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Thread: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

  1. #81
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Hi!, Cavsfan,

    Pity I did not see your Yesterday's Post, before I updated/upgraded 12.04.1 to 12.04.2.

    As my grub menus were already so corrupted, and I was doing a clean format & install, I did not think it mattered. Besides, I had forgotten your similar advice in the original 'How To'.

    In fact I made a real snafu of it anyway, I had used 'tune2fs' to label the partitions, and got them the wrong way round; root & home!!

    So I formatted the old home and installed 12.04.2 on it, and the new home went on top of 12.04.1.

    It is a wonder any of it worked. The new Grub Menu had 69 entry lines, but the first 22 were OK !! Though it included two 12.04.2 entries, one for sda5 & the other for sda8. The later seemed to be perfectly normal. See my Post:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2116405

    So I have reformatted both and reinstalled; now the new 12.04.2 Grub Menu has 88 entries, all except the first two are corrupt, but all are displayed.

    Edit: I just checked the 12.04.2 fstab, and it had a extra swap entry which I deleted, & ran 'update-grub, but it made no difference.

    But at least the Grub menus in my two 12.10 partitions are use-able, and apparently visually correct, as far as I have checked and tried them.

    This despite the following command showing 43 entry lines when only the first 20 are displayed, the rest being corrupted.
    Code:
    grep -e "menuentry " -e "submenu" /boot/grub/grub.cfg | sed 's/^[ \t]*//' | cut -d "'" -f1,2 | nl --starting-line-number=0
    Do you know whether, if I delete the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file completely, a new one will be created by 'update-grub' ?, or should I delete only the corrupt text, leaving the skeleton file in place.??

    Chao!, bogan.
    Last edited by bogan; February 16th, 2013 at 10:36 PM. Reason: note re fstab added
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
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  2. #82
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    @bogan
    If you keep going will you get an infinite number of entries?

    The update grub always creates a new grub.cfg except when I had a typo in my 40_custom. Then it gave an error and wrote it with a different name something like grub.cfg.err.

    I have so many old installs on several drives that I have to turn os-prober off. Then I add my own entries into 40_custom. I also learned from Ranch Hand, but cavsfan did a good job on documenting how to boot a partition not a specific kernel.
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  3. #83
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Hi!, oldfred,

    I have run 'update-grub' 8 or 9 times since reinstalling and it has stuck at 88 lines.

    There has been a conflict for a long time, ever since 12.10 was released and Grub Customizer could not handle the Additional Options sub-menus, and Grub 2.00 does not seem to like multiple Grubs in multiple drives, especially when three are running Grub 2.00 on different drives, and another is running Grub 1.99.

    I saw a comment that Grub 2 does not check the hardware, but reads the already existing files and duplicates them. [I think from DRS305?]

    At one stage, before the 12.04.2 snafu, I could only get into my external HDD, by Booting from BIOS to the UsbStick and using the Grub Menu there to boot into the Ext HDD.

    At least that problem seems to have gone away.

    Edit: I did not turn off os_prober as Cavsfan's system would not boot to external installations, it could not find the initial boot files and complained it needed a kernal to be installed first.
    Chao!, bogan.
    Last edited by bogan; February 16th, 2013 at 10:23 PM. Reason: note added
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  4. #84
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    I also learned from Ranch Hand, but Cavsfan did a good job on documenting how to boot a partition not a specific kernel.
    Thanks! When all of this made sense to me I asked Ranch Hand if he thought it would be a good idea to make a tutorial out of the concept and he thought it would.
    So I did it. It was actually a good thing it went to wiki as it had become convoluted and the wiki is fairly clear.
    It will become much better after April when Grub 1.98 is no longer supported.

    Through experience we learned that the custom entry will boot the last installed kernel and not the latest numbered kernel.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    Hi!, oldfred,

    I have run 'update-grub' 8 or 9 times since reinstalling and it has stuck at 88 lines.

    There has been a conflict for a long time, ever since 12.10 was released and Grub Customizer could not handle the Additional Options sub-menus, and Grub 2.00 does not seem to like multiple Grubs in multiple drives, especially when three are running Grub 2.00 on different drives, and another is running Grub 1.99.

    I saw a comment that Grub 2 does not check the hardware, but reads the already existing files and duplicates them. [I think from DRS305?]

    At one stage, before the 12.04.2 snafu, I could only get into my external HDD, by Booting from BIOS to the UsbStick and using the Grub Menu there to boot into the Ext HDD.

