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XOSL, an alternative to Lilo and Grub 328

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the booting-in-style dept.
WhyPanic writes "XOSL, the Extended Operating System Loader, is a free (as in beer and as in GPL), full featured, graphical boot loader that can work in conjunction with Lilo or separately to boot all varieties of Windows, Linux, and many other OS's." Nifty looking.
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XOSL, an alternative to Lilo and Grub

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  • and the title sounds like its only for AMD?
  • LILO amd Grub (Score:2, Informative)

    Since I noticed it i'll mention it. The topic should be LILO and Grub. Not LILO amd Grub! Meh...
  • FR? Don't tell me I actually get to claim two of these...
  • by MxTxL (307166)
    Who needs a graphical boot loader?

    Then again, the 24 boot items and a few other features aren't bad.

    • I agree.

      The best feature of Linux is its stability; considering my uptime is 134 days, I could care less about the boot process. I could care less about it on my laptop too. Were I running an OS that required rebooting every half hour, I would probably give a damn.

      Trivia question: how long can you keep a 32-bit Linux box up and running?
      • The best feature of Linux is its stability; considering my uptime is 134 days, I could care less about the boot process.

        I agree. When booting so infrequently, it's often difficult to remember quite how to operate that confusing LILO thing. A graphical boot loader would help immensely with this problem and help make Linux palatable for elite, yet forgetful sysadmins with months of uptime - an important demographic that we linux advocates should not overlook.

      • The best feature of Linux is its stability; considering my uptime is 134 days, I could care less about the boot process


        The first word that comes to mind when I see a system with a 134 day uptime is not "stability". The word that comes to mind is "insecure", from the patches you've had to skip to get that uptime.

  • Windows Boot Laoder (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JohnHegarty (453016)
    Why is Windows the only operating system that comes without any type of multiple boot loaded. All the other seem to have one. Install 95/98/ME and it just sets its self as the only os , and thats the end of that.
    • Windows NT, 2000, and XP have multiboot loaders. windows 95,98 and ME were meant for people with home systems before multi-booting was more common.
    • Because M$ does NOT want you to use other OSes.

      And there's windows and windows. NT (4,2000, etc.) does allow you to boot and alternative system, as long as it's in a fat or ntfs partition.

      All other OSes (os/2, BeOS, Linux, etc.) are not that greedy.
    • by devphil (51341) on Friday October 26, 2001 @03:22PM (#2485391) Homepage


      If there's only a single OS listed in boot.ini, then no boot menu is given. (What would be the point?) The bootloader just boots it without prompting.

      By default, Windows is the only one it lists. (No surprise there.) I copied my Linux bootsector to BOOTSECT.LNX, added another line to boot.ini, and then I had a choice at boot time: Windows 2000, or Linux. To do all this I followed the mini-HOWTO at linuxdoc.org; that HOWTO is now several years old, I believe. It was originally written for NT 4.something.

      Your article is complete uninformed flamebait.

      • Once again generalization, blanket statements, and incomplete skimming of a comment have given life to the word flamebait. heh i love it when that happens.

        Windows, of the 9x family are self centered bastards who refuse to live well with other os's. They even hate their older wiser cousins of the NT variety. Luckily they are stupid bastards too and as long as you install them first other, better OS's can sneak in and live with 9x.

        DD
      • What's flamebait? The article said, "New XOSL is an alternative bootloader." Did you read it as "New XOSL is an alternative bootloader; let's see Windows do that; Windows sucks!"?



        Not every post and article is an argument; some of them are just informative.



        Your post is pretty informative, by the way.

    • Why is Windows the only operating system that comes without any type of multiple boot loaded.

      Gee, I don't know, could it be that the VAST MAJORITY of Win users don't have any other OS on their systems, while a SIGNIFICANT NUMBER of Linux/other OS are forced to cohabitate with a Win install?

      It's like asking why there's a "share the road with motorcylces" bumper sticker and no "share the road with cars".

