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9.11.2. x86, AMD64, and Intel 64 Boot Loader Installation

To boot the system without boot media, you usually need to install a boot loader. A boot loader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel software. The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operating system.
GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader), which is installed by default, is a very powerful boot loader. GRUB can load a variety of free operating systems, as well as proprietary operating systems with chain-loading (the mechanism for loading unsupported operating systems, such as Windows, by loading another boot loader). Note that Fedora 19 uses GRUB 2. GRUB Legacy is no longer actively developed.[2]
If there are no other operating systems on your computer, or you are completely removing any other operating systems the installation program will install GRUB as your boot loader without any intervention.
You may have a boot loader installed on your system already. An operating system may install its own preferred boot loader, or you may have installed a third-party boot loader. If your boot loader does not recognize Linux partitions, you may not be able to boot Fedora. Use GRUB as your boot loader to boot Linux and most other operating systems. Follow the directions in this chapter to install GRUB.

Installing GRUB

If you install GRUB, it may overwrite your existing boot loader.
The installation program installs GRUB in the master boot record, or MBR, of the device for the root file system.
If you have other operating systems already installed, Fedora attempts to automatically detect and configure GRUB to boot them. You may manually configure any additional operating systems if GRUB does not detect them.
Summary of selected disks
View a summary of selected disks, and specify one as the boot device
Figure 9.27. Summary of selected disks

To specify which device the bootloader should be installed on, select Full disk summary and options at the bottom of the Installation Destination screen. The Selected Disks dialog will appear. If you are partitioning the drive manually (refer to Section 9.14, “Creating a Custom Partition Layout”), this dialog can be reached by clicking Storage device/s selected on the Manual Partitioning screen.
In the boot column, a green tick will mark one of the devices as the intended boot device. To change the boot device, select a device from the list and click Set as Boot Device to install the boot loader there instead.
To decline installation of a new boot loader, select the ticked device and click Do not install bootloader. This will remove the tick and ensure GRUB is not installed on any device.

Warning

If you choose not to install GRUB for any reason, you will not be able to boot the system directly, and you must use another boot method (such as a commercial boot loader application). Use this option only if you are sure you have another way of booting the system!

Note

While partitioning your hard drive, keep in mind that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first 1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, leave enough room for the /boot Linux partition on the first 1024 cylinders of your hard drive to boot Linux. The other Linux partitions can be after cylinder 1024.
In parted, 1024 cylinders equals 528MB. For more information, refer to:
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/sizeMB504-c.html

9.11.2.1. Alternative Boot Loaders

GRUB is the default bootloader for Fedora, but is not the only choice. A variety of open-source and proprietary alternatives to GRUB are available to load Fedora, including LILO, SYSLINUX, and Acronis Disk Director Suite.

Important

The Fedora Project does not support third-party boot loaders.