The Linux Loader (LILO) was one of the first boot loaders available for Linux. It is a relatively simple loader that was designed from the start for simplicity and stability. One downside to using LILO is that its configuration information is stored in the MBR (Master Boot Record) for your primary hard drive. Any changes you make to the configuration means that your MBR has to be updated every time. Changing your MBR is something that should not be taken lightly because if you corrupt it, the system will not boot. The BIOS looks for the MBR on a hard disk to see if it can boot from it. If this is corrupt or does not exist, the BIOS will not boot from the media.

On modern SUSE systems you have the option of using LILO, but GRUB will be selected as a default during the installation unless you have chosen a very unusual disk layout involving mirrored disks and/or LVM. So unless you need LILO for a special configuration, skip this section and read the section that follows on GRUB.

The configuration file for LILO is stored in /etc/lilo.conf. The layout of the lilo.conf file is relatively easy to read; we will set up a simple LILO configuration for a Linux system and a Windows system for dual-booting purposes (see Listing 4-2).

The lilo.conf file has a general configuration section that sets default values for LILO, followed by specific entries for different boot configurations that can be used to boot operating systems. Each boot configuration in the lilo.conf file is referred to as a boot profile because it specifies all of the custom options associated with booting a specific Linux kernel or other operating system.

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