Those who have Ubuntu Linux alongside another Operating System on their computer would recognize the boot selector known as GRUB (grand unified boot-loader). GRUB is simple, plain text and boring.
If you’re looking to spruce up this boot-time experience, you can now replace GRUB with a flashy boot-loader named BURG.
While BURG has been around for a while now, it is easier than ever to install. Follow the steps below to install:
(note: BURG can be used with any OS, however this article pertains to installation through Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala)
Step 1: Open Synaptic Package Manger:
System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager
Step 2: In Synaptic, add repository:
Go to: Settings -> Repositories | Other Software (tab)|, and click Add.
Next: Copy and paste the following URL to add the Karmic Repository: http://ppa.launchpad.net/bean123ch/burg/ubuntu karmic main
(Note: Do a google search for other version repositories if you are running a newer or later version of Ubuntu)
Step 3: Refresh listing and search:
Close the settings window and refresh the package listing. Now you can search the term “burg” in the box at the top of the package manager.
Mark the following packages for installation:
- Burg-pc (installs dependent package burg-common)
- Burg-themes (installs dependent package burg-themes-common)
(Note: These three packages are basically the bootloader, some graphical themes, and an emulator that allows viewing changes without a reboot)
Step 4: Apply Changes:
Click on the Apply button in the Package Manager and the new packages will install. You will be prompted twice to select something/input information. The important one is which disk to install BURG onto. Usually this will be the first disk in the list.
(Note: The installer suggests putting this onto every disk if you are unsure)
The other input required is information about kernel. Hit next without changing the boxes.
Step 5: Test/view BURG:
At this point, you should already be able to reboot and see BURG in action. When the screen shows up, you can hit T to select another theme. Burg’s default setting is to remember the last theme you selected by this process.
(Note: If you are still seeing the old GRUB boot-loader, it is likely that you have put BURG onto the wrong disk)
If you want to have a more graphical boot (doing away with the text/list all together), you may find there are too many choices (older Ubuntu Kernel versions, Windows recovery partitions, etc).
I like to use the theme called Sora_clean. This theme has no text, which basically means I want to have a single icon for Ubuntu, and a Single Icon for Windows XP. Follow the steps below to achieve a similar result.
Step 1: Edit burg’s config file.
BURG, like the latest versions of GRUB will compile a settings file from a script. Among other things, the script will search for Operating systems on your PC.
The main settings file can be found at /etc/default/burg.cfg
You will need to edit this file as root. I like to load nautilus as root: gksudo nautilus, and from here I can edit any file I like with root permissions.
In the settings file, uncomment (remove the # from…) the line GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_RECOVERY=”true”
This will remove the recovery console option from the menu.
(Note: the other option you might want to change here is the display resolution)
After changing this file, open the console and type:
Step 2: Remove older Ubuntu kernel versions.
If you want to clear out the older versions of Ubuntu, go back to (or re-launch) nautilus as root, and do the following.
Navigate to /boot,
Switch to list view, and sort by date modified. This should show all the various files related to each new kernel release grouped together.
On my system, the current latest version is 22.214.171.124. Yours will most likely be different
I created a new folder called oldversions, and moved to it, all older versions of the following files (ones not including the number 126.96.36.199)
(Note: you could also just delete them)
After removing these, open the console and type:
Step 3: Manually edit /boot/burg/burg.cfg if needed
If you don’t have any other items you wish to leave out of the boot menu, you don’t need to do this step.
In my case, I had a recovery partition that came up as “Windows NT”
In nautilus (as root) navigate to /boot/burg/ and change burg.cfg to “read/write” instead of “read-only”
(Note: every time you remake this file using update-burg or burg-mkconfig it will reset to read-only again)
Open the file for editing, scroll down to near the bottom, and you will find the item you wish to remove, menu items look like this:
Delete the item and it will be gone. Remember that every time you run burg-mkconfig or update-burg, you will have to repeat this step.
(Note: To avoid having to do this every time the config files is re-made, you would need to customize the script /etc/burg.d/30_os-prober, to recognize and skip a particular entry. This is beyond my current abilities and beyond the scope of this tutorial).
And there finally you should have a sleek new boot-loader. A fair amount of work involved if you want the best results, but very easy if you simply wish to have an eye-pleasing list of options when you boot up your computer.