1. What is PALO?

PALO is a set of two programs, a boot loader, which is loaded by the PA-RISC firmware into memory and then executed, and a boot media management tool, which prepares and updates bootable media such as hard disk drives.

The PALO boot loader executable is stored in a file called iplboot. 'IPL' is HP jargon for Initial Program Loader (See the glossary). The boot media management tool is called PALO, which stands for PA/Linux LOader, just as on x86 the boot media management tool is called LILO.

Even though PALO is much alike LILO (both have a userland application and a boot loader executable), it's worth mentioning that PALO doesn't usually need to be called every time you build and install a new kernel, as LILO does[2].


PALO is strongly related to PA/Linux development. Thus, several versions have been released. Some changes in the way make palo operates are explained by the author of PALO, Paul Bame, in this mail.

[2] For the knowledge addict: PALO can actually access and read ext2/ext3 filesystem, and therefore follow symlinks, whereas LILO bootloader will only know the physical disk address to access the kernel. See this for further details.