Guide for Setting Background Image, etc.

Asked by archp2008 on 2013-04-20

I have been reading various problems that users have described in adding a background image using Grub Customizer. Can you point me to a simple guide for setting up a background image and custom font colors in the appearance section of Grub Customizer 3.0.2. I am using Ubuntu 12.10 and also, on another computer, Mint 14. In particular I am concerned about possible do's and don'ts that I should observe to be sure that I do not destroy my Grub 2 boot menu as it now exists so as to completely prevent booting. On a past occasion I tried to change the resolution in the appearance page to 1024 by 768 and after that I could not get my multi boot menu back at all. On that occasion after trying for a week with help from Ubuntu Forums, I reached my frustration limit and ended up deleting all linux partitions, repairing all Windows loaders and now I have reinstalled one Linux distro on each of my two computers. You will understand that I am afraid to touch that appearance page although it would be great if I could make it work. My monitor is set to 1920 by 1080 now so I presume I need to choose that same resolution in the appearance page and download a jpg image that is also 1920 by 1080. Is it a problem that I have already installed Gnome desktop enhancements as well as AWN? Thanks for any help that you may offer.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Grub Customizer Edit question
Assignee:
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Solved by:
archp2008
Solved:
2013-04-24
Last query:
2013-04-24
Last reply:
2013-04-23

I've never seen a problem when choosing the wrong resolution… Grub 2 should fall back to the default setting in this case. The only thing which may cause problems is choosing a very large font font. I'm considering showing up a warning after the user chose a very large font size in future versions.

So… as you said there has been problem it may be the best idea you're making sure you can revert everything and then trying again:

First make sure you're having a live cd, ideally the same architecture as your main system (32 bit / 64 bit). After booting the live cd you can also use grub customizer (just install it as usual. Then you should be asked about your root partition when running grub customizer and can do everything as you can do when running grub customizer directly inside your installed os).

Alternatively to installing grub customizer on live cd there's still the way of creating a backup before. The relevant files/directories are:

/boot/grub
/etc/grub.d
/etc/default/grub

About your last question: No the desktop environment shouldn't be relevant here.

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #2

Thank you very much for the reply. I did have a problem with a font change around the same time, I inadvertently chose a font that was not readable. I think the font that I clicked on may have been for symbols for a foreign language. You mention about installing Grub Customizer from the live disk. Does this mean that i need to also remove it from the hard drive or can I read it off the hard drive from the live cd? The only thing I haven't got to work satisfactoriy is the background image and font colours. Gparted shows the /boot partition as sdc on the 320gb hard drive, so I guess this is all I need to know. I do not understand what is involved in making a backup and how to use the relevant files and directories that you have listed. I need to try a smaller font now to see what fonts are usable for grub2 running vbeinfo. I can't see the full output with the font I am using now.

The live disk thing is a way to change settings when your grub doesn't work anymore. After booting it behaves mostly like an installed system. In this situation, grub customizer can be installed on the temporary live system. Your hard disk in not involved here. After installing (when you're starting grub customizer) you'll see a dialog which allows choosing the partition of your installed operating system. There you have to choose your root partition (and submountpoints like /boot if involved).
This way generally doesn't require an action before you're having problems. However it may be a good idea to check it before if you think you'll destroy your config. Oh and no, it doesn't conflict to the installed version.

The other way is a backup. You can copy the files I listed before to another place. If there are problems, you can use the live cd to copy these files to the its origins. After rebooting, grub should look like before.

> I need to try a smaller font now to see what fonts are usable for grub2 running vbeinfo

hmm, that's intersting. How do you do that? I'm already using vbeinfo to get available resolutions but I didn't know that it's also involved in font setup.

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #4

Thanks again. I read about using vbeinfo at command prompt to find out the resolutions that grub2 should support on my monitor. Although I use 1920 by 1080 on this monitor, the highest that vbeinfo indicated was 1400x1050x24. Is this a factor of which video card driver I have installed on Ubuntu? I used Grub Customizer 3.0.2 on the hard drive. Will I use the same terminal commands from the live cd that I used from the hard drive?.

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

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #5

There is no grub folder inside my etc/default (only one folder kdm.d and a dozen or so files.

> Although I use 1920 by 1080 on this monitor, the highest that vbeinfo indicated was 1400x1050x24

Not all resolutions are available on the boot menu. However sometimes non vbe modes seem to work anyway. I'd just try it.

> Is this a factor of which video card driver I have installed on Ubuntu?

No. Grub doesn't contain special video card drivers so the video card driver on your installed system is not relevant.

> Will I use the same terminal commands from the live cd that I used from the hard drive?

Yes

> There is no grub folder inside my etc/default (only one folder kdm.d and a dozen or so files.

/etc/default/grub is not a folder - it's a single file.

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #7

Thanks for this. I have the files backed up to a thumb drive. On another issue, I notice that when I boot into the live cd and look into various folders that the pictures that I have insserted in the Pictures and Downloads folders do not appear. I booted into Ubuntu on the hard drive and copied the image I want to use 1920 by 1080 to the boot/grub folder. I am thinking that this picture will not be viewable in the same folder as displayed from the live cd. Does this mean I have to copy it to the boot/grub folder on the live cd as well? I also notice that Nautilus will not open from the live cd when I run gksudo nautilus.

> I notice that when I boot into the live cd and look into various folders that the pictures that I have insserted in the Pictures and Downloads folders do not appear

Was it the same download folder as on your installed system? There's a separate home directory when booting from live cd. You have to mount your partition first (this can be done by clicking the device icon inside of nautilus) and then navigating to /home/yourname below the mountpoint.

Copying the image to /boot/grub is not required and also sometimes a problem because grub-mkconfig uses the first image it find on this directory instead of using your configuration. The grub scripts are detecting problems like encryted partitions automatically and copying the image to a better place.

Doesn't the image show up inside of the boot menu?

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #9

When I go gksudo nautilus from live cd terminal I get "Nautilus could not create the required folder /root/.config/
Please create the following folder or set permissions such that Nautilus can create it. " I don't know how to do this.

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #10

I went ahead and tried this while loaded into the Ubuntu on the harddrive. I found that a 1920 x 1080 image failed to load, but a 1400 x 1050 image loaded beautifully. The problem now; however, is that I can no longer use the arrow keys to move up and down the items on the boot menu. The items to not become highlighted. I had this problem before. I would have to count the number of down arrow presses to the OS I want to load. Do you have any idea why this would happen?

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #11

When I chose a black background image and white or yellow text with transparent background to the text, I can see the text highlighted in yellow or white when I move up and down. The problem of not being able to see the text highlighted occurs when choosing a medium dark text on a medium dark image. I don't think I need futher support on this topic. The vbeinfo range of acceptable resolutions needs to be recongized. Thanks so much f0r your patience.

archp2008 (archwparsons) said : #12

There was no particular answer that solved the problem. I simply had to try and see. I hope someone else will read this and realize that the process merely involbes a little trial and error. I did not figure out how to do this from the live cd, but as it turns out, I didn't really need to do it that way.