XOSL Boot Loader: An Alternate for GRUB

Written by BinnyVA on January 15, 2009 – 10:49 pm -

If you have a dual boot system, most of you will be using GRUB as the boot loader – since its the default boot loader. A smaller number will be using LILO – an older software. I use neither – I choose XOSL – or eXtended Operating System Loader as my primary boot loader.

Just to be clear – I do use GRUB – as a secondary boot loader. XOSL is not capable of loading Linux kernel – all it can do is call a loader that is capable of doing that – and GRUB is capable of doing it. So you have to install two software instead of just one – but XOSL is worth it.


  • Real GUI Interface
    • Mouse Interaction
    • Shortcuts
    • High resolution – more than 1024×768 supported
  • Timed default OS Loading
  • Easily Configurable
  • Flashy GUI Effects – I hate it – but I am sure the Compiz fans will love it
  • Built in Partition Manager

All this without loading an OS!

The advantage of installing this is you get a boot loader that looks better and is more easier to use than GRUB. All the configuration can be done in the bootloader itself – you don’t need to edit the files. Also you can assign shortcuts to each OS you have – so you can press, say, ‘w’ and boot into windows – rather than stopping the loader, selecting an OS from the menu and then loading it.

Another advantage is that XOSL is easier to install compared to GRUB. If you have to reinstall windows, that will remove GRUB. You might be able to install GRUB after that – but if you have gone through the process, you know its not an easy one. The process of installing XOSL is much easier. You would need a ‘Live’ DOS CD/DVD(Like FreeDOS). Just boot into it and run the installer in DOS mode.


  • Installation requires a FAT32 partition(NTFS and Linux file systems not supported)
  • Development has stopped

That means your ‘C:’ drive should be FAT32 – not NTFS. Or, you need a separate dedicated FAT32 partition(with 1 or 2 MB space) for XOSL to work.


Here is how XOSL looks like…

More Screenshots…


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Applications, Opinion, Reviews | 16 Comments »