Creating a Custom menu.lst for Grub

It always starts with a screwup. When I first set up my Ubuntu installation Grub automatically set up a menu which looked like this:

Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic
Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic (recovery mode)
Ubuntu 8.04.1, memtest86+
Other operating systems:
Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)

When I set up my partitions I decided against better judgment to leave my system restore partition alone. Now I knew that was what Grub was picking up as the extra partition but I wasn’t sure which one. So I stupidly decided to choose the first one.

Apparently the system restore partition mucks with your bootstrap even if you cancel, because after I quit out of it Grub just repeatedly returned Error 17. I remedied this by following the command line instructions at the Ubuntu GrubHowTo.

Grub Splash
This gave me the excuse I needed to do a little work on my menu.lst. First I added a Grub splash image I stole from a German Ubuntu forum. I had to load this png file up in Gimp and save it as a xpm, then gzip the file which I found an option for in a right click context menu. Next I opened up a terminal and su’d to root to copy the file to /boot/grub as splash.xpm.gz and to nano menu.lst to which I added the line:


This worked perfectly, however I wanted to add a little color to the mix. Beware! The color tag does not work with a splash image, in fact on my machine the color tag caused me a major headache as I hadn’t commented it out. Apparently it buggers up the foreground and background tag. Which is how your supposed to set colors:

background = 8fc3c2
foreground = 000000

This sets my background to a weird blue-gray and my foreground to black.

Finally I reorganized and renamed my entries. I was kind of upset that Grub doesn’t seem to allow whitespace at the beginning of an entry but I fixed that with a dash. It now looks like:

Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic
Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)
Ubuntu 8.04.1, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic (recovery mode)
Ubuntu 8.04.1, memtest86+
Recovery Drive (Damages Grub)

I probably should have modified the names a bit more.







One response to “Creating a Custom menu.lst for Grub”

  1. Llynix Avatar

    Just did this on another box and found that my locations had changed. So heads up, beware the line that has (hd0,2) as your splashimage might be somewhere else.

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