I love Ubuntu, but there are times when you just need to use Windows.  The GRUB boot manager that’s installed with Ubuntu is more than happy to leave it the default OS. We can easily change this with some help.

Update: This article was about StartUpManager, which is now discontinued. You may want to check out Grub Customizer instead.

I hate walking away during after restarting my computer only to come back and find that I’m in the wrong OS. Linux is, among many things, about choice, so It’s funny how Ubuntu doesn’t really give you a choice of which OS you’d want as the default. GRUB is pretty robust and also really daunting to configure for beginners. Luckily for us, there’s a great GUI-based tool in Ubuntu’s repositories: StartUp-Manager.

Fire up a terminal, and enter the following command to install StartUp-Manager.

sudo apt-get install startupmanager

Enter your password, hit ‘Y’ at the prompt, and let it install.

Once that’s finished, go to System > Administration > StartUp-Manager

You’ll see a very beginner-friendly screen pop up.

change default

Much better, isn’t it? You’ll see a handful of pertinent options.

  • Timeout: This is the countdown (in seconds) that GRUB waits before automatically booting the default operating system.
  • Default operating system: Pretty self-explanatory; just click the menu and choose your preference.
  • Display: Here you can choose the resolution and color depth for GRUB.

You can also choose to show the splash screen and current text while booting.

Now when you’ve walked away after a restart, you won’t come back to the wrong OS.

As a dual-booter, do you have any other pet peeves about Ubuntu or Windows? Share you thoughts in the comments!