  • The ability to edit settings while NOT in an operating system... probably asking too much.
    • Re:Wishlist... (Score:3, Informative)

      by jandrese (485)
      Um, Xosl is configurable from the boot screen (IIRC, it's been a year since I used it last).
      Lets see what I can remember about this.
      1. It is very nice looking, and even has optional fading effets
      2. It is easy to install
      3. It comes with a partition manager (Ranish Partition Manager)
      4. It's quite configurable, you can do pretty much anything with it that you can do with any other first stage boot loader
      5. It requires a FAT parition on your hard drive. This is bad for people who want to dual boot between Linux/FreeBSD and Win2k, and doubly bad if your FAT partition gets corrupted.
      6. It tends to mark things "unavailable" if they disappear temporarily and never brings them back (you have to delete and recreate the partition). This was a big annoyance when I had a flaky SCSI card.
      7. Ranish Parition Manager is not exactly pretty or easy to use
      8. It's not so good for systems with fixed frequncy monitors, fortunatly this isn't a big deal anymore, but I used to have a 1280x1024 ONLY monitor attached to my system (not even a text mode) and my video card's best VESA mode was 800x600.
      9. Despite what the docs say, you pretty much need a mouse to use it. I was never able to get the keyboard shortcuts working correctly for the configuration screens.

      That's pretty much all I remember about it... I hope that gives you and idea of what Xosl is like.
    • grub can do this. so it isn't impossible.
  • by fobbman (131816) on Friday October 26, 2001 @02:50PM (#2485173) Homepage
    This isn't a new development, so did Slashdot and Freshmeat somehow swap queues? Should I be checking Freshmeat for Katz submissions?

    • Not new at all. (Score:3, Informative)

      by booch (4157)
      There hasn't even been a new version released since December 2000. (Which happens to be when I looked at it and realized how cool it is.) Not only is this the wrong kind of news for Slashdot, it's not even news.

  • by sultanoslack (320583) on Friday October 26, 2001 @02:50PM (#2485174)
    XOSL won't load your kernel. You still need a Linux boot loader to do that. So, no, XOSL isn't an alternative to Lilo and Grub. I tried it a long time ago hoping to oust Lilo.

    Thier website still says:
    XOSL is known to support
    [...]
    Linux (with Lilo)
    • Yeah, I saw this too. It's too bad, but maybe one day they'll actually put lilo's functionality in to this. Lilo has definitely gotten better as of late, but it's one of those continual-thorn-in-the-sides of the whole linux experience. This would definitely help matters, especially with newbies.
      • I'm no linux expert, in fact for anything nontrivial I have to read howto's, man pages and whatnot. Yet, I have no problems at all using lilo. For a few times I forgot to rerun lilo after modifying lilo.conf and that is the only problem I had with it.
      • So, what's the problem here? You get a nice system loader like 'System Commander' (or a GNU alternative), and you set your lilo.conf to only allow linux as the only choice, and defult the seconds to wait to 1 (I like to have time to hit TAB and type 'linux single' if I need to). And **POOF**, you're using LILO, but hardly ever see it.
        • great way to fubar your linux system with a bad kernel. Always leave two options available in lilo: Current and Test. Install a new (unknown) kernel to test, and leave your current (known good) kernel in Current. When you are satisfied that the new kernel is good, then move it to Current and Test.
    • yes, but at least this works around the worst part of LILO on the MBR: the stupid cylinder limit. At least that's my biggest complaint. Of course, since I dual-boot NT, I can use the NT loader with no problems. But this MIGHT be a nice way to avoid the need to reboot into NT to properly place the bootsect.lnx, at least...
  • I just looked at XOSL. It seems cool but it clutters your hard drive with unnecessary files. Couldn't they just fit it in the boot record?
  • As long as it doesn't REQUIRE a Linux partition, I'd be happy to use it.
    • Nope, no requirements at all along those lines. It can install into its own partition (so helpful) and can also install onto a FAT partition (not sure about other partition types it can use). I can't tell you the number of times I've deleted my Linux partition without thinking, only to kill Lilo and booting with it. XOSL has saved my a few times to say the least ;)
      • Not sure that I'd want a boot loaded requiring ANY partition. I'd want something that would fit in the first track of the HD, which is where bootloaders should go.
        Ideally, the bootloader itself should still work even if I decide to remove all my partitions.
  • Resolutions up to 1600x1200 ... about time , i am fed up of bootloaders that only do 1024x768...hmmmmm
  • by Cylix (55374)
    Although I'm certain it should read 'and' and not 'amd', it brings up certain other questions.

