SUSE Linux Administration Guide

Peter Kitson

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Sample Chapter From SUSE Linux Administration Guide
     Copyright © Frank Bodammer, Stefan Dirsch, et al.

1.2. Starting SUSE LINUX

Following the installation, decide how to boot Linux for daily operations. The following overview introduces various alternatives for booting Linux. The most suitable method depends on the intended purpose.

Boot Disk

You can boot Linux from a boot disk. This approach will always work and is easy. The boot disk can be created with YaST. See the User Guide manual, YaST — Configuration: Creating a Boot, Rescue, or Module Disk.

The boot disk is a useful interim solution if you have difficulties configuring the other possibilities or if you want to postpone the decision regarding the final boot mechanism. A boot disk may also be a suitable solution in connection with OS/2 or Windows NT.

Linux Boot Loader

The most versatile and technically elegant solution for booting your system is the use of a Linux boot manager like GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) or LILO (LInux LOader), which both allow selection from different operating systems prior to booting. The boot loader can either be configured during installation or later with the help of YaST.

There are BIOS variants that check the structure of the boot sector (MBR) and erroneously display a virus warning after the installation of GRUB or LILO. This problem can be easily solved by entering the BIOS and looking for corresponding adjustable settings. For example, you should switch off virus protection. You can switch this option back on again later. It is unnecessary, however, if Linux is the only operating system you use.

A detailed discussion of various boot methods, especially of GRUB and LILO, can be found in Section 7. Booting and Boot Managers.

1.2.1. The Graphical SUSE Screen

Starting with SUSE LINUX 7.2, the graphical SUSE screen is displayed on the first console if the option “vga=<value>” is active as kernel parameter. If you install using YaST, this option is automatically activated in accordance with the selected resolution and the graphics card. Disabling the SUSE Screen

Basically there are three ways to achieve this:

  • Disabling the SUSE screen whenever necessary. Enter the command echo 0 >/proc/splash on the command line to disable the graphical screen. To activate it again, enter echo 0x0f01 >/proc/splash.

  • Disabling the SUSE screen by default. Add the kernel parameter splash=0 to your boot loader configuration. 7. Booting and Boot Managers provides more information about this. However, if you prefer the text mode which was the default in previous versions, set vga=normal.

  • Completely disabling the SUSE screen. Compile a new kernel and disable the option Use splash screen instead of boot logo in the menu framebuffer support.