    At least that problem seems to have gone away.

    Edit: I did not turn off os_prober as Cavsfan's system would not boot to external installations, it could not find the initial boot files and complained it needed a kernal to be installed first.
    Chao!, bogan.
    Bogan,
    Leaving the 06_custom file executable will give you all of your original (custom) entries at the top plus the ones that display from 10_linux and 30_os-prober.
    That will double (at least) the entries.
    My main concern was that upgrading from Lucid Lynx with Grub 1.98 to Precise Pangolin with Grub 1.99 was that the 06_custom file will not work with Grub 1.99.
    As you well know. You are the one that got me to fix the tutorial. I was complacent with only Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS installed on my PC and did not know that grub changed.
    Drs305 originally pointed out the difference. Since then I have had each of the latest Ubuntus installed.

    I did not restore the default grub files as my own instructions said to do either.

    What alarmed me was after everything was upgraded to Precise and it did update-grub it said there was an error on line 59.
    So, when it asked me to press Y to reboot, I knew that would end up bad. I pressed n instead and knew I had better fix it first.
    I made 06_custom unexecutable and the output of update-grub then did not return any errors.
    Then I rebooted. Everything was fine.
    That is when I realized the vast difference between 06_custom in Grub 1.98 and 1.99.
    I cheated a bit though as I had another Precise install and simply copied that over and edited it.

    So, I guess if nothing else always accept the installer's version of all of the grub files so that you benefit from the newer version but, make sure you make 06_custom unexecutable.
    Then there should be no problems upon upgrading.

    Drs305 also helped me partition my drive so that I could have this many installs and that was pretty tedious.
    I had used Windows 7, Ubuntu Lucid, my swap and the extended partition as my 4 physical partitions.
    I did not know how to move more of the space from my windows partition over to the extended partition until Drs305 helped me.

    This command is virtually worthless unless you have a 06_custom but, here is what I have:

    Code:
    cavsfan@cavsfan-desktop:~$ cat /etc/grub.d/06_custom | grep menuentry | awk '{ print $1 " " $2 " " $3 }' | nl --starting-line-number=0
         0    menuentry "Precise Pangolin
         1    menuentry "Precise Pangolin
         2    menuentry "Lucid Lynx
         3    menuentry "Lucid Lynx
         4    menuentry "Precise Pangolin2
         5    menuentry "Precise Pangolin2
         6    menuentry "Quantal Quetzal
         7    menuentry "Quantal Quetzal
         8    menuentry "Raring Ringtail
         9    menuentry "Raring Ringtail
        10    menuentry "Windows 7"
    So, my main install is Precise at the top. I'll keep Lucid until April 13th. The 2nd Precise will become what ever the next version of Ubuntu is.
    Then the order will be resequenced. What is so cool about it is that the partitions may be all out of sequence but,
    with the 06_custom file you can make them appear in any order you want.
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  5. #85
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    HI!, Cavsfan,

    Thanks for your response, I thought I should Post the actual GrubMenu grep output,as the pattern is clear. This from the Grub of my main hdd 12.10 having just altered the 'Titles' in its 06_custom file.

    The actual 12.10 Grub Boot menu displays only the first 20 lines; whereas the 12.04.2 Grub 1.99-2ubuntu displays all of them, plus a lot more and garbage besides.
    Code:
    :~$ grep -e "menuentry " -e "submenu" /boot/grub/grub.cfg | sed 's/^[ \t]*//' | cut -d "'" -f1,2 | nl --starting-line-number=0
         0    menuentry "Quantal sda10" {
         1    menuentry "Quantal sda10 (Recovery)" {
         2    menuentry "Windows 7 on sda1" {
         3    menuentry "Quantal USB sdc2" {
         4    menuentry "Quantal USB sdc2 (Recovery)" {
         5    menuentry "Quantal EXT sdb7" {
         6    menuentry "Quantal EXT sdb7 (Recovery)" {
         7    menuentry "Precise 12.04.2 sda8" {
         8    menuentry "Precise 12.04.2 sda8 (Recovery)" {
         9    menuentry 'Ubuntu
        10    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu
        11    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-24-generic
        12    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-24-generic (recovery mode)
        13    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
        14    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
        15    menuentry 'Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)
        16    menuentry 'Windows Recovery Environment (loader) (on /dev/sda4)
        17    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04)
        18    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04)
        19    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sda8)
        20    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sda8)
      
