GRUB2 Editor v0.6.4

After 15 months, GRUB2 Editor received a new release today. Highlights of this release are: GRUB submenu support (introduced in GRUB 2.00), LibQApt 2.x support (for removing old entries), proper check for memtest entries and various [bug] fixes. All in all, updating to the latest version is highly recommended.

kcm-grub2

Submenu support in GRUB2 Editor

Changelog:

v.0.6.4 (12/10/2013)
——————–
*ADDED: Preliminary submenu support.
*ADDED: Preliminary LibQApt 2.x support.
*FIXED: Manage some ImageMagick crashes.
*FIXED: Improved security by detecting GRUB paths at compile-time.
*FIXED: Fixed the encoding issues in the helper.
*FIXED: Check for the memtest script in the helper.

Available Translations:
Catalan (ca), Catalan (Valencian) (ca@valencia), Czech (cs), Danish (da), German (de), Greek (el), Spanish (es), Estonian (et), Finnish (fi), French (fr), Irish Gaelic (ga), Galician (gl), Hungarian (hu), Italian (it), Lithuanian (lt), Norwegian Bokmål (nb), Dutch (nl), Punjabi/Panjabi (pa), Polish (pl), Portuguese (pt), Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR), Romanian (ro), Russian (ru), Slovak (sk), Slovenian (sl), Swedish (sv), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk), Chinese Traditional (zh_TW).

I would like to thank all KDE translators who were involved. Their work is very much appreciated!

Packages:
There are packages for most major distributions (i.e. Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu). Please take a look at the Downloads page.

GRUB2 Editor v0.5.8

GRUB2 Editor received a new minor release today, mainly to update the openSUSE Build Service packages. The changelog is indeed tiny:

v.0.5.8 (18/06/2012)
——————–
*ADDED: Install on the boot sector of a partition instead of the MBR.
*FIXED: Fix installation detection in Gentoo.
*FIXED: Fix translation loading.

Actually it’s a release straight from git, no planning had been made. The changes are minimum since v0.5.5.

Translations included in the release: ca cs da de el es et fr ga hu lt nb nl pl pt pt_BR ru sv uk zh_TW

As always you can download it from this page.

GRUB2/BURG Integration in KDE

No, you’re not having a déjà vu, this is my second post about GRUB2/BURG support for KDM which shows up in PlanetKDE. I am sorry to abuse the planet for publicity, but I have seen quite a bit of confusion as to how KDE should be configured in order to interface with GRUB2/BURG and I would like to get some things straight.

What follows is a step-by-step guide describing how to configure KDE in order to automatically select a GRUB2/BURG entry other than the default when rebooting:

Shutdown Dialog

If you are a GRUB2 user skip the BURG instructions and vice versa.

Step 1. Inform GRUB2/BURG that you plan to use this feature:

GRUB2 instructions:

Open /etc/default/grub in the text editor of your preference (as root) and add the following:

GRUB_DEFAULT=saved

In case a GRUB_DEFAULT option already exists, just set it to “saved”.

BURG instructions:

Edit /etc/default/burg instead. The variable name is the same (GRUB_DEFAULT).

Step 2. Update your GRUB2/BURG menu file:

GRUB2 instructions:

The menu configuration file must contain set default=”${saved_entry}”. You are highly discouraged to manually edit this file, so execute the following command (as root):

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Please note that some distributions (i.e. Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, openSUSE) use a slightly different naming scheme for GRUB2. So you’d have to adjust the above to the following:

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

BURG instructions:

BURG users should execute the following command (as root):

burg-mkconfig -o /boot/burg/burg.cfg

Step 3. Inform KDE that you are using GRUB2/BURG:

GRUB2 instructions:

Select “Grub2” as your bootloader under “System Settings > Login Screen > Shutdown > Boot manager”.

BURG instructions:

For KDE >= 4.8.0:

Select “Burg” as your bootloader under “System Settings > Login Screen > Shutdown > Boot manager”.

For KDE < 4.8.0:

Select “Grub2” as your bootloader under “System Settings > Login Screen > Shutdown > Boot manager”.

Step 4. Create symlinks:

GRUB2 instructions:

This step only applies to Fedora/Gentoo/Mandriva/openSUSE (or any other distribution which uses /boot/grub2 instead of /boot/grub)! If this is not the case for you, skip it.