    I'm wondering Rob's true intentions. I believe he might be trying to send subliminal messages to buy AMD chips.

    Rather quite SLACKWARE mischievious LINUX if you ask me.
  • OK, I'm going to need to set up a system with Win98, Win2K and Linux (RH 7.2) all booting from the same 30 GB drive (other storage on system is two 80 GB ATA100 drives on a Promise controller at Raid 0). It looks like XOSL might be just the ticket!

    Any suggestions on install order and which boot loader to use? Anyone attempt something similar with XOSL? Would Grub be better since it's included with RH 7.2?

    Thanks in advance for your opinions!

    299,792,458 m/s...not just a good idea, its the law!

    • 98 has to be first, because it will overwrite your boot record and render your other installs unreachable without boot floppies. Personally, I would create the partitions in the sizes that I wanted for each OS beforehand, then install 98, followed by 2000, and lastly by Linux.

      Actually, I have done this, so I guess you can say it's what I *did* do - and followed by adding FreeBSD and another Linux version at later times, plus Windows 2000 Server for testing purposes. It can be done pretty easily if you do the research beforehand.

    • I've been using xosl for some time now and I have my system setup almost exactly the way you want yours, I have Mandrake 8.1 (beta3) instead of RH.

      The main thing I would tell you is to use a dedicated partition for xosl, that way if you blow up your 98/DOS partition you'll still be able to boot your other OS's.

      Once you have xosl installed you should be able to install your OS's in any order you want, I chose Linux, 98 then 2K. One problem I had with 2K is that it kept calling it's system drive D: or G: or something retarded like that instead of C:. I got around that by hiding all the other partitions on my drive but the one I wanted 2K on, you can use xosl to do this. Another trick I discoverd, the hard way, is attempt to boot the partition your about to install to before you actually do the install. I think this just sets the Active bit on the partition, but it makes the install of the Windows OS's smoother.
      • I wish I'd known about this earlier. I've been trying to install Win98, Solaris, Linux and FreeBSD on one 40gb hard drive, following installation instructions I found in this month's SysAdmin magazine. The trouble came afterward: the Solaris partition was past cyl. 1023, so LILO couldn't boot it. And I couldn't figure out how to get Grub to boot a Solaris partition; the usual rootnoverify() and chainloader +1() didn't work. Sez here that XOSL supports Solaris; very nice. But after my sixth re-install of Debian and FreeBSD, I'm getting a little sick of it all...
    • As others have noted, install 98, 2000, & then Linux. Grub does great; I use Mandrake at home in just this config, and the reason I used Grub in the first place was that a couple of years ago (it's probably changed now) LILO wouldn't boot to a partition beyond the first 8GB or so. Grub would, & I've been using it ever since. So I have a small 98 partition, a large NTFS one, & then a medium Linux install. On boot, you see grub & if you choose windows, you get the NT loader, where you can choose 98 or 2K.
  • Appears to need Lilo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SiliconJesus (1407) <siliconjesus@gma ... l.com minus poet> on Friday October 26, 2001 @02:53PM (#2485206) Homepage Journal
    According to the page...
    XOSL is known to support
    • BeOS
    • MS-DOS
    • FreeDOS
    • Linux (with Lilo)
    • Solaris
    • VxWorks 5.x
    • Windows 95/98/Me
    • Windows NT/2000
    • ...and others...
    I read that as meaning it just boots up lilo, it still needs it to run Linux. Presumably, you'd install lilo on the partition, instead of the MBR.
    • Yes, XOSL is not a LILO replacement. All it does to boot an OS is call that particular OS's bootloader (which must be installed on the OS's partition), which then does all the hard work itself. It's a nice way to select your OS if nothing else.
    • by zaius (147422)
      Correct. It doesn't replace LILO, but sits above it in the booting hierarchy.

