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jazzyeagle 07-14-2010 01:31 PM

Question On Grub
Hi, there!!

I have two questions here related to grub.

1) I'm chompin' at the bit to upgrade to OpenSuse 11.3 (20 hours left, according to the website...). Obviously, I'm going to back up, so no need to hear 50 replies tellin' me to do so. What I do want to know, however, is if you experts foresee me having any issues with grub. Since it's on the Linux side, I'm anticipating that the original grub will be wiped out completely, and a new version will be installed with OpenSuse. Is that correct? What kind of issues do you anticipate me seeing with such a replacement?

2) I currently have Kubuntu Karmic Koala, 32-bit. (I have a 64 bit machine, but it was the only thing I had lying around when I had issues installing a more recent version of Linux a friend of mine downloaded for me and didn't check the checksums... If only I would have done that myself before I attempted to install it... You live and learn!!) I also have Windows 7 I like to have as the default OS (for my wife). Whenever I perform an upgrade, it upgrades the kernel and adds two additional lines to the grub menu, which pushes the Windows 7 line down two more lines. As far as I could see, there was only an option where you could tell grub which line # to load as default, so everytime two more lines are added, my default automatically becomes the Memory Tester and not either OS. How can I get it to either a) have only the most recent kernel as bootable and remove the older kernel options so that the same number of lines is always in the list, or b) put Windows 7 at the top of the list so its location in the list stops moving?

Any advise ya'll could supply, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!!

saikee 07-14-2010 01:48 PM

(1) No update would alter the boot loader as far as I have experienced. You can have Grub1 and Grub2 co-exist in the same distro as I found out with Ubuntu but it kept the Grub1 after installing Grub2.

(2) The Grub1's menu.lst and the Grub2's grub.cfg are just text files you can edit as root. Thus the order the booting choices on display is entirely up your editing.

Grub1 and Grub2 disregard a line if a # is found at the front. So if you don't want a booting choice to be displayed just put a # in every line of that booting choice.

The "default" command in both Grub1 and Grub2 highlights the number of the booting choice to be booted after a certain time when no action with the keyboard. That number is selectable by the user. The booting choice highlighted by the "default" statement will be booted after the time expired in the "timeout" statement. This is standard in every boot loader to prevent a user behaving like an old woman never able to make up the mind with which system to boot.

jazzyeagle 07-14-2010 08:31 PM

Thanks for that info! So then if I install the new OpenSuse tomorrow, does that use Grub? Will it overwrite the Grub that is currently on my machine, or are there going to be issues I need to be concerned with about that? If there does happen to be two, how does the system boot? Do you have two menus you have to go through (one for each OS loader)?

syg00 07-14-2010 09:02 PM

What do you mean by "upgrade" ?. Are you going to be adding OpenSuse (3 operating system in total), or replacing Karmic ?.

The 11.3 RC1 uses classic grub (grub1), so I guess the general release will.

jazzyeagle 07-14-2010 09:32 PM

I'm talking about replacing. Sorry. I should have been more specific.

syg00 07-14-2010 09:52 PM

1) do a clean install replacing Karmic - install grub to the MBR (the default), and it should find Win7 and add it to the boot menu.
2) The issue with new kernels being added shouldn't arise as that was a Ubuntu packaging change a while back. As saikee said, you can set the default, or move the entry in menu.lst.


saikee 07-15-2010 03:15 AM

The best way to multi boot with many Linux or the same Linux several times is to let each installer to put the boot loader in its root partition so that every one can be booted by the same 3 lines of commands

With Grub1 the lines needed are

title My Linux in sda7 known to Grub1 as (hd0,6)
root (hd0,6)
chainloader +1

With Grub2 the lines needed are

menuentry  'My Linux in sda7 known to Grub2 as (hd0,7)' {
set root=(hd0,7)
chainloader +1

With Lilo the lines needed are


The above instructions are added to the booting configuraion menu of the boot loader controlling the MBR. If the controlling boot loader is Grub1 or Grub2 or Lilo then the corresponding booting configuration files will be /boot/grub/menu.lst, /boot/grub/grub.cfg and /etc/lilo.conf respectively.

If a user install, say 10 OPes, he/she can select anyone to take over the MBR and boot the rest of the systems with the above lines.

Booting is child play in Linux!

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