For KDE >= 4.8.3:

You don’t have to do anything! You may safely skip this step.

For KDE < 4.8.3:

Execute the following commands (as root):

mkdir /boot/grub
ln -s /boot/grub2/grub.cfg /boot/grub/grub.cfg
ln -s /sbin/grub2-reboot /sbin/grub-reboot

In the above commands replace /sbin/ with wherever the grub2-reboot binary is installed. You can easily determine this with “which grub2-reboot”.

BURG instructions:

For KDE >= 4.8.0:

You don’t have to do anything! You may safely skip this step.

For KDE < 4.8.0:

Execute the following commands (as root):

mkdir /boot/grub
ln -s /boot/burg/burg.cfg /boot/grub/grub.cfg
ln -s /sbin/burg-reboot /sbin/grub-reboot

Same rule as above applies here: if the burg-reboot binary is not located under /sbin/, locate it with “which burg-reboot”.

Step 5. Reboot!

That’s it, you’re done! Now either reboot or restart KDM (something like “/etc/init.d/kdm restart”) and you’re all set 😉

As a side note, GRUB2 Editor (supports BURG) automatically adjusts your configuration to the above (i.e. it automatically performs steps 1 and 2).

Feel free to link to this post in linux forums as a reference. All of the above refer to KDE >= 4.7.

GRUB2 Bootloader Editor v0.5.0

GRUB2 Bootloader Editor version 0.5.0 was just released. Highlights of this release are:

Easily recover GRUB2 (from a Live CD):

Installing(=Recovering) GRUB

Are you unable to boot your Linux installation because you accidentally installed Windows after Linux? No problem! Boot from a Live CD of your Linux distribution, install the GRUB2 Editor using one of the many provided packages and restore GRUB in just a couple of seconds. It’s really easy! (More info)

Disable memtest entries:

Disable memtest entries

You may now further customise your GRUB2 menu by selecting whether or not memtest entries will be generated.

Translations:

In this release you will also find translations for the following languages, thanks to the corresponding KDE translation teams:

  • Danish
  • German
  • Estonian
  • Hungarian
  • Dutch
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Swedish
  • Ukrainian

Other features:

Other new features include:

  • Warn the user when trying to uninstall the current kernel.
  • Manually find missing configuration files which are needed.
  • Recover initial settings (undoes all changes performed by this tool).

I estimate that the next release will be in about 2 months from now, due to restraining schedule.

As always you may get binary packages for most major distributions (Arch, Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE, Ubuntu) from our KDE-Apps.org page. Enjoy 😀

Changelog Quote:

v.0.5.0 (09/05/2011)
——————–
*ADDED: Recover GRUB2 (from a Live CD).
*ADDED: Option to toggle generation of memtest entries.
*ADDED: Manually find missing configuration files which are needed.
*ADDED: Restore default settings.
*FIXED: Warn the user when trying to uninstall the current kernel.

*I18N: Added 9 new translations: Danish, German, Estonian, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Swedish, Ukrainian.

Recovering GRUB (The Easy Way)

It’s well past midnight over here so I’ll try to keep it short. I will present you a new feature of the GRUB2 Editor: recovering GRUB (from a Live CD). A new feature that hopefully many user-friendly distributions will adore because it bypasses the intimidating console when trying to recover GRUB, for example when installing Windows after your Linux distribution; an action that will erase GRUB from the MBR(=Master Boot Record) and render your Linux setup unbootable. I’ll let some screenshots do the talking:

Live CD Welcome Screen

Recover Screen

Installing(=Recovering) GRUB

Job Done!

So, firstly you are presented with two options when launching the GRUB Editor from a Live CD (screenshot #1); choosing the recovery option provides you with a list of detected partitions along with some information to help you determine where your previous installation resides (screenshot #2), picking a partition and Applying will initiate the installation process (screenshot #3) which will hopefully lead you to screenshot #4.

This post was published in hoping for feedback before making the next release (which will happen anytime soon). So any suggestions/insults are more than welcome 😀

PS: Screenshots and testing done on a Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Live CD.

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.

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 v0.3.5

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.