I am making a netinstall DVD which will have netinstall for 10 different Linux distros on it. I will need to install a bootloader on the disk so I can choose which distro I want to install.

Which is the easiest to set up and put on a disc - LILO or GRUB? Or are there even easier ones? I don't need any advanced settings, etc - I just need a simple, easy to set up, bootloader.


SysLinux/IsoLinux is a passable and popular choice for booting off El Torito-compliant optical media.

But if your needs are somewhat non-standard, the most flexible solution is definitely GRUB (doesn't get more flexible than that without it being a full operating system). It's also the least easy to make an El Torito loader out of, but this may have changed in GRUB 2. It's been a while since I checked.

I haven't used LILO since the dark ages, and I'm not entirely sure it even has an El Torito bootstrap.

  • GRUB is a great flexible boot loader, but most of the flexibility goes away on a WORM media like a DVD. – Paul Tomblin Mar 15 '12 at 19:41
  • Very true, Paul. But it'll still be able to delve into various types of images, find the bootloader and chainload it. ISOLINUX is much simpler than that, but you can work around its limitations with some footwork. – Alexios Mar 16 '12 at 11:07
  • +1 for {sys,efi}linux. It manages to be incredibly light-weight with a configuration file that's simple enough to make GRUB-legacy (e.g., GRUB 0.x) blush. – HalosGhost Jul 27 '14 at 2:19

If you need simple, easy to set up bootloader, then I recommend LILO. It is less capable than GRUB2, but on home desktop PC it doesn't really matter.

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