GRUB2 Bootloader Editor v0.4.5

After about a month, a new version of the GRUB2 Editor is available, offering 2 new cool features:

Remove Old Entries:

Remove Old Entries

If your boot list has grown too big, you now are able to remove old, unneeded entries from the very same UI that you use to manage your GRUB settings. No need to fire up your package manager and search for some weirdly named packages: just select the entries you don’t want and remove them! This feature is still experimental but is known to work smoothly on Kubuntu; other distributions have not been tested yet.

Provide list of valid GRUB resolutions:

Provide list of valid GRUB resolutions

The other cool feature introduced in 0.4.5 is detection of valid GRUB resolutions. To get a list of GRUB supported resolutions for your setup would require to reboot, enter the GRUB command line and type ‘vbeinfo’. Quite nasty compared to launching the GRUB Editor and selecting a resolution, huh? Damn, you will miss all the dirty work. 😉

Other features include the simplification of the default-entry-picking and resolutions-picking UI (as can be seen in the screenshots above), variable substitution using ‘echo’ (Debian/Kubuntu users will no longer see `lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian` but the result of this command), a couple of minor fixes in the splash image creation dialog, and last but not least unified save and update actions (you will asked for your password only once when saving – makes more sense).

Don’t forget that packages exist for the following distributions:

  • Arch Linux
  • Fedora 14 (Laughlin)
  • Mandriva 2010.1 (Farman)
  • openSUSE 11.4
  • openSUSE Factory
  • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

For Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) search for the kde-config-grub2 package in the official universe repository. It may be outdated though, so feel free to use the maverick package.

Just visit our KDE-Apps.org page for more info on how to get the new version. Enjoy 🙂

Changelog Quote:

v.0.4.5 (29/04/2011)
——————–
*ADDED: Remove old entries (using QApt or QPackageKit).
*FIXED: Simplify the default-entry-picking UI.
*ADDED: Provide list of valid GRUB resolutions.
*FIXED: Simplify [GRUB & Linux] resolution picking UI.
*ADDED: Perform variable substitution and unquoting using ‘echo’.
*FIXED: Suggest GRUB’s resolution when creating a splash image.
*FIXED: Query ImageMagick for supported mimetypes.
*FIXED: Merge save and update actions.
*FIXED: Polishing all around the codebase.

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Hello planet!

Not my first post on Planet KDE but let me introduce myself: I am Konstantinos Smanis (Artemis_Fowl/ksmanis on IRC), a Greek undergraduate studying electrical & computer engineering.

Primary task of mine is to make interaction with GRUB/GRUB2 as painless as possible for the average user. Occasionally I will fix issues that really bug me or implement features I miss (for KDE), plus other minor contributions.

A bit of history: my first contribution to the open-source community was QGRUBEditor, a Qt GUI to edit GRUB (Legacy) settings. It started as a pet project, mainly to learn the basics of C++ and Qt, but it turned out to be useful to quite some people so after about a year it was discontinued, only to be successfully replaced by KGRUBEditor. After reaching an acceptable stage of maturity, KGRUBEditor was also discontinued, mainly due to me not having enough time to devote to it (exams etc.).

So, after 1-2 years of inactivity, I am back! Mainly working on a KDE GUI tool (it’s a KCModule actually, integrated in System Settings) for editing GRUB2 settings. Named kcm-grub2 it’s home address is on KDE-Apps.org and is also hosted in KDE Playground (edit: KDE Extragear). I also do minor patches for KDE (as you already may have noticed), but I mostly focus on kcm-grub2.

So, that’s it, I’ll keep you informed about any new cool features coming 😉

QApt integration

…or shrinking your GRUB list the easy way!

Have you ever seen your GRUB list grow into such a monster?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring it down to this?

Now you can!

Simply select your old/unwanted entries and bang, gone! This is as simple as it gets!

Boring details follow (that is, no more eye candy screenshots).

I am talking of course about kcm-grub2, the GRUB2 Bootloader Editor. On Git (soon to be released, perhaps in a week) you can find package management integration in this GRUB KConfigModule which enables you to easily get rid of old GRUB entries the easy way (TM), without having to search in package managers about the packages you would normally have to remove in order to make your GRUB list smaller.

And all of this thanks to LibQApt and Jonathan. Kudos for an excellent package management API!

PS: This feature was tested in Kubuntu Maverick Meerkat. Other xUbuntu distributions are expected to work, including Debian. Theoretically, any distribution where libqapt is available should work. Hope that clarifies things a bit.

Hello planet (?) and GRUB2 Support for KDM

This is my first post on Planet KDE, but uh-oh no introductions. Some of you may already know me; the rest of you should just wait for an introductory post (I must get to write one of those sooner or later).

I don’t want to tire you, so long story short: KDM has just gained GRUB2 support. What this means is that you are now able to reboot-once in another GRUB entry without affecting your default one:

Shutdown Dialog

This patch can be found in KDE Git (commit) and should be in for 4.7. Configuration instructions can be found here. Enjoy 🙂

GRUB2 Bootloader Editor v0.3.6

Version 0.3.6 is a small fix release which tuned some things here and there. I had to do it because it fixes a security issue which was accidentally introduced in the previous release (0.3.5). Upgrading is highly encouraged!

Beggining with this release, there are packages for:

  • Arch Linux
  • Debian 6.0 (Squeeze)
  • Fedora 13 (Goddard)
  • Fedora 14 (Laughlin)
  • Mandriva 2010.1 (Farman)
  • openSUSE 11.3
  • openSUSE 11.4
  • openSUSE Factory
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)
  • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

Check the KDE-Apps.org page for more info.

Debian, Ubuntu & Arch Packages for GRUB2 Editor

Thanks to openSUSE Build Service GRUB2 Bootloader Editor got packages for:

and thanks to community contribution it also got packaged for Arch Linux.

Edit: GRUB2 Editor is now packaged for many more distributions. Please check the Downloads page.

GRUB2 Bootloader Editor v0.3.5

Version 0.3.5 for the GRUB2 Bootloader Editor was released. New features are:

Create GRUB splash images:

Create GRUB splash image dialog & options.

Which is accessible using the ‘Create’ button next to ‘Preview’:

Create GRUB splash images.

Another new thing is Kernel Arguments & Terminal Suggestions (in the ‘Advanced’ tab):

Normal Linux entries Suggestions.

All Linux entries Suggestions.

Terminal Suggestions.

Input Terminal Suggestions.

Output Terminal Suggestions.

I think it’s time for some text, enough screenshots 🙂

Creating a GRUB splash image is as easy as selecting the image you want to convert, select where to save the result and specify a resolution. The image resolution should match your GRUB resolution for better results. The ‘Force Resolution’ option ignores the aspect ratio of the image if checked and ‘Set As Wallpaper’ immediately sets the converted image as your GRUB wallpaper.

The purpose of ‘Suggestions’ is more of descriptive rather than assistive. They can give you a small description of some fancy GRUB/Linux Kernel keywords.

Kernel arguments Suggestions include quiet booting (supress messages), boot with a splash image (disabling it gets you back to text booting), and some other not-so-common-and-rather-weird options such as disabling ACPI and/or (Local) APIC (sometimes required when you are unable to boot and you get some strange ACPI-related messages) and booting into single user mode (mostly for troubleshooting).

Terminal Suggestions include some rare options (which I won’t mention here – they can be seen in the screenshots above) along with some other quite important: ‘Graphics Mode Output’ -for the Output Terminal- which must be set in order to customise GRUB’s appearance (colors/wallpapers/themes) and ‘PC BIOS & EFI Console’ which is the regular text console. Setting the ‘Terminal’ field overrides both Input and Output Terminal fields’ values.

Finally I have to mention the fact that previewing splash images is now done full-screen (gives you  better understanding of how the image will look like in GRUB menu).

Changelog Quote:

v.0.3.5 (31/03/2011)
——————–
*ADDED: Splash image creation dialog.
*ADDED: Linux Kernel parameters suggestions.
*ADDED: Terminal suggestions.
*FIXED: Reload configuration after updating GRUB.
*FIXED: Preview GRUB wallpapers (=splash images) fullscreen.