Request: GUI Utility to Configure Grub2 Menu

Asked by Leo H on 2012-07-02

Package Request for the Ubuntu Repos:

Please add to the Ubuntu repos a GUI utility which enables one to configure elementary Grub2 menu settings, such as, eg, menu items shown, order of shown menu items, default operating system / kernel, menu time-out period, splash screen choice, etc.

One suitable application might be Grub Customizer (

Question information

English Edit question
Needs information
Grub Customizer Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:

Suggestions go on

What do you want to achieve in Grub, maybe we can advise...

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) said : #2

@ #1

Using multi-boot systems, the Grub menu as it appears by installation default can be less than optimal.

Rearranging the order of the menu items, selecting a different OS / kernel as default, reducing the standard 10 sec delay, and so on, can make system start-up more intuitive and efficient - reducing erroneous selections necessitating a system restart - and quicker.

For many routine users (ie, non-Linux-hacks), using shell commands is a bridge too far.

Is it just for general use or d you have an issue?

You can change many of when you describe in /etc/default/grub and you can make Windows the default boot in a dual boot system in a single command too. Modifying config files isn't hard and they are very well documented with how to guides all over the web

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #4

No need for brainstorm there is already an open bug since 2011 regarding the request. (linked above)
Afaik, the bottom line targets at simplicity for average 200 million Joe's, if an admin likes to adjust system behaviour it's expected that he can handle text files so there is no GUI necessary.

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) said : #5

@ #3, #4

Most users who will install (x)ubuntu will do so on a laptop or PC bought pre-installed with MS Windows. Reluctant simply to wipe this familiar OS in exchange for something new and untried, they will end up with a multi-boot system with a Grub2 bootloader when they install (x)ubuntu.

After kernel updates, the default Grub start-up choice screen becomes more and more cluttered with options, which, to most normal laptop and PC users - who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Linux and bootloaders - will simply be unintelligible and confusing, and commonly irrelevant.

To them, etc/default/grub is Sanskrit, terminal screens a cryptic reminder of the troublesome DOS era, and guides on the web of little use as they don't know what to look for since most people haven't got a clue what a bootloader is and does.

A simple GUI application which enables basic configuration of the Grub2 start-up choice screen, such as the removal of unused menu items, ordering of the remaining menu items, default OS/kernel selection, time-out length setting, and so on, can take away much of the frustration.

If all you want to do is remove old kernel then ubuntu tweak can do that. There are also countless guides and scripts online.

You can also change the number of kernels Grub will show so although the kernels are installed, only 2 or 3 can be shown, in fact I believe in newer Grubs there is an option for 'older kernels' which handles the historical kernels neatly.

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) said : #7

@ #6

Please see paragraph 3 in #5.

Why don't you want to make (x)ubuntu simple, fast and a real pleasure to use also for those overwhelmingly many laptop and PC users who only use their machines for text processing, web browsing, skyping and e-mail? Like it or not, for the vast majority, the IT skills just don't reach any further.

If all they are using there system for is " text processing, web browsing, skyping and e-mail", what makes you think they are going to start messing with the boot loader?

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) said : #9

@ #8

Please see paragraphs 1 and 2 in #5.

Why wouldn't you make it easy to get a clean, simple, and fast system start-up on multi-boot systems which does not intimidate or confuse users who are not IT wizards? Doesn't cost you any money, while it serves countless many others who can't build systems but who simply use laptops and PCs through a desktop GUI. Or should the non-nerds rather be chased away and deterred from using (x)ubuntu?

You don't need to be an IT wizard at all. Grub is a simple creature. People just think that if you aren't using a pretty GUI then it's "hard" when in fact just the slightest effort would show it's not.

Again, if a user is only word processing etc, why would they be messing with grub?

Henry3 (henry3-g) said : #11

Grub is not extremly simple to configure. You need to find out which files to edit, to understand what you can change and what possible parameters there are.
A tool like Grub customizer can show the user all the options in one place, hopefully including some explanation of what's possible.

Why not add a tool to the official repos that can make it easier to customize Grub? The old "Startup manager" was (still is?) in the repos, so why not the newer tool, if it's good and stable enough?
You don't have to use it, but I was looking for such a tool and had to install Grub customizer from the author's page because it wasn't "official".

This is linked to 2 bugs, the need is obviously there so pontificating here is simply repeating details.

Robin Spinks (b61oj-robin) said : #13

I agree with Henry & Leo;

Most windows users are frightened of the command line and anything that seems remotely administrative.

We want Linux to grow, so we have to convert windows users

The only way to not scare these users (our bread & butter clientele) is to make everything extremely easy and graphic

I know you have capitulated now, but your earlier comments show that you do not understand these windows users that the rest of us are trying to convert to linux - they just dont seem to care about things like stability, memory usage, bugs and security issues...

This is a critical issue because once we have persuaded someone to try linux, the first thing they get is a boot manager which wont let them user their beloved windows and is impossible to change

Like it or not; this is how they see it

Frédéric LECONTE (graeilu) said : #14


I'm a linux user for a long time and wish to see grub-customizer or another tool to be integrated in debian also ubuntu.
A lot of people asks me to set up their bootloader but I'm always confused.
I don't like to spend my time configuring a bootloader.
Easy tools don't exist and need to be accessible to every people who want to install linux on their computer.
I know we all can do with command line but tell it to beginners.
Sharing is what I prefer and we can't do it with leaving linux only in guru's hand.

My post is here just to put a +1 to this request.

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Leo H for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.