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developerWorks: Boot Loader Showdown: Getting to Know LILO and GRUB

Aug 30, 2005, 05:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Laurence Bonney)

"What utility do practically all Linux users use--regardless of their job or expertise? A boot loader. In this article, see how a boot loader works, meet two popular loaders--LILO (LInux LOader) and GNU GRUB (GRand Unified Boot loader)--and review the pros and cons of each.

"Most simply, a boot loader loads the operating system. When your machine loads its operating system, the BIOS reads the first 512 bytes of your bootable media (which is known as the master boot record, or MBR). You can store the boot record of only one operating system in a single MBR, so a problem becomes apparent when you require multiple operating systems. Hence the need for more flexible boot loaders..."

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