October 22, 2013

KDE Grub-2 Editor: What it is & How To Install It (AKA Why Isn't It Installed By Default?)

One of the most common types of questions that come up in various forums and mailing lists pertain to how to manage the most important of Grub2's features. Inquiries like how one changes the default boot kernel, how to easily pass various boot parameters, or how to remove older kernel entries to free up hard drive space are common questions. Of course all of these functions are available to those who are command line wizards. For the more graphically-oriented among us, however, it might be preferred to have a handy and easy to use graphical tool to handle these jobs and more. Enter KDE's Grub2 Editor.

KDE's Grub2 Editor is a powerful application that installs itself into the System Settings Module under the "Startup and Shutdown" section of KDE (and in our example, Kubuntu) and gives you control of your boot-time options as well as provide many other standard and advanced features that one will find very useful in taking advantage of Grub2's many features.

Grub2 Editor Installed Into KDE's System Settings

From the website:
[Grub2 Editor is] A KDE Control Module for configuring the GRUB2 bootloader.
Smoothly integrated in KDE System Settings, it is the central place for managing your GRUB2 configuration. Supports many GRUB2 configuration options, most notably:
  • Manage default boot entry
  • Manage boot timeout
  • Manage boot resolutions
  • Manage boot menu colors
  • Manage boot menu theme
  • Manage linux kernel arguments
  • Save and update the configuration files of GRUB2
Extra features include:
  • Recover GRUB2
  • Remove old entries
  • Create and preview GRUB2 splash images

Grub2 Editor's 'General' tab allows you to do such things as choose the kernel
to boot into and whether Grub should automatically probe
for other operating systems
The 'Appearance' tab allows you to control such things
as Grub boot resolution and colors, or to boot into text mode
The 'Advanced' tab allows for passing kernel parameters
as well as to recover your bootloader

The developer recently released a bug fix release that also adds preliminary submenu support as well as preliminary LibQApt 2.x support, although at the time of this writing only version 0.5.8 is available via the Ubuntu Universe repository through the Trusty development release.

We think this tool is invaluable for periodic management of your kernels as well as for managing and removing old entries, among others. All of which begs the question - Why isn't this module installed by default in Kubuntu? Simply put, we think it should be.

[1] http://ksmanis.wordpress.com/projects/grub2-editor/
[2] http://ksmanis.wordpress.com/category/grub2-editor/