootsplash-high
vga = 791
.
.
.
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2007, 09:58:32 pm »

Thanks! I'm about to give it a try.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2160



« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2007, 04:14:12 pm »

Yep, "compact" does do the trick. Thanks again Joe1962! Smiley
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2007, 07:38:31 pm »

"Compact" didn't work for me. I still got the dots and it was at least as slow as LILO without compact. So I changed it back. Yes, I did run lilo -v after I changed lilo.conf.

My two desktop computers don't have that delay, just the laptop.
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 08:17:31 pm »

Granny: can you post your lilo.conf?
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
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