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Grub2 Worms Into Ubuntu (part 1)
Why Switch, GRUB2 Structure
February 11, 2010
Part I: Configuration Overview
What is Grub2?
Grub -- the GRand Unified Bootloader -- is the program in charge of booting your computer. When you start up your computer and get a menu asking you whether you want Windows or Linux -- that's grub.
Most of the time it just does its job quietly. But a change is coming: Ubuntu has switched to a new version called grub2 starting with the current 9.10 "Karmic koala" release, and other distros may eventually follow suit.
Why the Switch?
Reading the grub2 project's website, it's hard not to conclude that grub2 exists mainly because everybody was tired of hacking on the old grub1 code, and decided it would be more fun to write a new toy from scratch.
But to give people a reason to switch, they did add some new features:
This seems to have won the Ubuntu folks over. Most other distros are more cautious, and have not yet seen a reason to switch. So for now, grub2 is really only an issue for Ubuntu users.
Getting Grub2 ... or Avoiding It
If you install Ubuntu 9.10 from a CD, the installer will replace your current "legacy" grub with grub2.
However, it won't duplicate what was in your existing grub configuration. So if you've customized your boot menu, you'll have some work to do. Fortunately, grub2 won't remove the old files, so you'll still have the information you need to restore that menu.
If you're not quite ready to deal with that, fear not: the switch isn't mandatory yet. You have two options:
But let's assume you did install grub2. How do you configure it?