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Re: Are lilo and grub compatible?

hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:
I have an emergency boot disk -- a floppy on which lilo wrote an MBR.
It works fine. I use it to dual-boot a functinoal sarge and a severely broken etch (well, actually the etch doesn't boot).

The etch installer's lilo won't run. I could try running the installer again and telling it to try grub, but I'm afraid that that might change something that the sarge-installed lilo uses when I boot from floppy. If the etch installer's grub fails like its lilo, I'm kind of afrais that I will have no way of booting at all.

-- hendrik

As far as I know, lilo and grub are mutually exclusive because both are boot-loaders that use a disk's mbr to boot up operating systems. This means that you probably can't use both at the same time or use the data of one with the other. However, if you're having problems loading one of your two os's with lilo, maybe trying grub out, like you say, might be worthwhile.

As far as I know, no matter which boot-loader is installed on your master boot record, a bootdisk overrides the boot-loader. In fact, even if your mbr is "garbled", a bootdisk should boot your system as it normally does without any problems. Thus changing your boot-loader during your etch installation should not affect how your system boots with your bootdisk.

If you change your boot-loader with the etch installer, however, that *will* affect how your sarge boots up *without* a bootdisk. If the etch installer does not recognize your sarge partition, it may not be available for booting at all. I suspect, however, that your etch installer should recognize your sarge partition and provide a grub entry for you (It did this for my windows partition without a problem).

If I were you, as a precaution, I would save my mbr (using something like 'dd if=/dev/hdX of=backup-mbr bs=512 count=1') and then try, as you say, to have the installer use grub as your boot-loader. Even if something should go wrong, you can use the installer cd to boot up in rescue mode and restore your mbr as it was before leaving your boot-loading as it was originally.

Jose Alburquerque

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