      I stumbled across it while trying to put NT (not my decision) onto a machine that had previously had Linux and LILO on it. For some reason, NT wouldn't install it's bootloader over LILO, and LILO wouldn't boot to NT, because I couldn't configure it because Linux was no longer on the machine. So I installed XOSL, and everything worked.

      • It looks like a replacement for the commercial program "System Commander", which runs for around $75 last I checked.

        (Although, System Commander does other neat things like remapping drives, multiple DOS/Win installs, and boot support for some obscure OSes.)
  • Besides graphial boot screen, what else does it offer that LILO and Grub do not? (btw, it's already possible to have graphical boot screen even without it). And while we are on the subject, what does Grub have that LILO doesn't? What's the point of switching the boot loader?
    • GRUB understands filesystems. This means you can drop into a simple GRUB shell and poke around your partitions looking for a kernel to boot. It's really a lifesaver if you mess some stuff up by accident. You can also change kernel boot parameters and do other stuff all from within the bootloader before your OS is loaded, making it much nicer than LILO.
      • In addition, GRUB supports several ways of booting an OS, in addition to loading a (possibly compressed) Linux kernel. This includes the OpenBoot specification, supported by some of *BSD, and some other (native) ways of booting several BSDs. And as you said, it understunds filesystems. You can even do a find to find a file with a particular name on any partition, from within its shell. It understunds ext2fs and fat, and some other. And it understunds netbooting using BOOTP and TFTP. And, on top of it all, it feels like the real boot monitor of a workstation! You can even install it from within itself (when booting from a floppy)!
    • grub has the ability to read file systems (ext 2 definitly... I'm not sure about ntfs or fat32) so you don't have to setup a .conf if you don't want to. You can just search around your tree until you find your kernel image and just boot off that. Or you can just point it to a partition and it will use what ever boot loader is there (windows boot loader or lilo or whatever). Saves you a little time when you change your kernel. Plus grub on a floppy can be used to get virutually any linux system going; unlike a lilo rescue disk which either needs its own kernel or to be specially made for the system. Plus grub is slightly more tolerant to allow the user to make stupid mistakes (like over writing the old kernel image and forgeting to re-install lilo... or so I hear)

      I can't answer XOSL advantages for you unfortunatly... although it would allow you to set up a multiboot system without a keyboard. Although not useful for most systems I can see a specialty system where you might want to do this. On the most part I think it's just kinda cool to have a graphical boot screen.
    • It's pretty and it works like Windows. That won't get it much admiration in this crowd, but normal people will like it better. They already know how to use it.

  • Microsoft file system partition hiding support for those Linux users who don't want to admit they are dual booting??
  • Ok I'll admit it, it's pretty, however (there's always one of those huh), it says it requires a mouse (either PS/2 or serial). I have a mouse but oh wait I can't use it damn me for keeping up with hardware and having a USB mouse...

    was that too sarcastic?
    • was that too sarcastic?

      Considering that you can find adapters to convert USB to PS/2 all day long (and I'm using one here at work to convert my USB to PS/2 for NT4.0), I'd say yes, you were too sarcastic.

