BSD License    
3.9/5 51
A very simple and free bootloader and boot manager for booting UNIX-like operating systems

editor's review




LILO is a completely free, cross-platform and open source command-line software project that has been designed from the ground up to act as a bootloader/boot manager for booting GNU/Linux and UNIX-like operating systems installed on a personal computer.

The software is capable of booting beyond cylinder 1024 of a hard disk drive (HDD) if the BIOS supports EDD packet call extensions to the INT 0x13 interface. The LILO distribution includes full source, documentation and support files.


Think of LILO as the first thing you see when you boot a GNU/Linux operating system from a Live CD/USB, or from the BIOS of a personal computer. Yes, it’s that boot menu from where you can choose which operating system to boot, if you have a multi-OS environment, as well as to test your computer’s memory (RAM) or rescue your broken distribution.

LILO is kinda like GRUB, but with less features. Most of today’s Live CDs come with the GRUB bootloader, but some of them allow you to choose between GRUB or LILO during the installation process. LILO is for people who want something lightweight that doesn't have numerous configuration options.

Getting started with LILO

Installing LILO on your personal computer is quite easy, but please be aware of the fact that only one bootloader can be installed on a PC. Therefore, you will have to first uninstall your current bootloader (e.g. GRUB) before attempting to install LILO.

Searching the ‘lilo’ package on the main software repositories of your GNU/Linux distribution through the built-in package manager (e.g. Synaptic Package Manager or Ubuntu Software Center) is the easiest way to get LILO on your computer.

Please note the LILO only works with 32-bit (x86) operating systems and it doesn’t support modern UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) machines.

LILO was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on January 6th, 2015
LILO - The LILO bootloader in action

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