Menu Selection and Editing
There has been a lot of
confusion about how to edit your GRUB menus. I will explain
how to do this in this page.
Here is what a typical GRUB menu will look like when booting your PC.
| Ubuntu, kernel
| Ubuntu, kernel
2.6.20-16-generic (recovery mode)
Windows XP Professional
the ↑ and ↓ keys to select which entry is highlighted.
enter to boot the selected OS, 'e' to edit the
before booting, or 'c' for a command line.
The highlighted entry will be booted automatically in 10 seconds.
This is an example of how I have a PC loaded.
There is typically a list of installed kernels with their corresponding
recovery modes, a memtest86+, a separator, and another OS boot loader
is you have another OS installed.
The controlling code for this menu is located in the /boot/grub folder. In the /boot/grub folder there is an editable text file called the menu.lst file.
lines in the above example for a typical GRUB menu start at zero,
always remember that. That being said the default in the example
is line 0.
If one would like to make the default
Microsoft Windows XP Professional then you would set the default to 4.
To do that you will need to edit the text file as root. To
do so type the following in a terminal:
Make a backup of your menu.lst file first.
sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.backup
Then edit the text file as root.
gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
will bring up the gedit text editor. Substitute gedit for your
preferred text editor. You will need to locate the following
It is normally the first uncommented about 15 lines down. You would then change it to the following:
the file and the next time you boot the computer the Microsoft Windows
XP professional line will be highlighted and you can simply press enter
ot wait and XP will be loaded automatically.
NOT edit the text file and try to put the Microsoft Windows XP as the
first line. This will work, but the next time the Update Manager
or you install a different kernel the top line will be erased in favor
of the new kernel. If this has happened use this to get GRUB to
be able to add the proper menu entry back in. Insert the text at
the VERY END of the menu.lst file. The following text assumes that XP is on the first partition of your primary hard disc.
title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
you look at the last line of the GRUB menu you will notice that there
is a timer that is nothing is done then the default selection will be
booted automatically. The default is 10 seconds but that can be
easily changed. To change this parameter simply edit the menu.lst text file and search for the following uncommented line:
If you want to change the time to say five seconds enter the following:
the file and the next time the PC boots up five seconds will be the
timeout. If you are truly impatient then set the timeout to zero
and the menu will be bypassed all together.
All in all the GRUB
menu is not difficult to tailor to your specific tastes. There is
a lot more that GRUB can do, so I recommend reading the comments in the
menu.lst text file before any editing takes place.
I hope this small tutorial has helped you.