GRUB vs lilo

Duncan Anderson duncangareth at
Tue Nov 30 21:37:04 UTC 2004

Having just installed ubuntu for the first time on a spare partition on 
my notebook, I found that everything worked OK, except for one thing. My 
existing boot loader (lilo) was overwritten by GRUB. I don't have any 
strong opinions about GRUB, but I am happy with lilo and have been happy 
with it for several years.

When I installed ubuntu, I went for the "expert" option, because I did 
not want my existing win2k and Mandrake 10.1 partitions to be damaged. 
When it came to the installation of the boot loader, I found that I 
could not skip that part. Consequently, GRUB was installed on my MBR. 
Happily, it picked up the M$oft and Mandrake partitions without a 
problem, so I was able to boot Mandrake succesfully. (My live, working 

It did ask me one question, however. It asked for the device name for 
the filesystem (default being hd0). I was not sure what device name to 
give it. The ubuntulinux partition happens to be /dev/hda7. Now, lilo 
uses standard device naming conventions, but GRUB uses its own system, 
starting with hd0 for the MBR. I was a bit nervous about giving it the 
wrong value so I went for the default.

What I would have liked to do is integrate the existing lilo setup with 
ubuntu. Instead, I found that it was zapped and now I don't have my cute 
graphical fb-based Mandrake thematic bootup any more.

I found this whole thing a bit irritating.

Having said all that, I am quite impressed with Ubuntu Linux so far, but 
I am not yet ready to make it my live system, not until I am convinced 
that it will do everything I want it to do(which Mandrake does).

What I am about to do is boot off my Mandrake CD in "rescue" mode and 
reinstall my lilo setup. After that I shall incorporate Ubuntu into that 

My point, in this email, is that I don't think I should have to be doing 

Another thing. Ubuntu never asked me for a root password, so after the 
machine booted up and I logged in as an ordinary user, I found the menu 
option for a root xterm window, and typed in "passwd" at the hash 
prompt. I then assigned a root password. Then, by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1, 
I changed to tty1 and logged in as root in text mode. It seemed to work OK.

Why does Ubuntu not ask for a root password during installation?

Philani Kahle Nonke Nobuntu.


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