Graphical Lilo

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This document descries how to set up a graphical boot menu using lilo. It outlines a generic way to do it for yourself, and also provides you some defaults that look great with Parabola.

1 Prepare your image

  • Find a background image you would like to use. It should be simple because you have to set it to 16 colours.
  • Open it in the gimp.
  • Scale it to 640x480.
  • Change it to indexed mode (Image-->Mode-->indexed).
  • Select "Create optimal palette" and set it to 16 colours. Choose whatever dithering method suits you.
  • Open the "Indexed Palette" dialog. Make note of which colours you want to use for menu text entries, the clock, etc. In your lilo.conf, you refer to the colours by index.
  • Save the image as a bmp in your /boot directory.

2 Prepare your Lilo.conf

  • pacman -S lilo
  • Read man lilo.conf.
  • Read man lilo.conf again.
  • There are a few options that can be set for your graphical menu:
    • bitmap=<bitmap-file> Set this to the file that you saved above. For example:

These are the colours of the entries in the menu. They refer to the foreground, background, and shadow colours respectively, followed by the same for highlighted text. Do not use spaces. The values used are indices into the colour palette that you discovered in the previous step. If you choose, you can leave a value blank (but do not forget the comma). The default background is transparent, the default shadow is to have none.

  • bmp-table=<x>,<y>,<ncol>,<nrow>,<xsep>,<spill> This option specifies where the menu is placed. x and y are the character coordinates. You can also suffix them with a p to specify pixel coordinates. man lilo.conf for the other options.
  • bmp-timer=<x>,<y>,<fg>,<bg>,<sh> This option specifies the coordinates and colour of the timer that counts down the timeout before booting a default entry. It uses colour indices for the colours, and character (or pixel) coordinates.
  • You can use these with the parabola-lilo.bmp above:
  • Save your lilo.conf
  • Run lilo as root
  • Reboot and see how it looks

3 Acknowledgement

This wiki article is based on ArchWiki. We may have removed non-FSDG bits from it.