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How to Configure the Linux Grub2 Boot Menu the Easy Way

We, like many Linux geeks, have had some trouble making the transition to Grub2, or for some of us, learning how to configure it from scratch. Fortunately, a new graphical tool has made this process easy and straightforward!

Photo by e_monk.

Installing Grub Customizer

The tool in question is called Grub Customizer, created by Daniel Richter. He’s provided a PPA to make installing the tool quick and easy.

Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T or Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type in the following commands.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

Grub Customizer will now show up in the Applications > System Tools menu.

sshot-1

Or you can open it from the command line.

gksudo grub-customizer

Hide Boot Menu Options

Over time, your boot menu can get cluttered with old versions of the Linux kernel. In a previous article, we showed you how to remove these manually; Grub Customizer makes this process much easier.

When Grub Customizer starts up, you’ll see a list of all the items that show up in the boot menu.

Grub Customizer_002

To hide entries that you don’t want to see anymore, simply uncheck the checkbox next to them.

Grub Customizer_004

Click the Save button at the top-left to make your changes permanent.

sshot-3

You can uncheck entire sections if you don’t want Grub2 to probe for new operating systems, or give you the option to test your computer’s memory.

Note that, unlike the manual method, this process does not actually remove the kernels from your computer, it just hides them from the boot menu.

Customize Grub Behavior

Grub Customizer can do much more than hide boot menu entries! Opening up the Preferences window lets you customize almost every aspect of Grub.

For example, you can set the default boot menu entry to a certain position, or a specific item.

sshot-2

If you’re bored by the default white-text-on-black-background look of Grub2, you can add a background image and customize text colors.

Grub Customizer - settings_006

And, for Grub2 experts, you can set advanced settings much more easily than by editing the configuration files manually.

Grub Customizer - settings_007

Grub Customizer is a great addition to any Linux installation that uses Grub2!

Thanks to How-To Geek commenter Hugues for recommending this program!

See this Ubuntu Forums post for more detailed information on Grub Customizer.

Trevor is our resident Linux geek, but always keeps his eyes open for neat Windows tricks too.

  • Published 02/14/11

Comments (12)

  1. pasd

    FYI, the easy way looks crazy difficult :D

  2. asdf

    FYI, it does not! :P
    This is a piece of cake if you’re a bit familiar with Linux.
    The difference between the easy and hard way to do this is about the same difference as going into your program files folder to change a file manually and have a program that just says “change this file that is located in your program files folder” and then you click the button change. ;-)

  3. kclair

    I wish I would have known about this while I was trying to change this the hard way

  4. George

    Sent myself a reminder to try it out on the home PC.

  5. Neel

    There is also “StartUp-Manager” which can configures some settings for grub, usplash and splash screens. It provides an easy to use interface BUT does not provide too many features like the Grub Customizer
    Easy to install directly from Ubuntu Software Center ;)

    thx

  6. John D Carmack

    This looks cool. Doing it manually, I always seem to miss something.

  7. Scott

    I like Burg-Manager. It has a variety of splash screens, cleans up old kernels, lets you set the default timeout, etc. I also liked Grub. I’m not a big fan of grub 2 out of the box.

  8. k5cr3am

    Nice article. I personally prefer to customise my grub2 manually. It gives you more understanding about the system and how it works but if you are new and/or just use linux like you would windows then it is a very useful frontend app.

  9. criss

    i dont have any hard thinks for using your softwere i need your help

  10. Dick

    Yeah…. Now I find this little jewel……. After being up all night teaching my third grade self how to re-write my grub2 the old-school way. Lol

  11. Eric

    sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found

    Before you ask, I do have the latest version of python-software-properties.

  12. FrankK

    “Burg” should be/become default boot menu.
    It’s all Grub2, but… with a fresh look

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