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Decrease LILO kernel load time

September 2, 2014
[howto] [gnu/linux] [slackware] [lilo] [boot]

Opened my LILO configuration file (/etc/lilo.conf) recently to take a look at video mode options and noticed this line:

#compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.

Not much information, /etc/lilo.conf_example contains more verbose description of the option:

# Enable map compaction.  This tries to merge read requests for
# adjacent sectors into a single read request. This drastically
# reduces load time and keeps the map smaller.  Using 'compact'
# is especially recommended when booting from a floppy disk.
# It is disabled here by default because it doesn't always work.

I guess it works on most (if not all) modern systems.

Enabling this removed LILO’s ...... screen on load of my PC, which was more like a splash before. Doing the same on a laptop turned progressing ... into much smaller time delay.

The conclusion is that it makes sense to (or at least shouldn’t harm):

  1. Uncomment/add compact to /etc/lilo.conf somewhere at the top, near bootoption.

  2. Reinstall LILO by typing lilo. Don’t forget to do this before you reboot your machine or you end up wondering why nothing changed, just like me…