LILO Warning: Video adapter does not support VESA BIOS extensions needed for display of 256 colors

I was struggling with that warning when running LILO and the bitmap menu.
I could not find the reason why and choose to fallback to the classic text menu, here is how

I couldn’t remember how long I got the message from LILO warning me about my video card not supporting the correct VESA BIOS extension, but it was annoying.

# lilo -v
LILO version 24.2 (released 22-November-2015)

<--- SNIP --->

Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Using BITMAP secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data
Mapping bitmap file /boot/slack.bmp
Warning: Video adapter does not support VESA BIOS extensions needed for
  display of 256 colors.  Boot loader will fall back to TEXT only operation.

<--- SNIP --->

One warning was issued.
#

Falling back to TEXT only  will show  you at each boot the LILO boot: prompt.

LILO prompt

If you wait or press [ENTER] it will boot the default kernel, [TAB] will show the different entries available in lilo’s config.

I wanted something more “user friendly” and if I can’t have my beloved Slackware logo, so be it : I’ll go back to the classic LILO menu. Which looks like a redish ncurses menu <3.

Here is my lilo config –  nothing fancy – I just needed to comment the bitmap option to enable the Standard LILO menu.

# LILO configuration file                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
# generated by 'liloconfig'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
#                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
# Start LILO global section                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
# Append any additional kernel parameters:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
append=" "                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
boot = /dev/sda                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
#compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
lba32                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
# Default kernel to boot: usually the latest generic in-tree kernel                                                                                                                                                                                                              
default=gen-4.14.12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
# Boot BMP Image.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
# Bitmap in BMP format: 640x480x8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
#  bitmap = /boot/slack.bmp                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
# Menu colors (foreground, background, shadow, highlighted                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
# foreground, highlighted background, highlighted shadow):                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
#  bmp-colors = 255,0,255,0,255,0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
# Location of the option table: location x, location y, number of                                                                                                                                                                                                                
# columns, lines per column (max 15), "spill" (this is how many                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
# entries must be in the first column before the next begins to                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
# be used.  We don't specify it here, as there's just one column.                                                                                                                                                                                                                
#  bmp-table = 60,6,1,16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
# Timer location x, timer location y, foreground color,                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
# background color, shadow color.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
#  bmp-timer = 65,27,0,255                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
# Standard menu.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
# Or, you can comment out the bitmap menu above and                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
# use a boot message with the standard menu:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
#message = /boot/boot_message.txt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
# Wait until the timeout to boot (if commented out, boot the                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
# first entry immediately):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
prompt

<--- SNIP --->

When running lilo -v with this config, the Warning disappears.

# lilo -v
LILO version 24.2 (released 22-November-2015)

<---  SNIP --->

Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Using MENU secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data

<---  SNIP --->

Writing boot sector.
/boot/boot.0800 exists - no boot sector backup copy made.
#

You can operationally un-comment the message option which is pointing to a simple text file, the file used as a message is shown while running lilo.

# lilo -v
LILO version 24.2 (released 22-November-2015)

<---  SNIP --->

Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Using MENU secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data
Mapping message file /boot/boot_message.txt
Calling map_insert_file

<---  SNIP --->

#

This message will appear under the LILO menu, don’t make it to ‘long’ as it can make your screen scroll and you won’t see the menu entirely.

I took the default message from /boot/boot_message.txt  but I’ve removed all the lines that makes reference to each kernels/partitions.

# cat /boot/boot_message.txt

Welcome to the LILO Boot Loader!

Please enter the name of the partition you would like to boot
at the prompt below.
#

Here is the result:

LILO all time classic menu

One thought on “LILO Warning: Video adapter does not support VESA BIOS extensions needed for display of 256 colors”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *