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A visual GRUB configuration editor

By Sergio Gonzalez Duran on December 26, 2007 (9:00:00 AM)

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If you've been running Linux long enough to have upgraded your system more than once, you probably have several Linux kernels lurking around your system. If you discover that a certain application no longer works for you, you can go back to a previous kernel to try to run your program. GRUB, the boot loader found in most Linux distributions, lets you choose among operating systems and kernels installed on your box. Many people, however, fear that messing with GRUB may ruin their system, because of its many esoteric options, and configuration file text that often contains no help comments. QGRUBEditor can help you view and edit the GRUB boot loader from a graphical user interface.

If you have KDE and Qt 4 installed, you should have no problem installing and running QGRUBEditor. I downloaded version 2.5.0, which I easily installed and compiled in a Mandriva Linux 2008 system with these commands:

qmake-qt4 make make install

If QGRUBEditor doesn't install correctly, you may need the libqt4-core, libqt4-dev, and libqt4-gui dependencies. Once installed, execute it by navigating to Tools -> QGRUBEditor or typing qgrubeditor in a terminal as root.

The program's main window shows the entries for your menu.lst GRUB configuration file, which is generally found under /boot/grub. You can choose a different main GRUB configuration file to work with from the text box at the bottom of the window.

The GRUB Entries tab, also at the bottom of the window, contains two panels: the top one shows the entries in menu.lst, and the bottom shows the details for each entry. Right-clicking on any entry in the top panel allows you to set that row as the default or the fallback kernel; the default entry is shown in a green background.

When you make any change you can see it in the real configuration file by going to File -> View Input, which opens a new window with two tabs. The Device Input tab shows your partitions (as in /etc/mtab), and you can see and understand how GRUB correlates partition names with its own nomenclature, as in /dev/sda1 = (hd0,0). The Menu Input tab displays the actual menu.lst file, and immediately reflects the changes that you make; you don't need to hit Save.

Double-clicking any entry in the main window shows a detailed screen with all the options you have available. Again, any change you make is saved automatically to menu.lst. The GRUB Settings tab allows you to personalize the usual GRUB options such as timeout, define the defaults, set a password, change the colors on the GRUB menu when the system boots, and set a splash image. The splash option allows you to choose an image in any of several formats, and the program converts it automatically to the .xpm.gz format needed by GRUB. It even provides a Preview button so you can see your splash image. GRUB splash images have only 16 colors, so the splash image may not appear as you'd expect, compared to the original image.

When you edit an entry, the application shows all the possible options, but it offers no help for the values of the options. That's too bad -- when I'm making changes, I'd like to know the values for the Kernel and Chainloader options. Integrating GRUB-specific help would make the program more complete.

In another interface problem, using Encrypt Password or Create GRUB Splash Image directly from the Tools menu creates some confusion, because these choices don't tell you where to apply them. They're meant to be used in the GRUB Settings tab of the main window.

Still QGRUBEditor is better than editing menu.lst by hand. It can make GRUB less intimidating for novice and casual users, and help them understand how to configure this powerful boot loader.

Sergio Gonzalez Duran is a Linux administrator, systems developer, and network security counselor who also teaches Linux courses and publishes the Spanish-oriented Linux and open source Web site linuxtotal.com.mx.

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on A visual GRUB configuration editor

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 155.207.250.248] on December 26, 2007 11:58 AM
I do not think there will be any problem installing the application. You have not mentioned that there are prebuilt packages for several popular distributions (deb, rpm etc.). Also there are several translations for wide-spoken languages.

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.74.167.85] on December 26, 2007 12:06 PM
I use it a long time and it really helped me!
QGrubeditor is the perfect app for all newbies!

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.117.110.75] on December 26, 2007 07:47 PM
Debian and Ubuntu users may give StartupManager a try.
http://web.telia.com/~u88005282/sum/index.html

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.242.126.169] on December 26, 2007 10:15 PM
Where is the Grub ? er.... boot .? ... errrr what was my boot sequence ??


I have several kernels on several partitions:

I bootup the kernel and filesystem on part 5. However,

I often forget the actual boot used is on 3.. But I have 1 set as active.


Since I have a kernel on 5, I also have a /boot on 5 -- which I do NOT use !!

So I sometimes forget what is where... i.e there's nothing

to help me determine what my real boot equence is !!

Did I put the kernel boot on part 3 and keep the MBR *original* ?

or did I put the boot on the *extended* part or the logical part.

While a gui to config a boot is really a good idea, it would be most helpul for
it to track, record and display the whole actual boot chain. And find other
potentials on other partitions in standard places. i.e. check each part to see
if a boot/chain is in any of the partitions boot sector, used or unused ..

thanks.
Walt......


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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.0.197] on December 28, 2007 09:56 AM
SuSE is happily using YAST for this one.

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.103.186.5] on December 29, 2007 06:20 AM
> configuration file text that often contains no help comments

I think GRUB is well documented; that's how I learned to use it. But perhaps it is not such a good idea to provide a nice and easy GUI for GRUB. It is one of those things with which the casual use should not mess around, and a nice and easy GUI may tempt users to mess around with it. Perhaps some things are meant to be done by configuration files. Users are less likely to mess around with them without learning about what they are doing first.

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Re: A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.72.180.44] on December 29, 2007 03:57 PM
Not all users want to spend hours reading a documentation that they will need seldom, however.

Most of them just want to adjust default and timeout. Setting both of these is piece of cake with QGRUBEditor and that's why it's needed.

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.0.5] on December 30, 2007 10:05 AM
I am human

hahhahhhhhahaha

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.37.140.172] on December 30, 2007 11:25 PM
I am getting an error after installing - qgrubeditor: symbol lookup error: qgrubeditor: undefined symbol: _ZN11QGridLayout20setHorizontalSpacingEi

Any suggestions?

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Re: A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 79.131.47.54] on December 31, 2007 06:20 PM
Did you install properly all the dependencies?

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Re: A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.12.104.226] on January 21, 2008 08:33 PM
I have this problem on OpenSuse 10.2,
i check version qt libraries and
i think this is solution
---- from http://www.qt-apps.org/content/show.php/qOrganizer?content=61219 --------

... because the binary was compiled using

qt 4.3.0, and you have a previous version,

upgrade or download the source and compile it with the commands:

qmake-qt4
make...

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Re: A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.12.104.226] on January 21, 2008 08:43 PM
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------- A visual GRUB configuration editor
------- Posted by: Anonymous on December 30, 2007 11:25 PM
------- I am getting an error after installing - qgrubeditor: symbol lookup error: qgrubeditor: undefined symbol: _ZN11QGridLayout20setHorizontalSpacingEi Any suggestions?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have this problem on OpenSuse 10.2, i check version qt libraries and i think this is solution ---- from http://www.qt-apps.org/content/show.php/qOrganizer?content=61219 -------- ... because the binary was compiled using qt 4.3.0, and you have a previous version, upgrade or download the source and compile it with the commands: qmake-qt4 make..

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A GTK2+ based Grub editor?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.93.21.28] on January 02, 2008 07:40 AM
It will be nice if someone write a grub editor which is programmed on GTK2+ as it is default to many of us!

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Re: A GTK2+ based Grub editor?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.202.233.207] on January 04, 2008 02:33 PM
GTK2+ sucks...

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Re(1): A GTK2+ based Grub editor?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.72.129.159] on January 04, 2008 05:03 PM
What does GTK+2 suck?

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Re: A GTK2+ based Grub editor?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.72.129.159] on January 04, 2008 05:05 PM
As another comment said. Try Startup-Manager. Probably included in your favourite Gnome based distro.

http://web.telia.com/~u88005282/sum/screenshots.html

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A visual GRUB configuration editor

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.226.196.34] on March 09, 2008 10:15 PM
Well, when i install my next system i will see this aritcle in my bookmarks!
I have trouble with <a href="http://wiki.mobbing-gegner.de/Linux/BootManager/Grub">grub</a > all the time :(

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