ubiquity - grub2 install location

Asked by metaeoc on 2011-01-10

When installing Maverick, I found that I could not select the install location for grub2 ...

Previously, the very last step in ubiquity is to install grub, and there is an advanced button there which allows for choosing where to install grub to...

I was installing ubuntu to a second physical hard-drive (sdb) , the first drive (sda) had windows Vista and the windows bootloader on the mbr, I would have liked to keep the windows bootloader on (sda) however by default ubiquity installs grub2 to the MBR of (sda), I would have liked to put the grub2 bootloader on the (sdb) MBR. Ubiquity did not give me that option as before...

So, not necessarily a bug, perhaps a blueprint for future Ubiquity options for Natty and +++ ....

As I find things, I put them into launchpad, I request input as how to move forward with this, and to pass things upstream to other developers so that they may see this and contact me for further information, ideas...
??? Thanks

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The alternate ISO has the option of choosing the install location of grub. The desktop does not.

You could log a bug.

Grub will boot both OSes so keeping the Windows bootloader isn't really needed in most cases

Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #2

actionparsnip: That isn't true, though. It's just that the boot loader destination is now only offered if you choose manual partitioning, which I think is reasonable enough.

See screenshot 5 from:


Oooh I stand corrected. I'm glad that got implemented :)

delance (olivier-delance) said : #4

In your configuration, the right solution is quite different.
You have to switch disks, making Windows one second.
Then you install Ubuntu in now first disk, and so Grub's MBR on sda.
At installation Ubiquity detect Windows bootloader, and add an entry in Grub's menu.
And Windows disk is untouched.

With my experience in answering Grub question, preventing people to select too easily location of MBR prevents them to choose wrong solution. You need to be more expert to choose a MBR location, than to partition a disk. It needs to be done now on very seldom occasions.

metaeoc (metaeoc) said : #5

This answers my question..
It gives the option to use the sdb in automatic mode, so I used that, had I done manual partitioning, which I normally do, it would have not been an issue...
Though, if the sdb drive ever fails, that would cause both Windows and Linux to fail to boot, and vice versa, because the Grub2 configs are located on sdb... If I had done it with the manual partitioning method I could have put Grub2 on sdb, leaving sda alone, and had a backdoor through the BIOS by selecting which drive to boot from automatically...

Guess I'll leave it the way it is, and run Windows Recovery Environment should that sdb fail..

Thanks for your answers!

metaeoc (metaeoc) said : #6

So, I am opening this one up to discussion,

We talk about desktop adoption, what can we do to smooth the path of desktop adoption?
Here's one, consider the many different partitioning schemes that people go through to set-up a machine...

Many are trying Ubuntu for the first time, and many have never partitioned a disk before, let alone installed an operating system other than Windows or Darwin...

How do we make it easier?
How hard would it be to have an Artificial Intelligence do the partitioning, it would look at what disks are connected to the computer and offer several options to the user, providing recommended and alternate possibilities?

If there are 2 disks, or even 3, ubiquity should be able to ask some questions of the user and create a partitioning scheme that takes advantage of those drives, keeping the windows boot-loader, and any other OS's that might be on the machine...

I also believe that having a persistant /home is space allows for it, and the option of a FAT share between windows and linux....

How hard would this be?

I like the idea of making ubuntu easier to use... Let's start with the install, I have no doubt that it would help Adoption...

I am not a developer, but I can see the UI and userspace being developed to make ubuntu better, and if someone will take this horse by the reins, there may be a corral full of ideas that can be developed into ubuntu that would make it that much better...

I welcome any input, feel free to contact me via any method on my wikipage.

Create a suggestion on:


or log a bug.

The installer is fine and installs in a default way with delight from many users.

delance (olivier-delance) said : #8

Perhaps the solution will be to use external hard disk as a Live USB key.
This solution is never proposed in magazine, but from the OS point of view, a USB key and an external hard drive is the same thing!

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