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I named this so I can easily find it, and perhaps even add it to lilo's documentation, also... The documentation for lilo is good, but what I'm looking for a ...
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  1. #1
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    lilo Tutorial?


    I named this so I can easily find it, and perhaps even add it to lilo's documentation, also...

    The documentation for lilo is good, but what I'm looking for a bit more help on is a few problems I've come across quite often that either the documentation doesn't cover, or I am overlooking something.

    Anyway, I've got 3 hard drives on this computer, one for Zenwalk 5.2, which is the main OS I use. the 2nd drive is a small 20gb drive used for storing files, etc. The third one is used for two purposes. 1. Back up for Zenwalk. 2. Secondary OS for testing the installation process to insure that nothing goes wrong with the installation of boot's, etc for adding the version of linux onto another computer without damaging that computers OS.

    Anyway, sometimes when I install a secondary OS, I often times forget to make sure it doesn't over write Zenwalk's MBR loader. So every once in a while it winds up over writing it. Then when I try to use the rescueCD, Zenwalk, or other versions of linux to rewrite lilo to the boot record, the boot record is either gone or doesn't work.

    So, what I want to add into the documentation is a tutorial of how to install lilo from another linux when you have a lilo.conf that works.

    This is what I've done just recently.

    1. Trying to install lilo to the MBR from Zenwalk and to overwrite the grub boot loader that was already there.
    lilo -M /dev/sda

    2. Ran rescuecd, try installing gag. gag wouldn't load any OS, although I've normally used it to get things working.

    3. Reran rescuecd. Mounted my Zenwalk partition. Ran these commands
    lilo -M /dev/sda -C /mnt/zenwalk/etc/lilo.conf
    lilo -v
    Totally erased the MBR loader.

    4. Ran Vector Linux 5.8 Gold install CD. Ran this command.
    linux root=/dev/hda2
    Could run Zenwalk, however, internet didn't work, and a lot of things were not working correctly, because zenwalk was running on Vector Linux's kernel, which I presume to be problematic because Vector reads the disks as hd# where as Zenwalk reads the disks as sd#.

    5. Ran Zenwalk 5.2 install CD. Exited installation and mounted Zenwalk partition on HD. Tried to run lilo from there, lilo isn't installed to run from the Zenwalk installation CD.

    6. Installed Zenwalk onto the secondary OS partition and waited about an hour for the installation to complete, then installed lilo into MBR.

    7. Writing this.

    During this process I ran lilo -A /dev/sda many times which showed /dev/sda2, which is where Zenwalk is installed at, but still there was no boot loader.

    Anyway, if anyone has any extra information about lilo, or even if they know of some sites that give a greater deffinition of lilo's commands other than the regular man, and howto pages, do tell. If I was just missing something simple, then could you tell me what it was?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hiya.
    I probably can't give you any really good info on lilo, but I would highly recommend looking at GRUB, it's really good and I have had very few problems when installing a new distro that wants to overwrite the entire MBR record with it's own copy.....like Fedora 9. When this happened I just mount the other partition and copied the info from /boot/grub/grub.conf to the Fedora /boot/grub/grub.conf file. Easy as pie.
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    I've been extremely stubborn and tried to stay away from grub......Guess it's time I get to reading and setting it up then...

    Thanks...

    <Edit> I was just thinking about this, is there a way to install grub (or another) bootloader onto a USB flash drive, which would have no OS on it, all it would do is allow me to boot partitions of a hard drive on any computer that lets me boot from USB?

  4. #4
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    You can check out the Super Grub page, I believe it has USB boot support.
    Good Luck and do let us know how it goes. Maybe you could give us a small howto.
    Super Grub Disk Webpage - Download USB
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

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  5. #5
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    It's been a long time, but I think I've found at least a partial cure for installing a boot loader onto a USB drive that's decent. All a person really has to do is download either Slax or Goblinx Mini and edit the liloinst.sh. The last lines create a lilo.conf file, so those are the lines that need to be edited. Then you can add the partitions onto your HD in the sh file. Then run the sh file and voila, you have a bootable USB device for loading your HD.

    I haven't quite figured out why grub wouldn't install to the USB drive, and I haven't learned enough to understand why the liloinst.sh works, but that is unimportant.

    If needs be, you can remove the Slax/GxMini lines in the sh file, and delete all other directories other than the /boot directory, and it should work. I haven't tried it yet. I've finally finished testing distro's, so I no longer need it. Now I'm working on learning how to modify and compile the kernel, use vim, and a few other things...

    If anyone needs help on how to edit the liloinst.sh file, first off, Do Not edit anything other than the last few lines which create the lilo.conf file. And for editing the lilo.conf file, read the documentation that comes with your distro, or search online for it. That will help you better than I could. Also, you cannot edit the lilo.conf file directly, because liloinst.sh overwrites it.

    Also, there are a few lines in the GoblinxMini liloinst.sh that caused several problems when I tried running it. Read my post at linuxquestions Goblinx Mini 2.7 on USB. Using Slax's liloinst.sh didn't give no errors or problems, so I'd suggest trying that one out first.

    Lastly, the first thing you should try is follow the instructions for adding grub to the USB device, or even try lilo, whichever is on your particular distrobution. Then if that doesn't work, then try using Slax or Goblinx Mini.

    Anyway, hope this helps someone.

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