Boot manager help

  geoff47 12:25 05 Jan 2009

I have just installed Kubuntu and would like a more user friendly way of choosing which OS boots by default.
At the moment Kubuntu is the default, which only I shall be using, so would like to alter the default to Windows for anybody else using the PC.
What are my options ?
Any preferences for a free boot manager for a numpty to use ?
Many thanks for any advice

  LastChip 12:51 05 Jan 2009

Grub or Lilo?

Don't attempt to change boot managers at the moment. It may make your system unusable.

  geoff47 17:26 05 Jan 2009

I am sorry I dont know.
When booting the PC I see a list of alternative options.
The default is Kubuntu, all I need to do is change that default to Windows.
How would I find out which Boot Manager I am using ?

  geoff47 17:36 05 Jan 2009

It is grub.
I was posting in Windows but have just rebooted into Kubuntu and searched to find out what the boot manager is....and it is grub I believe.

  LastChip 21:34 05 Jan 2009

It's a relatively easy process to change the default operating system and you'll learn a little along the way.

The IMPORTANT thing to remember, is Grub numbers its systems from zero (0). Therefore, the first system to appear in the list will be numbered 0 and the second in the list 1 and so on.

So, IF your list order is Kubuntu and then XP, you will want your default to be 1 (XP), or clearly, if you have even more systems, you would select the appropriate number according to the way they were listed.

Example: default 1

Remember, Linux IS case sensitive, but all you should have to change is the default number. DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE in there, unless you know what you're doing.

click here for a good tutorial on how to do it. Just follow the instructions, remembering about the number order and you'll be able to select XP (or whichever Windows you are using) as your first boot device. Don't worry that it's written for Ubuntu, in this instance, the editing of Grub is common to both.

Note: the very first command you are given will backup your grub file, so even if you get it wrong (and there's no reason you should), all you'd have to do is use the backup file to boot the system.

Don't be frightened of it. It's much easier than you think. Good luck.

  geoff47 22:50 05 Jan 2009

I have printed out the tutorial and am armed and ready to go.
If you dont hear from me.....I blew it....but Im almost confident.

Many thanks Lastchip

  geoff47 23:29 05 Jan 2009

Only got as far as the terminal.
Typed the line as shown in tutorial, the response was the line cp:cannot stat'/boot/grub/menu.1st' no such file or directory.
I then changed the 1st to lst in case my eyes were failing me, and got the same answer.

  LastChip 01:03 06 Jan 2009

Did you copy the whole line including sudo? It is sudo that effectively makes you the "root" user (administrator in Windows). If you are not root, you cannot carry out any executive commands. That is part of the security of Linux..

The whole command should look like this (all one line):

sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst_backup

It means, sudo (change me to root) cp (copy) /boot/grub/menu.lst (what to copy) [space] /boot/grub/menu.lst.backup (where to copy to).

If after executing that (by hitting enter), you didn't get asked for your password, something was wrong with what you typed. You can simply copy (from the web page) and paste (directly into the terminal) the command from the web page to make it easier. In Linux, you can run multiple applications without any problems, so a terminal open with a browser is perfectly acceptable.

If you still have a problem, try this:

cd /boot/grub

and press enter; now


press enter.

Do you see menu.lst as one of the listed items?

(It is incidentally short for menu list).

Sorry for repeating myself, but Linux IS case sensitive. Don't be tempted to type anything other than what you've been given. Typing "Password" is very different to typing "password" in Linux. Also, the other big difference is Linux (mostly) uses forward slashes (/) as against Windows backward slashes (\), something that many people changing to Linux do without thinking and hence get errors.

Let me know how you get on and if you continue to get errors, what the result is of my commands.

Finally, just to reassure you, I tried the command directly from the web page on my Debian system and it worked just fine.

  geoff47 12:55 06 Jan 2009

I have copied and pasted as you have directed, I was asked for my password then get the script geoffatgeoff-desktop:wavey line then dollar type sign (written that way in case of ....problems?)
Nothing else shows.

Tried your other trial, and got the results you mentioned.

My problem is I dont understand what I should do next or where to find the terms in the instructions.
Following the instructions it says to Open in a Text Editor, open what in which Text Editor.

I am sorry, this is totally new ground for me.

Trust you understand my terminology, my attempts to explain in incorrect terms.

  scotty 13:32 06 Jan 2009

It sounds like that first command was performed correctly (you have created a backup copy of menu.lst). If you change directory (cd) and list (ls) as LastChip explained, you should see the new backup file.

Your next step is to try the next line in the "HowTo".

kdesu kate /boot/grub/menu.lst
This line means: kdesu (KDE super user - gives you root or Admin priviliges), kate (run the program called kate, a text editor program) /boot/grub/menu.lst (kate opens using the file named menu.lst which is stored in the directory /boot sub-directory /grub).

  geoff47 18:18 06 Jan 2009

I shall copy and print that and go from there.

Seems easy you have heard that before.

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