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Choose-OS / What is it?

Choose-OS, or briefly chos, is a modular and very configurable boot loader (boot manager) for Linux/x86 - a program that is loaded by the BIOS before any operating systems. This program then lets you choose the operating system to boot and possibly enter parameters to it. Here is a screenshot of the boot menu.

The program was originally written by Tuomo Valkonen.

As of 2000-03-14, Tuomo decided to no longer maintain it, so I put up a page here on sourceforge in hope to keep development alive.

Let me know if you want have developer status or have other suggestions.

-Don Mahurin -

Choose-OS / News

I put CHOS on sourceforge.
-Don Mahurin

Tuomo Valkonen <tuomov at>:

I decided to stop maintaining chos. This is because I have more interesting projects to waste my time on and I never boot my computer anyway.
If you are interested in taking over the project, I'd be glad to hear. Also, chos 0.84 should now be considered being under the Artistic License like 0.9 is.
Released a patch of bugfixes for chos-0.84. Go get the patch from the download section.
New ascetic page look that is consistent with the rest of my pages.
"Yes. It really happened." :-) There is a beta-version of Choose-OS v0.9 available.
Wow! I actually started planning on Choose-OS version 0.9. Maybe you'll have it this year...
Heard that the german Linux magazine, Linux Magazin had an article on chos in its 11/98 issue.
Released choose-os version 0.84. This version fixes a bug that could trash your partition table on some systems.
Wrote a version of chos.loader-bsect that is able to swap two first hard drives (simple fix to buggy hdswap feature). See the download section for more information.
Released choose-os version 0.83 that fixes a bug in 0.82

Choose-OS / FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions (and questions that have just been asked ;) about chos and their answers.

Q: Could you add support for real (vga) graphics?

A: Chos 0.9 has such support.

Q: What program can I use to create background (text) graphics for chos?

A: The background graphics can be created with an ansi paint program. There are a number of these programs available for dos and a few for Linux. You can probably find one using a search engine or some application database.

Q: Is it possible to put multiple keys in the keyboard buffer with the dosmenukey -feature?

A: In chos 0.9, yes.

Q: Could you make a version of rebooter that can be used from the command line?

A: You're probably using version 0.1. Get version 0.2 that comes with chos 0.8x, x>=2. With chos 0.9 use 'chostool'. There is no graphical rebooter for chos 0.9 yet.

Q: I get this BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error when I try to boot NT with chos.

A: See the download section for a patch.

Hmmm... what else have I been asked...?

Choose-OS / Download

Version 0.85


Quick installation instructions (.tar.gz)

  1. Download it.
  2. tar xzf chos-0.85.tar.gz
    cd chos-0.85
  3. Read the file README (less README) You may also wish to see ./docs
  4. Run ./Install as root. This will install chos on your system. If you want to compile chos by yourself, go to ./sources, joe Makefile, make and then run the installation script.
  5. Create /etc/chos.conf (unless you already use chos and have it set up). More information on this topic can be found in the Beginner's QuickStart Guide to Choose-OS found in the documentation.
  6. Run /sbin/chos -v

Version 0.9-beta

This version of chos should be considered very early beta. It may, or may not work on your system. It does, however, have some features not found in 0.84 that might make it worth trying.