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Ok Im new to linux so if this is easy fix, go easy on me. I am wanting to install slackware, and indeed the whole installation is going fine. EXCEPT ...
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  1. #1
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    LILO is killing me


    Ok
    Im new to linux so if this is easy fix, go easy on me.

    I am wanting to install slackware, and indeed the whole installation is going fine.
    EXCEPT LILO.
    I do not wish to boot from floppy as i do not have one,and i do not understand the superblock thingy.(though im open for an explanation of how to use it), and using the mbr just gives an error.It says"Sorry but the attempt to install lilo has returned an error, so lilo has not been correctly installed. You have to use a boot disk to start your machine instead."
    The deal is when i used zenwalk, it installs in the mbr fine.
    Any suggetions other than choosing another distro?(i like it complex.)

    hda=cdrom(primary master)
    hdb=HDD

    hdb1=swap partition
    hdb2=ext2 formatted bootable partition.

    have tried it many times, including expert install, but that seems frivilous since im only an expert at windows.

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    Any suggetions other than choosing another distro?(i like it complex.)
    Well, if you have your mind set on this wonderful distro, you'll find a lot of answers in the SlackBook.

    Regarding your own problem
    Here is something similar.

    Good luck!
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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    Awesome

    Thanks for the reply,
    That snippit of info is jsut what i was looking for.
    Tell me, does slackware completly satisfy your need to tinker?

  4. #4
    oz
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    If you like the more "complex" distros, also be sure to take a look at arch, crux, and gentoo when time permits. Like Slackware, they offer lots of opportunity to learn the inner workings of Linux because they force you to tweak your system manually since they have no GUI tools.

    Have fun with the Linux experience...

    oz
    oz

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    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
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    There are a few odd situations that can cause trouble.
    If you install a larger hard drive than what originally
    came with the computer, you can have a situation where
    the BIOS can't access the whole drive. This doesn't stop
    Linux from using the drive, but it can fail to boot. Some
    distributions routinely create a small partition at the beginning
    of the drive and mount it at /boot.

    I also noticed that your cdrom is master and the hard drive
    is slave. Once upon a time, this arrangement was not
    possible, because the early BIOS booted from the primary
    master only. It may or may not be an issue here.

    Also, go into BIOS setup and see if there is a feature
    for protecting the MBR from viruses. It will prevent
    the bootloader from installing.

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    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozar
    (...) they force you to tweak your system manually since they have no GUI tools.
    Unless you consider vim a graphical configuration tool (hey! It's _got_ colors)

    Anyway... back to the OP. Slack will satisfy your tinkering needs I think. You can completely make it your own. But ozar is right IMO, you should try others as well. Only you can weigh the pro's and cons of each distro. There's taste and taste...
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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    OK I used a new Hard drive just becuase i felt on a hunch that the zenwalk i installed on the other was causing issues.
    Anyway, the HDD is primary master, while the CDROM is secondary master

    Used cfdisk to partition
    hda1 150g 83 linux bootable
    hda2 10g 82 linux swap

    Used ext3 file system

    Full install

    MBR install did not turn up an error, BUT
    It wont boot, i get "please insert system disc."
    i treid to boot to my install by using hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda1 rdinit= ro, but that was unsuccesful, sort of cryptic stuff on the page with no real error message.
    I'm willing ot try anything at this point.

    However, since my install of zenwalk went fine, i am wondering how different is zenwalk?? is it as configurable as slackware?
    All in all, i would like get slack up and running, but if that doenst happen....you know what im saying.
    Ok this post is long enough.........................

  8. #8
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    I can understand that you want your box to run as quickly as possible, so this booting problem can be frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    Used cfdisk to partition
    hda1 150g 83 linux bootable
    hda2 10g 82 linux swap

    Used ext3 file system
    Now you're not running your system yet, I recommend you siege the opportunity to change your partitioning.

    150 Gig root partition is really large. I think 10 Gig would be enough, depending on the kind of applications you will run.
    Then you can add a /home partition. Make this as large as you want. The benefit is that next time you install a distro all your user files will be in tact. All the music, movies, bookmarks, docs, everything will be there.
    You can do the same for a /usr/local partition if you plan on running applications that you want to keep after a fresh install of an OS. It depends, some do this, some don't.
    For swap you don't need 10 Gig. The rule of thumb used to be 2xRAM, but to a max of about 1 Gig.


    Partitioning scheme:
    / 10 Gig ext3
    /home 149 Gig ext3
    swap 1 Gig

    This is how I'd do it, take it for what it's worth. I think you'll find some benefit in having 149 Gig on your box that doesn't get wiped out after (re)installing an OS... but will be right where you left it.

    ------

    This doesn't solve your lilo problem though. Unless rcgreens remark about BIOS holds true.

    I don't think you need a separate /boot partition. They used to do that, because lilo could not reach further than the 1054th block. Nowadays that is not an issue anymore.
    Still, the point of rcgreen is very valid, because if you have a larger drive than the original, there may be a BIOS problem here. But I think having a root partition of 10 Gig is enough precaution here.

    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    i treid to boot to my install by using hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda1 rdinit= ro, but that was unsuccesful, sort of cryptic stuff on the page with no real error message.
    Exactly how did you give this to the kernel? Is this your lilo.conf or did you pass it manually somewhere?

    This is what the beginning of /etc/lilo.conf looks like by default
    Code:
    # LILO configuration file
    # generated by 'liloconfig'
    #
    # Start LILO global section
    boot="/dev/hda"
    default="Linux"
    message = /boot/boot_message.txt
    prompt
    timeout="12"
    This is what the end of /etc/lilo.conf looks like by default (except the 'append line')
    Code:
    # Linux bootable partition config begins
    
    image="/boot/vmlinuz"
            root="/dev/hda1"
            label="Linux"
            append="acpi=force pci=noacpi" # I need this for acpi features and usb port access
      read-only
    # Linux bootable partition config ends
    Compare this whit what you have. If need be, you can use a lifeCD of some sort to gain access to your HD if it doesn't boot by itself

    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    However, since my install of zenwalk went fine, i am wondering how different is zenwalk?? is it as configurable as slackware?
    All in all, i would like get slack up and running, but if that doenst happen....you know what im saying.
    Ok this post is long enough.........................
    Well, Zenwalk has a little different philosophy behind it. It's build to have one tool for each job. If it's as configurable as Slack depends on what you mean by configurable. Any and every distro is highly configurable, but some are more tuned towards a specific area or task. Slack is very open, meaning you can make of it what you want. It also means that it doesn't do much by default. It doesn't even boot into graphics unless you manually change that
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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    Hmm. Gentoo you say??

    hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda1 rdinit= ro
    I used this at the boot prompt you get from the cd, in an attempt to boot without lilo. My reasoning is i can probably configure lilo a little easier once i ve booted into the OS and i am logged in as the all powerful root. I assume lilo is just a text file lodged into /boot directory or something(or I'm completely wrong)

    MY lilo config ends with the setting for paranoia,(??) but i does not look anything like your example. So, is there any way to manually edit my lilo config ?
    Also, is there a work around cd that i can use to boot into my installed slack?
    You guys have been great, thanks for answering my noobish questions!

  10. #10
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda1 rdinit= ro
    I used this at the boot prompt you get from the cd, in an attempt to boot without lilo. My reasoning is i can probably configure lilo a little easier once i ve booted into the OS and i am logged in as the all powerful root. I assume lilo is just a text file lodged into /boot directory or something(or I'm completely wrong)
    Ah! I can see what you're trying to do. Good thinking! Alas, the problem you are facing now is twofold. First! Your HD is not yet part of the filesystem. You need to mount it, which at this stage will not be very easy for someone used to Windows. And second, even if you edit lilo, you'll want /etc/lilo.conf on your HD... there is no lilo.conf in /etc when booted from CD. Welcome to a world without drives, where everything is part of one filesystem. You'll figure it out, it makes a lot of sense once you're used to it.

    I digress. The problem remains that your BIOS can't find lilo. Assuming there is a faulty setting in lilo, that would lead to a different error message than you got. At least, that is what I think. I've dealt with enough lilo and BIOS problems to know that they'll lead to a truckload of error messages. Not once I saw "insert system disk".

    Where did you find your lilo.conf? I ask this, because the whole filesystem is often very confusing to new users.. The path doesn't say so much as the method used to gain access to it. Ehm... I'm not very clear am I? See it this way:
    If you boot from HD, your primary partition gets mounted under / . When you then enter a cd (let's say a lifeCD), you can mount that under (for example) /mnt/cdrom.
    A command like <ls /etc> gives you the contents of /etc from your HD. But the lifeCD mounted under /mnt/cdrom has it's own /etc directory. To view it, type <ls /mnt/cdrom/etc>
    Now you reboot. You run from CD. The CD is now mounted under / . Your HD can be mounted. Let's say we mount your primary partition (the kernel knows this as /dev/hda1) under our homebrew directory /mnt/harddrive. Or no! Let's be lazy and mount your HD under /mnt/cdrom! This saves us the effort of making a new directory. Now to view the contents of /etc on your harddrive you need to type <ls /mnt/cdrom/etc>. And <ls /etc> gives you the contents of the /etc directory on the CD. You see? It's vice versa.

    So you can see where users of other OS's can get confused. And why I ask. Because if your system doesn't boot, I'm wondering how you got access to your lilo.conf. Is it the one we are looking for?

    Something about the boot process, you might call it homework

    Quote Originally Posted by dARKzEPHYR
    You guys have been great, thanks for answering my noobish questions!
    Welcome aboard! And sorry for my long post, I didn't have time to shorten it
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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