9.3. Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST

The easiest way to configure the boot loader in your SUSE Linux system is to use the YaST module. In the YaST Control Center, select System+Boot Loader Configuration. As in Figure 9.1, “Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST”, this shows the current boot loader configuration of your system and allows you to make changes.

Figure 9.1. Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST

Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST

Use the Section Management tab to edit, change, and delete boot loader sections for the individual operating systems. To add an option, click Add. To change the value of an existing option, select it with the mouse and click Edit. If you do not want to use an existing option at all, select it and click Delete. If you are not familiar with boot loader options, read Section 9.2, “Booting with GRUB” first.

Use the Boot Loader Installation tab to view and change settings related to type, location, and advanced loader settings.

9.3.1. Boot Loader Type

Set the boot loader type in Boot Loader Installation. The default boot loader in SUSE Linux is GRUB. To use LILO, proceed as follows:

Procedure 9.1. Changing the Boot Loader Type

  1. Select the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. For Boot Loader, select LILO.

  3. In the dialog box that opens, select one of the following actions:

    Propose New Configuration

    Have YaST propose a new configuration.

    Convert Current Configuration

    Have YaST convert the current configuration. When converting the configuration, some settings may be lost.

    Start New Configuration from Scratch

    Write a custom configuration. This action is not available during the installation of SUSE Linux.

    Read Configuration Saved on Disk

    Load your own /etc/lilo.conf. This action is not available during the installation of SUSE Linux.

  4. Click OK to save the changes

  5. Click Finish in the main dialog to apply the changes.

During the conversion, the old GRUB configuration is saved to disk. To use it, simply change the boot loader type back to GRUB and choose Restore Configuration Saved before Conversion. This action is available only on an installed system.

[Note]Custom Boot Loader

If you want use a boot loader other than GRUB or LILO, select Do Not Install Any Boot Loader. Read the documentation of your boot loader carefully before choosing this option.

9.3.2. Boot Loader Location

To change the location of the boot loader, follow these steps:

Procedure 9.2. Changing the Boot Loader Location

  1. Select the Boot Loader Installation tab then select one of the following options for Boot Loader Location:

    Master Boot Record of /dev/hdX

    This installs the boot loader in the MBR of a disk. X identifies the hard disk, for example, a, b, c, or d:

    hda => ide0 master 
    hdb => ide0 slave
    hdc => ide1 master 
    hdd => ide1 slave 
           
    Boot Sector of Boot Partition /dev/hdXY

    The boot sector of the /boot partition. This option is the default if you have several operating systems installed on your hard drive. The Y stands for the partition (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) as in:

    	/dev/hda1
           
    Boot Sector of Root Partition /dev/hdXY

    The boot sector of the / (root) partition. Unless a /boot partition is necessary or the MBR needs to be used, this is the preferred default.

    Other

    Use this option to specify the location of the boot loader manually.

  2. Click Finish to apply your changes.

9.3.3. Default System

To change the system that is booted by default, proceed as follows:

Procedure 9.3. Setting the Default System

  1. Open the Section Management tab.

  2. Select the desired system from the list.

  3. Click Set as Default.

  4. Click Finish to activate these changes.

9.3.4. Boot Loader Time-Out

The boot loader does not boot the default system immediately. During the time-out, you can select the system to boot or write some kernel parameters. To set the boot loader time-out, proceed as follows:

Procedure 9.4. Changing the Boot Loader Time-Out

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Options.

  3. Check Show Boot Menu.

  4. In Boot Menu, change the value of Boot Menu Time-Out by typing in a new value, clicking the appropriate arrow key with your mouse, or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Click Finish to save the changes.

Set for the boot menu should be displayed permanently without timing out by disabling Continue Booting after a Time-Out.

9.3.5. Security Settings

Using this YaST module, you can also set a password to protect booting. This gives you an additional level of security.

Procedure 9.5. Setting a Boot Loader Password

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Options.

  3. In Password Protection, check Protect Boot Loader with Password and set your password.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Click Finish to save the changes.

9.3.6. Disk Order

If your computer has more than one hard disk, you can specify the boot sequence of the disks to match the BIOS setup of the machine (see Section 9.2.2, “The File device.map”). To do so, proceed as follows:

Procedure 9.6. Setting the Disk Order

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Installation Details.

  3. If more than one disk is listed, select a disk and click Up or Down to reorder the displayed disks.

  4. Click OK to save the changes.

  5. Click Finish to save the changes.

Using this module, you can also replace the master boot record with generic code, which boots the active partition. Click Replace MBR with Gerneric Code in Disk System Area Update. Enable Activate Boot Loader Partition to activate the partition that contains the boot loader. Click Finish to save the changes.