Definition

boot loader (boot manager)

A boot loader, also called a boot manager, is a small program that places the operating system (OS) of a computer into memory. When a computer is powered-up or restarted, the basic input/output system (BIOS) performs some initial tests, and then transfers control to the master boot record (MBR) where the boot loader resides. Most new computers are shipped with boot loaders for some version of Microsoft Windows or the Mac OS. If a computer is to be used with Linux, a special boot loader must be installed.

For Linux, the two most common boot loaders are known as LILO (LInux LOader) and LOADLIN (LOAD LINux). An alternative boot loader, called GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader), is used with Red Hat Linux. LILO is the most popular boot loader among computer users that employ Linux as the main, or only, operating system. The primary advantage of LILO is the fact that it allows for fast boot-up. LOADLIN is preferred by some users whose computers have multiple operating systems, and who spend relatively little time in Linux. LOADLIN is sometimes used as a backup boot loader for Linux in case LILO fails. GRUB is preferred by many users of Red Hat Linux, because it is the default boot loader for that distribution.

>> Stay up to date by receiving the latest IT term daily. Simply check "Word of the Day" to register. 

This was last updated in May 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchEnterpriseLinux.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: