Grub Menu out of step - Mandriva

This is a discussion on Grub Menu out of step - Mandriva ; It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in menu.lst. Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get it at the top of the graphical menu. It achieved nothing. ...

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Thread: Grub Menu out of step

  1. Grub Menu out of step

    It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in
    menu.lst.

    Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get it
    at the top of the graphical menu. It achieved nothing. Nothing changed.
    Now, a couple of kernel additions and removals later, when I select Windows
    from the menu, I boot into Mandriva. The Windows entry is in the same
    position in menu.list and in the graphical menu (4th from the top.) I can
    select the entry properly with the "rebootin" command, so it is somewhere
    between there and the graphical menu. The kdm menu on logout has the same
    problem. In my experience running setup again doesn't fix this kind of
    error (perhaps I should delete something first and make it definitely
    non-functioning?) Problems with identifying partitions remain.

    What should I change? Perhaps go into LILO (which is much simpler to
    administer)? Or accept that Linux is a conmmand-line distro, and always
    will be?

    Doug.

  2. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:

    > It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in
    > menu.lst.


    Well, I have no experience with the graphical GRUB menu myself - I have LILO
    on this machine here and I've only briefly dealt with charactermode GRUB
    installations on other machines - but from what the manual says, the first
    entry in the list _should_ be the one considered as the default choice if
    no other selection is made.

    > Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get it
    > at the top of the graphical menu. It achieved nothing. Nothing changed.
    > Now, a couple of kernel additions and removals later, when I select
    > Windows from the menu, I boot into Mandriva. The Windows entry is in the
    > same position in menu.list and in the graphical menu (4th from the top.)


    This is certainly odd. As I said, I have no experience with a graphical
    interface and I don't even know how that works, as the older Mandrake
    distro on this machine here doesn't have any updated /man/ and /info/
    pages.

    It is however possible that the graphical menu is not generated in realtime
    - i.e. by parsing the contents of /menu.lst/ and superimposing the intended
    menu output over a bitmap of some sorts - but rather via a special
    procedure that fuses the menu text onto the bitmap itself.

    This is of course just a wild guess, because I don't really know how it
    works.

    > I can select the entry properly with the "rebootin" command, so it is
    > somewhere between there and the graphical menu.


    Would any of the menu options have a "fallback" section, by any chance?

    > The kdm menu on logout has the same problem.


    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here... Does the KDM menu have a
    selection where you can choose another operating system to reboot into?

    (I myself don't use any display managers. I have my systems booting up to
    runlevel 3 and I manually start KDE from there, so when I log out of KDE, I
    don't get to see the menu you're talking about.)

    > In my experience running setup again doesn't fix this kind of
    > error (perhaps I should delete something first and make it definitely
    > non-functioning?) Problems with identifying partitions remain.


    Have you already tried to change the GRUB menu order from within the
    Mandriva Control Center's GUI utilities?

    > What should I change? Perhaps go into LILO (which is much simpler to
    > administer)?


    That is always an option, yes, albeit that I find the way a graphical LILO
    works on Mandr* also quite puzzling, since it doesn't conform to the
    documentation.

    > Or accept that Linux is a conmmand-line distro, and always will be?


    I think that's a non-sequitur. GNU/Linux is a de facto UNIX system and -
    the twisted Apple OS X philosophy not included - UNIX is traditionally a
    charactermode, commandline driven operating system.

    The graphical desktop environment on UNIX is only an application layer atop
    of the operating system. It's not part of the operating system's base
    design.

    The word "distro" or "distribution" pertains to a particular and "branded"
    amalgamation of all the software making up for a GNU/Linux system, and the
    only distributions that are truly geared towards commandline-only
    management, with or without a web-based interface, are server-specific
    distributions and things like IPcop, which is a distribution intended to be
    used as a firewall for a network.

    You know what? If we want to tackle this thing, then I think you would best
    post the output of...

    cat /boot/grub/menu.lst

    .... and...

    ls -l /boot/grub

    Perhaps we can find some irregularities there... ;-)

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  3. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in
    > menu.lst.


    > What should I change? Perhaps go into LILO (which is much simpler to
    > administer)? Or accept that Linux is a conmmand-line distro, and always
    > will be?


    Perhaps use grub text mode?

    I am not sure what you meant by troubles with identifying partitions.
    Grub considers the first disk 0 and the first partition 0. It
    jumps to 4 for extended partitions. Then disks/partitions are one-up
    in sequence found. info grub provides details, if you have the info
    package installed.

    Cheers!

    jim b.

    --
    UNIX is not user-unfriendly; it merely
    expects users to be computer-friendly.

  4. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    Doug Laidlaw writes:

    > It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in
    > menu.lst.
    >
    > Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get it
    > at the top of the graphical menu. It achieved nothing. Nothing changed.
    > Now, a couple of kernel additions and removals later, when I select Windows
    > from the menu, I boot into Mandriva. The Windows entry is in the same
    > position in menu.list and in the graphical menu (4th from the top.) I can
    > select the entry properly with the "rebootin" command, so it is somewhere
    > between there and the graphical menu. The kdm menu on logout has the same
    > problem. In my experience running setup again doesn't fix this kind of
    > error (perhaps I should delete something first and make it definitely
    > non-functioning?) Problems with identifying partitions remain.
    >
    > What should I change? Perhaps go into LILO (which is much simpler to
    > administer)? Or accept that Linux is a conmmand-line distro, and always
    > will be?


    Grub had me confused for a while, specifically the way it identifies
    the various hard disks and partitions it can boot from.

    Then I found out it also runs interactively with command completion.
    That makes it a lot easier to figure out what it wants.

    I suggest you just type in grub and experiment.

    I think in your case it's reading the grub.conf file from somewhere else.

  5. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    Dan Espen wrote:

    > I think in your case it's reading the grub.conf file from somewhere else.


    Normally, the practice is to have */boot/grub/menu.lst* be the actual GRUB
    configuration file and boot menu, and - although not all distributions
    honor this - to have */etc/grub.conf* be a symlink to it.

    The rationale is that GRUB needs access to its configuration file from
    within the filesystem it's installed on - by this I mean the filesystem
    holding the GRUB 1.5 and 2 stages of course, not the initial stage 1 - but
    POSIX compliance requires all configuration files to exist under */etc.*

    From experience, I have discovered that MandrakeSoft/Mandriva have always
    done strange things with regard to the configuration of their graphical
    LILO - "strange" in that they do not conform to the LILO documentation and
    are nowhere explained in Mandriva's documentation - so I presume they use
    an equally arcane thing with regard to a graphical GRUB configuration.

    It would be nice if they were to give us all a clue on what exactly the
    magic is that they're pulling... ;-)

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  6. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    On Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:50:10 +1000, Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence in
    > menu.lst.
    >
    > Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get it
    > at the top of the graphical menu.


    Curious, did you edit /boot/grub/menu.lst with an editor
    or did you use the gui interface in Mandriva Control Center (mcc)?

    > It achieved nothing. Nothing changed.


    Just for fun, get into MCC, boot, and change from Graphical to
    Grub Text.

    I'll have to assume grub is installed into the MBR.


  7. Re: Grub Menu out of step

    Bit Twister wrote:

    > On Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:50:10 +1000, Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    >> It seems that the graphical menu for GRUB is distinct from the sequence
    >> in menu.lst.
    >>
    >> Using 2008.1. Recently, I moved an entry in menu.lst to the top to get
    >> it at the top of the graphical menu.

    >
    > Curious, did you edit /boot/grub/menu.lst with an editor
    > or did you use the gui interface in Mandriva Control Center (mcc)?
    >
    >> It achieved nothing. Nothing changed.

    >
    > Just for fun, get into MCC, boot, and change from Graphical to
    > Grub Text.
    >
    > I'll have to assume grub is installed into the MBR.


    I edited menu.lst with a text editor. Yes, it is installed in the MBR.
    Only grub has a graphical alternative. LILO offers text mode only.

    I changed it to text mode Grub as you suggested, and it behaved. I then
    went back to graphical, and everything was fine. It seems as though any
    files were re-created. Thanks for the tip.

    Doug.

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