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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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8.1.5 Other boot tricks with the boot prompt

The system can be booted into a particular runlevel and configuration using the lilo boot prompt. Details are given in the BootPrompt-HOWTO (LDP).

If you want to boot the system into runlevel 4, use the following input at the lilo boot prompt.

     boot: Linux 4

If you want to boot the system into normally functioning single-user mode and you know the root password, one of the following examples at the lilo boot prompt will work.

     boot: Linux S
     boot: Linux 1
     boot: Linux -s

If you want to boot the system with less memory than system actually has (say 48MB for a system with 64MB), use this input at the lilo boot prompt:

     boot: Linux mem=48M

Make sure not to specify more than the actual memory size here, otherwise the kernel will crash. If one has more than 64MB of memory, e.g. 128MB, unless one executes mem=128M at the boot prompt or includes a similar append line in /etc/lilo.conf, old kernels and/or a motherboard with an old BIOS will not use memory beyond 64MB.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire