How does your computer start up its operating system when you press the power button? The bootloader performs this magic!
Most daily gadgets or devices come preloaded with programs that enable them to function. Similarly, a bootloader is a code that runs before the operating system. However, owing to its status as a backbencher, most people overlooked it. And few people are aware of it.
Thus, this article will cover everything about bootloaders, from what it is to how many types of bootloader systems there are. So, let’s begin!
What Is A Bootloader?
A bootloader is a coding program, an important part of a board support package that usually resides in ROM memory. It can be used to load another program. Here, load means copying a program from one to another (usually flash memory) and writing (so-called loading) it to the RAM. Once the loading to RAM is completed, the control can be transferred to the program loaded in the RAM. Again, this helps the OS to operate.
How Does It Work?
When you turn on your phone, the processor inside your phone will execute the bootloader from the ROM memory. Hence, the bootloader runs and loads the OS image (the actual application image) from the flash memory to RAM and transfers the control to it. Then the OS image runs, and then it starts all the processes for the phone (For example: starting the GUI and running some background apps).
10 Best Bootloader Systems Available in the World
When we talk about the bootloader, there is not one but many bootloaders available in the market. But few are the best! Thus we have selected the top 10 best bootloaders that can run on your system.
LILO (Linux Loader)
LILO bootloader is a simple yet extremely useful bootloader. If you are looking for a bootloader that is simple to use and fast in process, LILO is one for you.
LILO is an open-source bootloader that allows users to obtain and modify the sources. Moreover, LILO is independent of the filesystem and thus supports any standard filesystem. Although it is not as flexible or popular as GRUB, it can undoubtedly save the legacy of older machines from vanishing.
GNU GRUB is the most extensively used Linux boot manager, with standard distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora. It is based on Legacy GRUB and has been used as the primary bootloader by various vendors since its introduction.
Along with many other current features, it includes pre-built support for non-x86 systems, dynamic modules, memory management, and an object-oriented framework.
BURG is the modern version of the bootloader GRUB, and it has some impressive bootloader features to date. It is a simple, portable, and effective Linux boot manager that can be a great addition to the arsenal of any dedicated system programmer.
With some extra capabilities intended to address current issues, BURG delivers many of the characteristics for which GRUB has become renowned. In addition, the most popular operating systems are supported without charge, including Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS, and Windows.
Syslinux is a potent and popular collection of Linux bootloaders that enables booting via networks, CD/DVD drives, and other devices. Due to its frequent usage, it is a favorite tool among programmers from previous generations.
This well-developed Linux boot manager is highly stable and is delivered as free software following the GNU GPL. The application supports standard MS-DOS and Linux file systems, including ext2, ext3, and FAT. Numerous Syslinux functions also support Btrfs on a single device without compression.
The boot is a simple but extremely useful bootloader that provides all the resources needed to boot into different systems. In addition, it is the only Linux bootloader that supports x86 PCs with BIOS and UEFI right out of the box.
One of the top Linux bootloaders for PowerPC-based computers is Yaboot. It is designed primarily to run Linux on older PowerPC systems and has several beneficial features like partition bootstrapping, limitless configuration options, dependable documentation, and more.
For modern embedded devices,vReadBoot is another excellent bootloader. Many leading companies use this extensively and fuel the entertainment systems of Airbus A380 and Boeing 767 aircraft. RedBoot offers many features and is built on the eCos (Embedded Configurable Operating System) layer.
As the system-boot component, Gummiboot is a strong open-source boot manager integrated into the system. As a simple replacement for GNU GRUB, it was first created by Red Hat workers Kay Sievers and Harald Hoyer.
However, this boot manager is always getting updated with new capabilities, and usage has steadily increased over the past few years.
Smart BootManager is a simple yet powerful boot manager developed to be entirely OS-dependent. As a result, the bootloaders perform well when it comes to booting computers efficiently.
It is an adaptable boot manager with an attractive collection of contemporary features. One of its key advantages is the Linux bootloader ability to search for and identify drivers and partitions automatically.
A trivial yet powerful Linux bootloader program called xOSL was created as an alternative to the traditional Linux boot manager. This boost system stands for Extended Operating System Loader (SSL), which provides several useful features like automated booting, password security, a full windowing system with mouse and keyboard support, and so on.
A bootloader is a very important part of an operating system. It serves as a mediator between hardware and the operating system. It loads the memory, which is essential for the process to work. Once all the tasks are completed, the bootloader returns the system and responds to the kernel.
If you are looking for the best bootloader for your OS, your journey ends here at iFour. They have deep experience in providing BSP service that ensures the successful performance of the operating system, all the peripherals, and the board support package in embedded systems.