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PlopKexec - Boot Manager

Table of Contents

5.How to compile
6.Config files

1. Introduction

PlopKexec is a Linux Kernel based boot manager for auto detecting and chain loading Linux distributions on USB and CD/DVD drives. You can start PlopKexec from CD, USB or any Linux loader/boot manager. To start PlopKexec from floppy use the 0.3 version because of the size. You can boot Linux from USB even if there is no Bios USB support.

PlopKexec is based on a Linux Kernel and can load only other Linux kernels! PlopKexec is not a fork of kexec-loader.

The Linux distribution detection works only with distributions that are using Syslinux, LILO, GRUB, GRUB2. The distributions can be on FAT, EXT2/3/4 formatted USB drives and on CD/DVD's. You can easily boot the detected Linux distribution from a menu.

Latest version: 1.8.1

Compiled with the Linux Kernel 6.0.5.
At least 50 MB RAM required.

USB support: USB 1.1, 2.0, 3.0
PC-Card (PCMCIA) and PCI Express is supported
Can be used with EFI

2. Screenshots

The screenshots are showing distros from DVD. It works also with distros on USB.

Main Screen, after inserting a Debian install DVD


Boot Entry Edit Mode

Debug View


3. Download

Support the free and Open Source PlopKexec with a donation.

Donate   or Bitcoin

Version 1.8.1   14/Feb/2024

plopkexec-1.8.1-bin.tar.gz 88 MB, all precompiled versions, 32/64 bit, EFI, ISO, floppy image of v0.3.

plopkexec-1.8.1.tar.gz 290 MB, source code, Linux kernel, kernel config, kexec, precompiled program, Live CD ISO, floppy image.

Old versions

plopkexec-1.8.tar.gz, 03/Nov/2022
plopkexec-1.6.tar.gz, 14/Sep/2019
plopkexec-1.5.tar.gz, 18/Jun/2019
plopkexec-1.4.1.tar.gz, 14/Aug/2016
plopkexec-1.3.tar.gz, 08/Feb/2016
plopkexec-1.2.tar.gz, 19/Jan/2016
plopkexec-1.1.tar.gz, 03/Dec/2015
plopkexec-1.0.tar.gz, 17/Jan/2015
plopkexec-0.3.tar.gz, 23/Dec/2011
plopkexec-0.2.tar.gz, 14/Dec/2011

4. Hotkeys


E ... Edit entry before booting.

L ... Log information.

P ... Power off.

R ... Restart.

S ... Shell (Busybox).

Key Left/Right ... Change view Menu/Log/Dmesg.


Q ... Back to the menu.

Tabulator ... Change view Log/Dmesg.

Key Left/Right ... Change view Menu/Log/Dmesg.

5. How to compile

Download plopkexec-1.8.1.tar.gz

The tar.gz file has some device nodes included (in kernel/initramfs/dev). You should do the whole stuff as 'root' to avoid permission problems.

Extract plopkexec-1.8.1.tar.gz

Run the script 'build.sh' to compile the 32 bit version or 'build64.sh' for the 64 bit version.

When the built was successful then find the files 'plopkexec' and 'plopkexec.iso' in the 'build/' directory.

You can use the created file 'plopkexec' in GRUB, LILO, Syslinux and so on. Add it to the menu like any other Linux kernel.

6. Config files

PlopKexec is searching for

  • Syslinux config files syslinux.cfg, isolinux.cfg and extlinux.conf in the Syslinux standard directories.

  • The LILO config file /etc/lilo.conf

  • The GRUB legacy config file /boot/grub.conf

  • The GRUB2 config files in /boot/grub.d/ and /etc/grub.d/

  • The file plopkexec.cfg will be searched. It supports the Syslinux commands listed below. The plopkexec.cfg config file has the highest priority. All previous settings like 'TIMEOUT' and 'DEFAULT' can be overridden.

    The location of plopkexec.cfg can be

Syslinux commands

List of supported config file commands:


© 2024 by Elmar Hanlhofer
This page was last modified on 14/Feb/2024.