LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby lukeborg » 2017-08-21 15:23

I have noticed while using LILO Bootloader that when selecting Linux to boot, it waits a little bit then says "BIOS Data Check Successful".

Can anyone explain in some detail what is happening in this BIOS data check?

And,

Why is it that when inputting "compact" in the lilo.conf it drastically decreases the amount of time the BIOS Data check takes to finish? i.e. Without "compact" it can take up to 4 minutes, with "compact" it takes only 6-10 seconds.

I would like this information for my thesis. Thanks a lot and I appreciate your input.

Example bottom line Please note that this is not my system, but rather a relevant picture to the message Lilo gives after finishing with BIOS Data Check:
Image
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby dasein » 2017-08-21 16:13

I see you've been spamming multiple forums with this inane question, and that one of the replies you received over at the Ubuntu forums was this:
Personally, I think you would have more luck contacting the developers or Debian maintainers, or at least posting in a mailing list related to LILO.

Instead of tracking down the maintainer, you decide to spam the Debian User Forums instead?

At the risk of repeating advice you've already received, you would do well to stop spamming user forums where the probability of a correct answer is very nearly zero. (Although we do have a few folks here who would be delighted to give you a technically incorrect answer, if you're willing to settle for that.)

Ideally, you would also avoid bugging the "maintainer" with this pointless question, but if you feel you simply must do so, then Google is your friend.

Speaking of Google, how many of these >100 existing answers did you bother to read in search of your answer? Or is your time too valuable to be spent with menial tasks like searching?

Personal aside: I can't help but wonder how this topic ever got past a committee. "Evaluating" software no longer maintained, much less developed? What's next, comparing Visicalc with Supercalc? AppleWriter vs. WordStar? What a deeply sad commentary on the institution.
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby Segfault » 2017-08-21 19:28

LiLo is not dead. It is a viable choice for many situations.
Re: OP question. LiLo does not read filesystems, it accesses the hard drive directly, and since it does its thing before the OS is loaded it relies on BIOS to access the drive. You need to look at source to figure out what exactly this message was meant for, but it is safe to assume it tells us the hard drive is found and accessible.
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby lukeborg » 2017-08-21 19:52

dasein wrote:I see you've been spamming multiple forums with this inane question, and that one of the replies you received over at the Ubuntu forums was this:
Personally, I think you would have more luck contacting the developers or Debian maintainers, or at least posting in a mailing list related to LILO.

Instead of tracking down the maintainer, you decide to spam the Debian User Forums instead?

At the risk of repeating advice you've already received, you would do well to stop spamming user forums where the probability of a correct answer is very nearly zero. (Although we do have a few folks here who would be delighted to give you a technically incorrect answer, if you're willing to settle for that.)

Ideally, you would also avoid bugging the "maintainer" with this pointless question, but if you feel you simply must do so, then Google is your friend.

Speaking of Google, how many of these >100 existing answers did you bother to read in search of your answer? Or is your time too valuable to be spent with menial tasks like searching?

Personal aside: I can't help but wonder how this topic ever got past a committee. "Evaluating" software no longer maintained, much less developed? What's next, comparing Visicalc with Supercalc? AppleWriter vs. WordStar? What a deeply sad commentary on the institution.


Wow I never thought that spamming actually meant sending the same message once to two completely different forums. Thanks for the lecture.

Since when is seeking knowledge on the internet by asking questions on forums that may have a chance to help became bugging? If you felt bugged you should have bugged off and not waste your time on writing such a pathetic unhelpful comment. If you really felt you should write a comment you should have said "I'm sorry I don't know how to help", it would have been way better than the nonsense you posted.

Google? Seriously?? Of course I have searched Google like every other person in the world who had to undergo a thesis and like the hyperlink that you have shared the answers are completely irrelevant to what I am asking much like your wasteful comment. I like how you insult the time I spend over a question which was posted for people that may actually know a thing or two about it, completely uncalled for.

For your information the topic does not revolve around LILO it is only a part of the testing phase regarding BIOS firmware with multiple operating systems etc... And lastly nobody cares why you are wondering how this topic got past committee, you only had one job either answer honestly or move on. Thanks for wasting both of our time.
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby lukeborg » 2017-08-21 19:56

Segfault wrote:LiLo is not dead. It is a viable choice for many situations.
Re: OP question. LiLo does not read filesystems, it accesses the hard drive directly, and since it does its thing before the OS is loaded it relies on BIOS to access the drive. You need to look at source to figure out what exactly this message was meant for, but it is safe to assume it tells us the hard drive is found and accessible.


Thanks for your comment it was most helpful in giving me a better picture on why this message is being given by the bootloader, I greatly appreciate your input.
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby reinob » 2017-08-22 10:21

lukeborg wrote:
Segfault wrote:LiLo is not dead. It is a viable choice for many situations.
Re: OP question. LiLo does not read filesystems, it accesses the hard drive directly, and since it does its thing before the OS is loaded it relies on BIOS to access the drive. You need to look at source to figure out what exactly this message was meant for, but it is safe to assume it tells us the hard drive is found and accessible.


Thanks for your comment it was most helpful in giving me a better picture on why this message is being given by the bootloader, I greatly appreciate your input.


With "man lilo" you'd find that the option "nobd" disables the "BIOS data check", which may be useful if it causes a delay.
As to what the BIOS data check does, an "authoritative" explanation can be extracted from the source (e.g. at https://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/lilo/li ... biosdata.S)

Basically, it identifies the hard disks and their partitions, floppy drives, graphics card, memory, monitor(s), etc. as visible to the BIOS, which may or may not include everything the kernel will later figure out on its own.

I don't know the reason why this check may take such a long time in your case, but you can either disable it (nobd option) or tune your VM options (if it's a VM) and/or update your BIOS (if at all possible).
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby None1975 » 2017-08-22 12:32

Segfault wrote:LiLo is not dead. It is a viable choice for many situations.

According official website of Lilo
NOTE: I have finished development of LILO at December 2015 because of some limitations (e.g. with BTFS, GPT, RAID). If someone want to develop this nice software further, please let me know ...
.
OS: Debian 8.9 / WM: xmonad
Debian Wiki | DontBreakDebian
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby pcalvert » 2017-08-26 18:16

Segfault wrote:LiLo is not dead. It is a viable choice for many situations.

Yes, people do still use it. Here's an example:

I recently created a VM to be used for web development testing. GRUB refused to install, and its error message was completely unhelpful. After multiple attempts, I became quite frustrated and decided to try LILO. As I expected it would, LILO worked.
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Re: LILO: BIOS Data Check. What does it mean?

Postby lukeborg » 2017-08-27 15:39

Thanks to everyone for their input. Much appreciated! And yes LILO is not dead, people still do use it in specific situations and I also heard that someone is considering continuing maintenance of the boot loader, so there is that too. Anyways thanks again everyone.
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