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How to access lilo: prompt?

I'm Linux-stupid, so I apologize; not a "Guru" for/on Linux like my ranking says. :( When the system boots up, it shows something like "LiLO 2.2" on the bottom of the screen, before momentarily being appended with a row of ...'s and continuing to boot (or attempting to).

How do I access or get to the "lilo:" prompt? :? Thanks!


  • Use the install to either boot into the live system or the recovery prompt. Lilo is used if you have another OS on your system. It is a multiple OS boot loader for linux. If you don't have an additional OS on your system then I would not use lilo. It is known to have issues.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I know that in grub you can buypass the defualt load parameter by pressing escape when you see the name prompt, but I have never tried to do the same with lilo. You can attempt to modify /etc/lilo.conf and comment out the "default=##" and "prompt" lines, then extend the "timeout=##" value to something like 60 (it is counting 1/10 seconds). Once that is done you must run the lilo command from the terminal to load the new configuration file.

    After the next reboot it should give you the option to choose which installation to use, but I have never experienced lilo with only one option so I don't know if that can effect the outcome.
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    BTW Joshua, I've been using Linux since 2004, and, I've never encountered lilo. So, don't feel bad about a lack of knowledge, we are all forever newbies. Heh. Going all the way back to Mandrake 9.2, I never saw a distro that came with lilo included. It was always there as an option, but Grub was always the default.
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    If you want to interupt lilo, hold down the shift key as the machine is transitioning from post to lilo.
  • Thank you guys! =)
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    dixiedancer wrote:
    I think Mepis used Lilo... and PCLinuxOS used it, and maybe Salix (I don't remember). It was supposed to be a "lightweight" boot loader, but it's been problematic on lots of hardware so it's sort of fallen into disuse in most ditrsos I think. I'm curious now what distro the OP is using.


    Slackware still uses it as the default, but has the option to install Grub Legacy on the 32-bit releases. I have been using lilo for many years now, happily and have only had to resort to grub once and that is because of a mbr allocation issue on one of my HDs. The issue with the request is that I have never had to try to stop lilo from auto-loading, I am so used to it that I have fine-tuned it to do exactly what I want.

    But I do have to say thay grub (legacy) is much friendlier on multi-distro systems. My desktop has 7 physical installations and trying to manage that with lilo is a headache.

    As for the OP, his profile says his favorite project is Debian, so I would assume he is using Debian and opted to use lilo.


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