Want a nice LILO? :)

My LILO bootscreen Some time ago, i came across this nice LILO splashscreen for Debian. Now i decided to share it with everyone. :)
So, here it comes:

AFAIR, these versions only differ in a color of the text of available boot options („b“ makes it black, and „w“ – white).


Let this be a small HOWTO for those Debian users who want to beautify their LILO splash. It may, or may not, apply to other distros.

WARNING! You, and only you are responsible for any consequences of following these steps. This instruction should not harm your computer, however, i would recommend to have an emergency boot floppy or a bootable CD to boot the machine from, in case problems occur.

Let’s say you have Debian sarge or sid. This HOWTO may or may not also apply to woody installations. If you try it with woody, and it works, drop me a line (don’t forget to tell what the version number of your lilo deb-package is). Let’s get back to the instruction now. Do you get a red table with available LILO options on boot? If you do, and you would prefer to see a nice graphic instead, read on. ;)

Let’s go!

  1. rename our /etc/lilo.conf to /etc/lilo.conf.orig:

    rq@bliss:~$ su
    bliss:/home/rq# cd /etc/
    bliss:/etc# mv lilo.conf lilo.conf.orig
  2. run liloconfig:

    bliss:/etc# liloconfig

    Often, liloconfig will present you quite suitable defaults, so you may just press „Enter“ for each and every question.
  3. now, open both files (lilo.conf and lilo.conf.orig) with an editor (you may do that in two different consoles, for example):

    nano lilo.conf.orig

    and in another terminal:

    nano lilo.conf

    The new lilo.conf is vastly commented. The lines you will most probably want to change are at the bottom of the file. On my workstation, the tail of lilo.conf looks like this:

    # These images were automagically added, you may need to edit something
    # initrd=/initrd.img
    # initrd=/initrd.img.old
    # If you have another OS on this machine (say DOS),
    # you can boot if by uncommenting the following lines
    # (Of course, change /dev/hda2 to wherever your DOS partition is.)

    This configuration lets me boot any of two Linux kernels or Windos XP from another partition. At the tail of your lilo.conf.orig, you’ll probably see something similar. Just copy and paste those lines from this file to lilo.conf.
  4. save your new lilo.conf and run lilo:

    bliss:/etc# lilo
    Added Linux *
    Skipping /vmlinuz.old
    Added WinXP

    Note the „Skipping“ line. I often uninstall any old kernel packages as soon as i find the new kernel running correctly, hence, there’s only one vmlinuz file on my hard drive in most cases. This is why optional line is useful.
  5. reboot the computer and see the changes:
    bliss:/etc# reboot

BTW: the „lilo“ deb-package automatically installs a few pictures that you can use for your LILO splash screen. However, you can always get better ones. Most of them should contain instructions on how to install them and what to add to lilo.conf.

P.S. This HOWTO has a Lithuanian version here.

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