Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between GRUB and LILO


For a computer to run after being turned on, it needs several software programs to help it. One of these software programs is the bootstrap loader or boot loader. It loads the main operating system of a computer.

Operating system programs are stored in hard drives; CD, DVD, USD flash drive, floppy disk, and flash memory card and cannot be accessed by the computer’s central processor because it can only execute programs found in ROM.
Those found in RAM need to be accessed with the help of the boot loader such as BIOS, EFI, SLOF, OpenBoot, OpenBIOS, BOOTMGR, Syslinux, NTLDR, GRUB, and LILO. These programs allow the computer to communicate with its user.

GRUB is Grand Unified Bootloader which can boot operating systems developed by Linux, Mach4, vSTA, DOS, and many other operating systems. It can load kernels in different binary formats which are entered in a known state making it easy for new users.

There are several options in the config file, and it allows users to multiboot and use the operating systems that are installed in the computer and choose which kernel config to use in an operating system’s partition.
It supports multiple executable formats and does not need geometry translation. It has a bash-like command prompt which enables users to boot up an installed operating system from a floppy disk, CD-ROM, or USD device.
LILO, on the other hand, is a generic boot loader for Linux. It is the code which BIOS loads into the computer memory at start up. Like GRUB, it can boot an operating system from an external source like a floppy disk or hard disk.
It can write a Master Boot Record (MBR) on a device and can locate kernels, load them in memory, and start them up. It allows users to start DOS, Windows, OS/2, and other configs from Linux. It was the default boot loader of Linux until it was replaced by GRUB.
Unlike GRUB, LILO does not allow booting from a network and needs to be reinstalled to the MBR after the configuration file is altered while GRUB automatically defaults to its command line interface. LILO is easier to use than GRUB, though, because it is simpler.


1.GRUB is a boot loader which can be used for Linux, vSTA, DOS, and other operating systems while LILO is a generic boot loader for Linux.
2.Both GRUB and LILO can boot operating systems from external devices such as floppy disks and hard drives, but 3.GRUB allows booting from a network while LILO does not.
4.When the configuration file is altered, LILO needs to be reinstalled to the MBR while GRUB defaults to its command line interface.
5.GRUB is more complicated to use while LILO is simpler and easier to use.
6.LILO is the old default boot loader for Linux while GRUB is the new default boot loader.
7.GRUB can be used for various other operating systems unlike LILO which is used only for Linux operating systems.

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