     [ from EXT HDD sdb7, note titles are previous versions]
    
       21    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        22    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        23    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 USB sdc2 (on /dev/sdb7)
        24    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 USB sdc2 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        25    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 sda10 (on /dev/sdb7)
        26    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 sda10 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        27    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 EXT sdb7 (on /dev/sdb7)
        28    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 EXT sdb7 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        29    menuentry 'Precise 11.10 sda5 (on /dev/sdb7)
        30    menuentry 'Precise 11.10 sda5 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        31    menuentry 'Ubuntu (on /dev/sdb7)
        32    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sdb7)
        33    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sdb7)
        34    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdb7)
        35    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdb7)
      
      [ from EXT USB sdc2, note it has no 06-custom file]
      
        36    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        37    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        38    menuentry 'Ubuntu (on /dev/sdc2)
        39    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sdc2)
        40    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sdc2)
        41    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdc2)
        42    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04) (on /dev/sdc2)
        43    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdc2)
    :~$
    Nearly all of the entries with spurious '(on /dev/sdxX)' suffixes are corrupt inside and lead to 'initramfs' prompt hang ups, or no kernal found errors.

    LInes 29 & 30 are ancient relics of an overlong night session.

    I do not know if this clears things up a bit, or makes it even more obscure.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  6. #86
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    If you are only seeing 20 lines is that video mode for grub.

    And then do you have that little tiny arrow aat the lower right side of the box? That says you have more entries & can scroll down?
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  7. #87
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Hi!, oldfred,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    My Grub is set to 1920x1080 and the grub box fills it except for an inch or so all round.

    The20 lines - actually 21, as displayed - fills about a quarter of the box and there is no 'Little Arrow' visible.

    I am not complaining - far from it - the rest of the 48 are effectively garbage.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  8. #88
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    HI!, Cavsfan,

    Thanks for your response, I thought I should Post the actual GrubMenu grep output,as the pattern is clear. This from the Grub of my main hdd 12.10 having just altered the 'Titles' in its 06_custom file.

    The actual 12.10 Grub Boot menu displays only the first 20 lines; whereas the 12.04.2 Grub 1.99-2ubuntu displays all of them, plus a lot more and garbage besides.
    Code:
    :~$ grep -e "menuentry " -e "submenu" /boot/grub/grub.cfg | sed 's/^[ \t]*//' | cut -d "'" -f1,2 | nl --starting-line-number=0
         0    menuentry "Quantal sda10" {
         1    menuentry "Quantal sda10 (Recovery)" {
         2    menuentry "Windows 7 on sda1" {
         3    menuentry "Quantal USB sdc2" {
         4    menuentry "Quantal USB sdc2 (Recovery)" {
         5    menuentry "Quantal EXT sdb7" {
         6    menuentry "Quantal EXT sdb7 (Recovery)" {
         7    menuentry "Precise 12.04.2 sda8" {
         8    menuentry "Precise 12.04.2 sda8 (Recovery)" {
         9    menuentry 'Ubuntu
        10    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu
        11    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-24-generic
        12    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-24-generic (recovery mode)
        13    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
        14    menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
        15    menuentry 'Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)
        16    menuentry 'Windows Recovery Environment (loader) (on /dev/sda4)
        17    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04)
        18    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04)
        19    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sda8)
        20    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sda8)
      
     [ from EXT HDD sdb7, note titles are previous versions]
    
       21    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        22    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        23    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 USB sdc2 (on /dev/sdb7)
        24    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 USB sdc2 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        25    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 sda10 (on /dev/sdb7)
        26    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 sda10 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        27    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 EXT sdb7 (on /dev/sdb7)
        28    menuentry 'Quantal 12.10 EXT sdb7 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        29    menuentry 'Precise 11.10 sda5 (on /dev/sdb7)
        30    menuentry 'Precise 11.10 sda5 (Recovery) (on /dev/sdb7)
        31    menuentry 'Ubuntu (on /dev/sdb7)
        32    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sdb7)
        33    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sdb7)
        34    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdb7)
        35    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdb7)
      
      [ from EXT USB sdc2, note it has no 06-custom file]
      
        36    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        37    submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10)
        38    menuentry 'Ubuntu (on /dev/sdc2)
        39    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (on /dev/sdc2)
        40    menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.5.0-23-generic (recovery mode) (on /dev/sdc2)
        41    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdc2)
        42    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS (12.04) (on /dev/sdc2)
        43    menuentry 'Ubuntu 12.10 (12.10) (on /dev/sdc2)
    :~$
    Nearly all of the entries with spurious '(on /dev/sdxX)' suffixes are corrupt inside and lead to 'initramfs' prompt hang ups, or no kernal found errors.