  • Yes, it needs LILO (Score:3, Informative)

    by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Friday October 26, 2001 @02:59PM (#2485246) Journal
    from their FAQ:

    "Installing GNU/Linux

    If you're installing Linux, install LILO in the Linux partition's boot sector (superblock). You can safely ignore the warning that says you won't be able to boot Linux. XOSL can do the job."

    this mean the hassle of running lilo everytime you recompile the kernel still exists with XOSL.

    I rather use grub. don't need to rerun it every new kernel and it allows me to edit entries in the menu during boot...
    • I'm not a grub aficionado, but shouldn't you be able to use it in place of lilo even in their example?
      • hmmmmmmm... probably yes. I'm not as familiar with it as I am with LILO (never hacked it's config files and never used it to dual boot with win... linux only machine :-) ), but I spose if you use it, you'll end up with two subsequent graphic menus to chose OS.

        If you use XOSL, I think LILO would a smarter choice to load linux kernel. Imagine a situation with 1 copy of windows and 2 linux distros in the same drive. you can use only one XOSL menu to chose OS.

        If you choose win, it'll boot the FAT partition and you'll be in billOS, but if you choose one of the linux distros, it'll load the LILO copy of that specific partition and load that distro.

        Why is better to have two LILOs in this sistuation ? easy. no typing to select the distro once "LILO boot:" shows up.
  • The perfect bootloader would be a combination of Grub and XOSL.

    I used XOSL in the past: while I think that it's nice, it's not perfect. What it lacks are some Unix/Linux-specific functions:

    It should be possible to browse a filesystem and to select a kernel on it to boot. It should be possible to pass "command line parameters" to the kernel (like mem=256...). It also would be cool, if XOSL had the option to set the textmode, one wants to boot an operating system in (like dos...). It would be necessary to have an Unix/Linux-based install to be attractive to Unix/Linux-people, booting from an dos-bootdisk just isn't sexy...

    All in all, XOSL is nice but not perfect. I'll stick to grub, until XOSL matures...

  • Why do we need yet another bootloader? Lilo seems to be able to boot any OS you might want to run. Grub does the same, apparently (don't know much about it yet), but gives some additional functionality for controlling SMP boots, has a graphical interface, etc. Why didn't someone just modify Lilo to do that?

    What does XOSL bring to the table that other bootloaders don't have, or couldn't be made to have with some development?

    Pretty soon our bootloaders will be OSes in themselves.
    • Why do we need yet another bootloader?

      [aol]
      Me too!
      [/aol]

      I'm also thinking, "Great. Now I have to figure out how to configure Yet Another Bootloader."

      One problem with Linux is that you often get 50 different development projects that all end up trying to do the same thing. Don't get me wrong, choice is good. but fer cryin' out loud do we *really* need 20 or so different boot-loaders? Why not just improve on something existing that is proven and people are more familiar with. It's not like you can't get the sources for Lilo.

      But, I digress....
      • Why not just improve on something existing that is proven and people are more familiar with. It's not like you can't get the sources for Lilo.

        It was my understanding that lilo is free, but not Free.

        • From the file COPYING, included in lilo 21.4.3:

          LILO program code, documentation and auxiliary programs are
          Copyright 1992-1998 Werner Almesberger.
          All rights reserved.

          Redistribution and use in source and binary forms of parts of or the
          whole original or derived work are permitted provided that the
          original work is properly attributed to the author. The name of the
          author may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from
          this software without specific prior written permission. This work
          is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties.

          Seems, to me, to be both free and Free.
    • The same reason that there are bunches of windows managers and editors.

      Everybody likes something different.
  • XOSL gets installed on its own partition, since it's so large. How is this different from installing a mini-linux distro on its own partition, and then doing some smart booting from there?
    • I don't think you can boot linux (or DOS, for that matter) from linux, so that wouldn't work.

      • You can boot Linux, OS/2, Windows, DOS, Athena, BeOS from Linux in my experience. I use Grub currently to do all this. You can also use the NT/Win2k loader to boot any of the above (except maybe OS/2, never tried OS/2 from the NT loader).
    • How is [XOSL on own partition] different from installing a mini-linux distro on its own partition, and then doing some smart booting from there?

      Because at the present time, XOSL is still limited by the fact that it doesn't yet have:
      • Device drivers for good 3D support on suitable hardware
      • Good themes with animation and translucency
      • Good screensavers
      • A good web browser
      • An office suite and productivity software
  • Lilo amd Grub...

    Wow... didn't know AMD made Grub...

    That company's just full of surprises!
  • Ive got the GPLed Smart Boot Manager [sourceforge.net] in my bootsector, and LILO in my /boot. Its sub-30k and lives in the first sector of your disk.

    Check it out, small, easy, quick and allows you to boot from CDROM where you may not be able to normally.

    Thanks to "James Su (suzhe@gnuchina.org), Lonius (november@video.mdc.tsinghua.edu.cn) and Christopher Li (chrisl@gnuchina.org)"

  • by blonde rser (253047) on Friday October 26, 2001 @03:22PM (#2485387) Homepage
    I was already to give XOSL a test spin when I noticed it doesn't support usb mouses. That's when it occured to me that I don't really want a boot loader that needs its own set up device drivers.
    • I was already to give XOSL a test spin when I noticed it doesn't support usb mouses. That's when it occured to me that I don't really want a boot loader that needs its own set up device drivers.

      I suggest you give it a spin. If your BIOS supports USB mouses and keyboards, I'm pretty sure XOSL won't see any difference between USB and traditional devices. That's the purpose of the USB mouse and keyboard settings in BIOSes; to tell the BIOS to present your input devices to the operating system as though they were ordinary.

  • Ah... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    how i've missed Taco's spelling errors. Thanks, you've made my day!
  • hmmm... I remember having a problem with LILO for the longest time in that it would only work from a warm boot either soft or hard, but a cold boot would kill it and I'd need to get in again from a boot disk and run it again. Running it on a 1.6 gig drive so size wasn't likely the problem... still never figured it out.
  • I know there are some features that make certain bootloaders better for certain things. I use LILO, the latest build is pretty nice. GUI if you want it, no GUI if you don't. Grub has some decent features, most notibly being able to pass it kernel options at boot time. But what the heck does this offer? Mouse drivers? 1600x1200 resolution? Will it run on my Pentium or do I need to upgrade?

    I may be cynical, but this is just a little too weird....
  • I'll stick with the Free BSD boot loader. It looks sufficiently evil enough so that people don't touch my computer.
  • I personally use OSBS http://www.prz.tu-berlin.de/~wolf/os-bs.html [tu-berlin.de] this app works amazingly well, and offers features that have saved my ass a few times. You can hide *nix partitions from winbl0wz, (if you are lame enough to use windows--I used to be guilty of this.) by changing the partiton type from the osbs app. this will keep ms from killing your existing lilo, grub or whatever bootloader. also, make note that this application (the free version. The new release is not open source, or free, can be found on www.bootmanager.com [bootmanager.com]) was released in October of 1993! I personally hate it when people upgrade to the newest release, just for the hell of it. Time can be wasted in more productive ways.
  • It's easy to use, easy to configure and boots everything I care about. I'll admit it could be tricky for a beginner, but it's very simple to learn.

    If it ain't broke, why try to fix it?
  • Why anyone would need a GUI driven bootloader is beyond me. They even recommend a Pentium 100, which seems a little hefty to BOOT AN OS.

    What they do have is an incredibly lightweight GUI with mouse support and a res of up to 1600x1200. They boast a 300K footprint, which is really impressive! Screw the bootloader idea, run this puppy on top of the linux kernel and you have an open source QNX type product. That to me seems like a much better implementation. Run this on a Palm with memory to spare! Lots of potential, why'd they waste it on a bootloader?
    • Seriously. It looks like it could be a normal desktop windowing system. As it stands, you're right it looks like a total waste of effort for a bootloader, especially if they coded their own widgets.

