Grub Vs Lilo

A system requires different programs for accomplishing different tasks. The boot loader is the first program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system’s kernel.

Grub and Lilo are two boot loaders that are used in Linux/ Unix operating systems. Grub is predominantly used for Unix like operating systems while the Lilo is still in use on some Linux systems. So let’s see the difference between them.

GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader)

GNU Grub is derived from the Grand Unified Bootloader which was originally developed by Erich Stefan Boleyn and it is most widely used for Unix-like operating systems. It allows a user to multi-boot operating systems installed on a computer. You can customize grub by modifying its configuration file.

  • Grub allows booting from the network
  • It is used for Linux and Unix operating systems
  • Grub has an interactive command interface
  • It includes a GUI menu choice
  • Grub is the new default boot loader for various Linux and Unix systems
  • Grub allow MD5 encrypted password
  • Changes made to grub.conf file appears on the next boot

LILO (Linux Loader)

Lilo is also a boot loader used on the Linux operating system. Further development of Lilo was discontinued in December 2015 but it is still used on some Linux systems. Lilo was for BIOS-based systems. ELILO, another variant of Lilo was developed for EFI based systems by Hewlett Packard.

  • Lilo doesn’t support network booting however ELILO supports network booting using TFTP/DHCP
  • Used only for Linux operating system
  • It doesn’t have an interactive command-line interface
  • Lilo doesn’t have a GUI menu choice
  • It was the old default bootloader for various Linux distributions
  • Lilo allow a text passwords anyone can read it from the Lilo configuration file
  • You need to reinstall MBR if you make any changes to the lilo configuration file because It doesn’t read the changes on the next boot.


Both the boot loaders can boot the operating system, as the development of Lilo was discontinued so probably you may not see any system using it in the future. Grub is a new and defaults bootloader for various Unix-like operating systems that have many features and also it overcomes some limitations of Lilo.

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