Comparison of Boot Loaders - Features

Features

Name License It can reside in Boot from Can boot
MBR only MBR / VBR Floppy Hard disk Second Hard disk Logical partitions CD-ROM Floppy USB Zip LAN MS-DOS Windows 9x/Me Windows NT series Windows Vista/7 Linux ReactOS MenuetOS *BSD Mac OS X
Acronis OS Selector Proprietary ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? Yes
AiR-Boot GPL Yes No ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ?
Akernelloader GPL Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Barebox GPL v2 Yes No ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Boot Camp Proprietary ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? Yes ? ? ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? Yes
BootIt Next Generation Proprietary ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ?
BootKey Proprietary No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ?
bootman MIT Yes No No Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? No Yes Yes Boots NTLDR Boots Windows Boot Manager Boots GRUB or LILO ? ? ? ?
BootX (Apple) Proprietary ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes
BootX (Linux) Proprietary ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Darwin Boot Loader ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes Yes
Das U-Boot GPL ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? Yes (FreeBSD) ?
GAG GPL Yes (SafeBoot) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Calls NTLDR Calls Windows Boot Manager Calls GRUB or LILO Calls bootloader Calls bootloader Calls bootloader No
GRUB Legacy GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes NTLDR Chain-loading supported Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes Calls FreeLoader Yes Yes Yes
GNU GRUB GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes NTLDR Chain-loading supported Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes Calls FreeLoader Yes Yes Yes
GRUB4DOS GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Calls NTLDR Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes ? ? ? ?
Gujin GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ?
Gummiboot LGPL 2.1 UEFI only UEFI only ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
LILO BSD license Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? Yes Calls NTLDR ? Yes ? ? Calls biosboot (FreeBSD, PC-BSD, ...) ?
loadlin GPL No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No ? ?
MasterBooter Proprietary Yes ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? Yes ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? Yes ?
NTLDR Proprietary No Yes Yes Yes ? No No Yes Yes ? ? Yes Yes Yes No Calls GRUB4DOS ? ? ? Calls Darwin bootloader
OSL2000 Boot Manager Proprietary Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Calls GRUB or LILO ? ? ? ?
PLoP Bootmanager Proprietary Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Calls GRUB or LILO ? ? ? ?
RedBoot mod GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes NTLDR Chain-loading supported Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes Calls FreeLoader Yes Yes Yes
Smart Boot Manager GPL Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? Yes ? ? Yes ?
SPFdisk Open source Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? Yes ? ? ? Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
SYSLINUX GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Calls NTLDR Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes ? Yes ? ?
XOSL GPL No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? No ? No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ?
Windows Boot Manager Proprietary ? Yes ? Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ? Yes ? ? Yes Calls NTLDR Yes Calls GRUB or LILO ? ? ? ?
FreeLoader (ReactOS Boot Loader) GPL No Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Partial Calls Windows Boot Manager Yes Yes ? ? ?
Name Software license It can reside in Boot from Can boot
MBR only MBR / VBR Floppy Hard disk Second hard disk Logical partitions CD-ROM Floppy USB Zip LAN MS-DOS Windows 9x/Me Windows NT series Windows Vista Linux ReactOS MenuetOS *BSD Mac OS X



Name Advanced command Scriptable Supported architecture Supported filesystem Supported OS Supported executable Supported protocol Supported decompression Others
GRUB Legacy Yes No i386(pc) FAT16, FAT32, MINIX fs, Linux ext2fs, ReiserFS, JFS, XFS, VSTa fs FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, GNU/Linux ELF TFTP gzip
GRUB 2 Yes Yes i386(PC, coreboot, OLPC, Mac), PowerPC(Mac, Pegasos II), Sun UltraSPARC(SPARC v9) ext2, ext3, ext4, btrfs, zfs, ufs, minix, iso9660, udf, jfs, hfs, hfs+, afs, affs, sfs, xfs, reiserfs, tar, cpio, ntfs, FAT16, FAT32 Linux(PC, mac), FreeBSD(pc), OpenBSD(pc), NetBSD(pc) ? ? ?
LILO No No i386(PC) agnostic ? ? ? bzip2, gzip
LOLO (Logic PD) Yes Yes ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, Cortex-A8, StrongARM, SH, ColdFire FAT16, FAT32, YAFFS1, YAFFS2 Linux, WinCE ELF, binary, BIN (WinCE), SREC TFTP Supported devices: MCF54xx, MCF5329, MCF5373, LLH7A400, LLH7A404, LLH79520, LLH79524, LSH7727, LSH7750, LSH7760, PXA270, PXA320, IMX31, IMX27, OMAP35xx, OMAP37xx
SYSLINUX No No i386(pc) ext2, ext3, ext4, btrfs, FAT16, FAT32, iso9660, udf, ntfs(since 4.06), ? GNU/Linux None TFTP gzip, bzip2, lzo, zip, lzma, ?
Akernelloader No No x86 (PC) FAT32,ext2,ext3 GNU/Linux ELF,Binary ? ?
Yaboot No No PowerPC(Open Firmware) ext2, ext3, ? GNU/Linux, ? ? ? ?
RedBoot yes yes (boot only) ARM, ColdFire, H8300, x86, Freescale/Motorola 68000, MIPS, PPC, SH, SPARC, SPARCLite JFFS2 Linux, eCos ELF TFTP, serial (X-modem) gzip
Das U-Boot Yes Yes PPC, ARM, AVR32, Blackfin, ColdFire, IXP, Leon2, m68k, MicroBlaze, MIPS, NIOS, NIOS2, PXA, x86, StrongARM, SH2, SH3, SH4, ... FAT, VFAT, ext2, ext3, ext4, jffs2, cramfs, reiserfs, yaffs2, ubifs, nfs 4_4bsd, Artos, Dell, Esix, FreeBSD, Irix, Linux, LynxOS, NCR, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pSOS, QNX, RTEMS, SCO, Solaris, SVR4, U-Boot, VXworks ELF, U-Boot image format TFTP, NFS, serial (S-Record, Y-Modem, Kermit binary protocol) bzip2, gzip, lzma
Barebox Yes Yes ARM, Blackfin, NIOS2, MIPS, x86, PPC FAT, VFAT, cramfs, nfs Linux ? TFTP, NFS, serial (S-Record, Y-Modem) bzip2, gzip, lzma
kboot ? ? i386, PowerPC64 most supported by Linux Kernel (ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs, jfs, etc..) Linux ? HTTP, FTP, TFTP ? SSH, NFS support. kexec-based bootloader.
Runnix ? ? ? ? Linux ? ? ? kexec and SYSLINUX based bootloader.
kexec-loader No No i386 most supported by Linux Kernel (ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs, jfs, etc..) Linux/multiboot ? No networking gzip (for kernel modules) Kernel/multiboot module support
NTLDR No No i386(PC) ? Windows ? ? ? default bootloader on Windows NT
FREELDR No No i386(PC), ARM, PowerPC ext2, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, ISO, NTFS ReactOS, Linux, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 ? ? ? clone of NTLDR
boot0 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? FreeBSD's master boot record
extipl ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? IBM IPL upper compatible
Multiple Boot Manager ? ? ? ? PC DOS, MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BeOS, B-right/V, Solaris, OpenStep, Plan 9, EOTA ? ? ?
bootload (Technologic Systems) ? ? ARM ? Linux ? ? ? Proprietary
Name Advanced command Scriptable Supported architecture Supported filesystem Supported OS Supported executable Supported protocol Supported decompression Others

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