[Updated] Ubuntu : How to Edit Your Boot Loader Without Committing Suicide!

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For novice users, dealing with Linux system files means complete suicide! Specially when it comes to the boot-loader. Imagine that you have Windows and Linux.. You want to set Windows as your default OS in the boot loader… You somehow found the folder with the GRUB configuration files and started editing it. After your done, you proudly re-started your system and was greeted by a boot-loader error! Boom! Now you can’t access any OS in your system!

I think this is the normal scenario when it come to editing the boot-loader. But, actually, you don’t have to go into that much trouble to edit your boot loader. In Ubuntu, now you can use a small software called the Grub Customizer¬†to do the job. So, want to try it out? Lets see how to use it…

How to Use the Grub Customizer

  • To install this app, open the terminal and enter the following three commands :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
  • Next go to the Dash and launch “Grub Customizer”

Grub Customizer Grub Customizer

  • If you need to change the order of boot entries, simply go to the “General Settings” tab as seen in the above image. In there you can set the time out, the order and you can also add any extra parameters. If you are an advanced user, check the advanced settings. Never touch that button if you are new!

  • The “Appearance Settings” will let you change the background of the boot loader, add an image to it, change fonts, the colors and customize the look and feel of grub.

Appearance Settings Appearance Settings

  • After you are done simply hit “Save” at the top. All the other settings are for advanced users only! Be careful!

Now that’s how you tweak the Grub without committing any suicide! But if you try to edit the advanced settings without knowing, you can also use this tool to crash your system. So, be careful.

Note : This post was originally written on 2010. In the original post, we talked about a tool called the startup manager which came with the official Ubuntu repositories. But the developers of this app haven’t updated the package since 2012 and the latest Ubuntu doesn’t have Startup Manager on its repositories. So, I updated this post on November 15 2012 with a new tool! Special thanks go for our friend¬†Alvin Brinson for pointing out the issue. Thanks for your comment Alvin!