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Learning Red Hat Linux by Bill McCarty

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The lilo Loader

Most PCs can be booted from a floppy drive or hard drive; many recently manufactured PCs can be booted from a CD-ROM drive. The first sector of a disk, diskette, or partition is known as the boot sector. The boot sector associated with a disk or diskette (the first sector of the disk or diskette) is know as the master boot record. In order for a diskette or disk to be bootable, it must contain a boot loader, which can reside in:

  • The boot sector of the floppy diskette.

  • The master boot record (MBR) of the first hard disk or the first CD-ROM drive, if the PC supports booting from a CD-ROM diskette.

  • The boot sector of a Linux file system partition on the first hard disk.

  • The boot sector of an extended partition on the first hard disk.

The lilo loader, or simply lilo, is a simple boot loader that can load Linux, Microsoft Windows 3.x and 9x, and other popular operating systems. Most users install lilo on the MBR of their system’s first hard disk. That way, when the system is started, it boots lilo, which can be used to load Linux, Microsoft Windows, or another operating system.

The Red Hat Linux installation procedure automatically installs lilo. Therefore, you don’t need to install lilo; you merely need to configure it.

However, before configuring lilo, you should make a fresh startup diskette for your system. If you have more than one operating system on your hard drive, make a startup diskette for each. Then, test each startup diskette. If you have a startup diskette for ...

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