Ubuntu Graphical Boot

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.

Picture of Sora Theme for BURG

The sora theme for 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)
  • Burg-emu

Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic Package Manager - Burg packages

(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)

Advanced Customization:

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

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