Episode 34 Grub and Lilo

Posted in Bootloaders at 5:38 am by ewlabonte

This week I cover trouble shooting the boot manager, both grub and lilo. Configuring the boot manager is an important step in any linux installation. Though most new distros make this step easy, it is still possible to run into problems, especially if you are dual booting with Windows or another linux distro.

I create the problem by uninstalling the boot manager from a system dual booting debian and zenwalk. I then reinstall first lilo and then grub using the installation cds to access the system, and set them up to dual boot the two distros. Another fun filled, mistake filled episode of the Lip.

icon for podpress  Episode 34 Grub and Lilo [74:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Episode 34 Grub and Lilo [74:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


  1. tom mcdermott (a.k.a. tommcd on a few linux forums) said,

    July 11, 2007 at 5:19 am

    Hi, I recently found out about your podcasts. As a novice linux user/enthusiast, I found them interesting and informative, as I like to sample other distros too. (I’m currently running ubuntu, zenwalk, and debian).
    One suggestion: perhaps you could add some helpful website links to each show listed on your site so listeners could get more info about each distro, and how you guys solved installation and configuration problems. Granted, we can google this stuff, but a few resources can be a big help. For example:
    And the essential grub guide for noobs:
    Also, a few distros I’m interested in:
    Please keep the podcasts coming!

  2. Lucian Fleszar said,

    July 12, 2007 at 2:38 am

    Hello Ed
    I loved episode 34,about grub and lilo.I could really identify with your configuration woes.I laughed so hard,I had to stop the car and wipe the tears from my eyes.
    I have Fedora6,Mepis6.5,PCLinuxOS.93and2007,Kubuntu and Vector.Juggling grub has been a real learning experience.
    I learned that a grub boot floppy is absolutely necessary and I keep it updated so that I’ll be able to get into at least one distro to correct any errant behaviours on an upgrade or new install.
    For instance,I installed Fedora 6 and it told me that it found all my other distros and would I like to include them in the grub list.I said OK and it listed them all with the wrong /dev and root statements.Then the only distro that would boot was Fedora.Thank God for that floppy.
    Keep up the great work.I love the show. Lu

  3. Brian said,

    December 26, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Hey there. I just found this podcast and am listening to a few back episodes. I noticed in this episode (on grub and lilo) that you said you couldn’t clear the boot loader off the MBR w/o killing your partitions. If you want to created a missing boot loader error in the future you could use a WIndows 2000 (or XP, or Vista I believe) if you have one available and boot into the recovery console. In there if you type help once you are at a c:\ prompt you will find a command called fixmbr. This should put the windows boot loader on your system killing grub or lilo while leaving your paritions intact.

    Of course, you do this at your own risk. 😉

  4. Mike said,

    April 17, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I also just discovered your podcast and have been listening to the lilo and grub podcast.
    There is a much safer way to fix the master boot record – use the free DOS based utility called aefdisk. Of course, you will need FreeDOS or MS-DOS. Aefdisk will let you hide Windows partititions and mark one of the primary ones active as required.
    I’m not sure if one of the utils on System Rescue CD will do this also.

  5. Mike said,

    April 17, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Ah fudge, forgot to mention that if you cover grub again, you might want to mention a) the Super Grub bootable CD image, and b) grub4dos . I like linux but installing a very small FreeDOS partition and grub4dos is much quicker to recover than a typical Linux install (so far).
    FYI this comment submittal process is very, very slow and buggy tonight.

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