    LInes 29 & 30 are ancient relics of an overlong night session.

    I do not know if this clears things up a bit, or makes it even more obscure.

    Chao!, bogan.
    Bogan,
    I have found along with Drs305's help that when you re-install a Ubuntu it leaves /etc/fstab with more than one entry.
    It will have where the ext4 was initially installed and where it is currently installed.
    It also repeats swap files as well if you have more than one.

    An admin here told me I just need one swap file and every time I install it will pick that swap file up.
    So, I no longer have trouble with multiple swap files in fstab.

    That would explain why it says everything is on sdb7 and sdc2.
    Not quite sure which fstab but, it is probably the install you are reporting these entries from.

    So, I would start checking /etc/fstab files.
    A simple way to check is with cat:

    Code:
    cavsfan@cavsfan-desktop:~$ cat /etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
    # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
    # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
    # / was on /dev/sda2 during installation
    UUID=a162dc8a-e4df-4b79-b4c3-524761ff7ae1 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
    # swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
    UUID=2a80f59e-e7c3-418e-aab2-ab5d19255a2f none            swap    sw              0       0
    You can even check fstab files on other installs:
    This is while in Precise looking at Quantal:
    Code:
    cavsfan@cavsfan-desktop:~$ cat /media/Quantal/etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
    # device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
    # that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    # / was on /dev/sda7 during installation
    UUID=b5fc902c-0bf0-45b3-95a1-29f3c46dfe6a /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
    # swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
    UUID=2a80f59e-e7c3-418e-aab2-ab5d19255a2f none            swap    sw              0       0
    Hope this helps.
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  9. #89
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Hi!, Cavsfan,

    Thanks for the response.

    I was mind-full from our previous exchange of the need to check fstab, and I checked them all . Only the fstab of the newest install had an extra 'Swap', which I deleted, the other entries were all OK.

    As previously, doing so did not change the Additional Option entries being suffixed by spurious (on /dev/sdb7) or (on/dev/sdc2) suffixes, the scripts inside are also corrupted with altered hdxX -msdosX and sdxX values.

    I worked out the answer to the puzzle of the 21 line display, out of 44:

    The 21 lines includes 13 actual working Ubuntu OS entries, the rest are 4 Additional Option sub-menu lines and 4 Windows & Memtest lines.

    The 44 include those, but also the expanded Additional Option sub-menus, and this is where the errors show up:

    The base 12.10 and the new 12.04.2 expand correctly giving two lines each, normal & recovery; one shows the same pair, but adds three other entries, whilst the last shows, in addition, the whole list from the '06_custom' file in the external HDD, sdb7.

    I am going to deactivate the '06-custom in sdb7, which I do not use - I can not boot from it directly - and see what difference it makes.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  10. #90
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    Re: How to have a custom Grub2 menu that is maintenance free

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    Hi!, Cavsfan,

    Thanks for the response.

    I was mind-full from our previous exchange of the need to check fstab, and I checked them all . Only the fstab of the newest install had an extra 'Swap', which I deleted, the other entries were all OK.

    As previously, doing so did not change the Additional Option entries being suffixed by spurious (on /dev/sdb7) or (on/dev/sdc2) suffixes, the scripts inside are also corrupted with altered hdxX -msdosX and sdxX values.

    I worked out the answer to the puzzle of the 21 line display, out of 44:

    The 21 lines includes 13 actual working Ubuntu OS entries, the rest are 4 Additional Option sub-menu lines and 4 Windows & Memtest lines.

    The 44 include those, but also the expanded Additional Option sub-menus, and this is where the errors show up:

    The base 12.10 and the new 12.04.2 expand correctly giving two lines each, normal & recovery; one shows the same pair, but adds three other entries, whilst the last shows, in addition, the whole list from the '06_custom' file in the external HDD, sdb7.

    I am going to deactivate the '06-custom in sdb7, which I do not use - I can not boot from it directly - and see what difference it makes.

    Chao!, bogan.
    Glad you are getting it figured out! Let me know how it goes.
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