      Why are there options like "show window contents while dragging" ? This looks like the coders were having way too much fun. Currently, my bootloader (LILO) shows no more than a single line of text. It wouldn't surprise me if in the near future XOSL gets a tetris game.

      Does anyone know where their widgets came from?
  • What my tiBook needs is a good quality graphical bootloader so that I can choose OS9/OSX from *the same partition*.

    Yeah, I know I could do this if I put OS9/OSX each on their own separate partitions. But I don't wanna do that.

    Guess I'll quit bitching and go download the code, and see what its gonna take to make a PPC-friendly bootsector ...
  • A dual boot machine w/ WinXP on active partition and linux on another primary partion. XP's partition is 10 gig's (beyond 1024 cylinders). I accidentally delete the linux partition, so grub becomes orphaned kind of.

    You boot and it asks for a command and typing ? doesn't seem to help. How can I get grub to boot into XP after the linux partition has been deleted?

  • "free (as in beer and as in GPL)"

    A and (A and B) = (A and B)

    Therefore "free as in GPL" would suffice. (-:
  • From the FAQ/HOWTO
    also make sure, you install LILO to the boot sector of the linux partition. do NOT install it to the MBR. otherwise it will conflict with XOSL.

    From the story
    XOSL, an alternative to Lilo amd Grub

    Clearly this is a usage of the word "alternative" whith which I wasn't previously familiar.

    -Peter
  • here are some useful other links (screenshots, downloads, and such) since the page was down (and google cache didn't catch it right)

    http://www.onlythebestfreeware.com/program.asp?pro gram_id=76 [onlythebestfreeware.com]

    http://home.media-n.de/lug-nb/software/xosl.html [media-n.de] (In German for those of you who can't read it...use babelfish [altavista.com])
  • I've been using XOSL for 18 months now; XOSL itself is installed on a DR-DOS 7 partition which is also the first primary partition on my drive. The MBR of the drive contains XOSL. I quad-boot DOS, Windows 2000, Linux and BeOS and have never had any troubles doing so. XOSL really is an amazing tool. I'm glad to see it finally get recognition!
  • the page is shut down because of us...won't open till midnight.
  • I used to muck arround setting machines up to dual boot. In the end the best solution I found was to buy removable disk racks so I could simply plug in a disk with the appropriate O/S - much easier than mucking about in loader hell.

    However these days I simply run Linux on one of the older machines and X-Window to it as needed from one of the Windows boxes. My TombRaider box makes a pretty good X-Terminal.

    When a PC has an 18 month life from being bleeding edge to obsolesence the boxes soon start to mount up.

  • "The site has exceeded maximum traffic for the day." Jeez, these people ought to get an account on SourceForge for their project. At least SourceForge can weather a semi-decent slashdotting!


  • There's a similar project that I'm using everywhere regardless of operating systems : GAG.
    You can download it from here [rastersoft.com] .
    Gag has no bells and whistles like XOSL, but it does the same thing. You create a little bootable floppy with it, and it's then easy to configure and install anywhere.
    Gag supports multiple languages, it can swap disk ordering, it can protect bootup with a password, and I never had a single trouble with it.


  • by rafa (491)
    The author is working an a new version. he's set up a page on sourceforge here [sourceforge.net]. It doesnt' seem to have been updated since Jan 28th this year, but his plans look exciting.

    Personally I run xosl which then runs lilo. It's saved my bacon many times, really a very impressive tool.

    I'm planing on replacing my lilo with grub next time I reboot, but that coudl be a little while ;)

  • Its akin to BootMagic or BootCommander, rather than a bootloader like lilo, grub, the NT bootloader in W2K & W9X's bootmenu.

    & bloody good bootmenu at that - you can set up both your floppy & CDROM drives as selection entries in the bootmenu, so there's no need to change boot orders in the BIOS when you want to boot off the floppy or CDROM.

    Mind you its a bugger to setup.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval

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