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 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.

GRUB2 Bootloader Editor v0.3.0

Starting with version 0.3.0 the GRUB2 Editor has acquired a visual changelog.

This post will be quite straightforward because v0.3.0 didn’t get many visual enhancements; most changes were “under-the-hood”.

The most obvious change is the “Preview” button for wallpapers:

Whenever you change your GRUB wallpaper, click the Preview button to get a bigger preview of the wallpaper.

Previewing a GRUB wallpaper.

Next up is color management:

New color management.

Colors now work as expected (I did thorough testing).

At startup you may notice a new pop-up dialog:

Probing devices for their GRUB names.

This is in order to retrieve GRUB device names, but I may remove it at some time. Seems that GRUB2 can do fine without explicitly specifying devices.

Lastly, there is now (primitive) support for the GRUB_INIT_TUNE configuration variable:

Support for GRUB_INIT_TUNE.

Changelog Quote:

v.0.3.0 (21/03/2011)
*ADDED: Allow previewing a wallpaper (=splash image).
*FIXED: Make colors actually work.
*FIXED: Handle better GRUB device naming.
*FIXED: Rewrote big part of the code.