Grub Viewer (Solved)(Sort of)

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Grub Viewer (Solved)(Sort of)

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:08 am

This suggestion is not just for Mint it would be a useful addition (IMO) to all Linux variants.

I have made no secret of my dislike for grub2 it is dramatically inferior to grub-legacy, but I guess we are stuck with it (especially with Uefi booting) so why not have something to at least make the most of it.

One of the many disadvantages of grub2 compared with legacy is that it is virtually impossible to look at the contents of grub.cfg and visualise what the grub menu will eventually look like when it is booted. The reason you can't do that is that it is stuffed full of what for most people is meaningless code (which should be elsewhere) and has boot entries longer than some novels I have read. In legacy it was easy, one quick glance at menu.lst and you had a fair idea of what your grub menu would look like and most boot entries were tiny in comparison.

So what we need is something like a command or small utility to strip away all the garbage from grub.cfg and just present it as a grub menu, but in a window or terminal without having to reboot.

Now I am no coder, but I would think that in principle at least this should be fairly easy, the reason being that the code MUST already exist, if it didn't then grub wouldn't work (well sometimes it doesn't but that is another matter :? ). To my simple brain grub.cfg is a config file which is read by either grub-pc or grub-efi and translated to output at boot up. All that needs to be done then is to find a way to invoke one of the grub executables to direct its output to a terminal or window so we can see what grub is going to look like before we are forced to reboot.

There may be a thousand reasons this can't be done and I am sure I will soon learn what they are :lol: .

BTW grub-customizer is not the answer to this problem, it does not illustrate what grub will look like in fact although it used to be a good program at one time, now its output is so indecipherable that I no longer find it of any use.
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Re: Grub Viewer

Postby GeneC on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:51 am

viking777 wrote:[...]...BTW grub-customizer is not the answer to this problem, it does not illustrate what grub will look like in fact although it used to be a good program at one time, now its output is so indecipherable that I no longer find it of any use...[...]


Hi Viking.. :)

Agreed grub2 with more than one OS on boot can be a nightmare, but I dont understand not being able to customize with Grub Customizer... :?:

My 5 OS boot with grub2 and grubcustomizer...
Double clicking text (List Configuration) will allow you to change to anything...

(click)
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Re: Grub Viewer

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:43 am

Well what I want here is to see what grub is actually going to look like without having to reboot. The image from grub customizer bears not the slightest resemblance to what my grub actually looks like, mainly because it is littered with 'Placeholders' all over the place in a seemingly random order and secondly because it totally ignores the fact that I have deactivated /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober and continues to display other operating system which will never be visible in my grub menu. Also, although I am not the slightest bit interested in this, I know there are thousands out there that would like to see grub background images as well and with my suggestion you should be able to do that :) Last, but not least, the last time I used this program I deleted the 'Advanced Options' folders (because I don't like them). The result was that nothing booted and I had to reinstall grub2 from a parted magic live image. So basically the program is completely faulty.

Nice to hear from you again btw - been away?
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Re: Grub Viewer

Postby GeneC on Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:56 am

viking777 wrote:Nice to hear from you again btw - been away?


Hi Viking... :)
Nope, (well I WAS away the last week), but mostly only on LMDE forums now.

Well what I want here is to see what grub is actually going to look like without having to reboot. .............So basically the program is completely faulty.


Sorry, you lost me there.. :shock:
I can make changes (whatever I like) and immediately see in changes made in the "Appearance" tab (shown in post above) EXACTLY what my changes will look like. Perhaps you should not have deleted the "ADVANCE Options", after-all, that is what they are for.... :lol:
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Re: Grub Viewer

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:18 am

Sorry, you lost me there.. :shock:
I can make changes (whatever I like) and immediately see in changes made in the "Appearance" tab (shown in post above)


No, I think I have lost myself, you are absolutely correct and I have never even noticed that before. Sorry I didn't pick this up after your last post, I was testing a different browser and the image you uploaded did not display. When I went back to Firefox I saw it and twigged straight away.

You have solved my problem Gene, I will mark the topic accordingly - thank you.
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby GeneC on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:45 am

Ah!... Good.

I must say in your defense, that it took me a while to figure that out as well... :lol:
Its not exactly intuitive.
Also I much prefer using the older version (2.5.4) . with simple tick on/off options.
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The new IMPROVED 3.0 sucks... with its "only delete to TRASH CAN" option. (as is the case with so many IMPROVEMENTS.... :evil: ).. Often I think many Linux developers have too much spare time on their hands and just tweak things until they get totally useless. I am seeing this more and more, I am afraid....

Be Well....
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:10 pm

Wait a doggone minute here, I am not going mad, when I open grub-customizer on Mint (version 3) this is what I get on the 'Appearance Settings' tab:

Selection_001.png
Selection_001.png (49.05 KiB) Viewed 1718 times


ie absolutely nothing. If I select a background image then it displays grub as it would appear if I were using that image, but the problem is that I don't have (or want) a background image for grub, and if I select 'None' as the image then it displays as above. The other problem is that I have two Mint kernels in grub and it only shows one.

This version is obviously complete rubbish, I will have to look into downgrading like you have, that version is far better.
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby GeneC on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:25 pm

Fun...Huh.... :lol:

Your not getting a "picture" because you have not selected a background image. (OH.. You said that..... :lol: )
If you want it plain you have to select something. Just a solid color is fine, but its got to be an image...

You should have one by default (grub-2-theme-mint). If you deleted that one (its in synaptic), you have to select another (any picture, or .jpg, .png. whatever) to get a display in "Appearances".
Also another annoying little side note that if you DO have (grub-2-theme-mint) installed any 'background change' in grub customizer will NOT show up until (grub-2-theme-mint) is removed (from synaptic).... :|
Dont ask me why, just another IMPROVEMENT i guess..... :roll:



The other problem is that I have two Mint kernels in grub and it only shows one.


Its in the TRASH. :roll: (Told you the new version sucks....)
Just last week, I upgraded a kernel, and thought it had failed, but showed as installed in synaptic. Nothing in grub??? FINALLY found it..... where...????? In the TRASH of grub-customizer 3.0........ BLAHHHHH!

PS. I do have a deb of the old version if you need it. Just pm me..... :wink:

Found this.....
viewtopic.php?t=84055&f=197#p541755
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:28 pm

Thanks for the .deb file Gene, it worked like a charm. Now I have a sensible version of grub customizer again, lookee here:
Selection_002.png
Selection_002.png (23.34 KiB) Viewed 1698 times


As you can see, I found my missing kernel, it wasn't in Trash it was in 'Previous Linux Versions' (which I have removed from grub but which still appears in grub-customizer for some reason) anyway I only had to move the kernel up a couple of spaces and I got a correct view.

This is a much better version - thanks for your help.

Off to install it in Ubuntu now.

BTW. astronaut.jpg was the closest I could find to plain text on a black background.
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:46 pm

I thought I would just give you a laugh and show you what grub-customizer thinks my Ubuntu grub looks like (Ubuntu is the default grub on this machine, the one installed to the mbr):

Selection_003.png
Selection_003.png (26.88 KiB) Viewed 1694 times


It really doesn't look like that, it looks perfectly normal with two Ubuntu kernels and entries for both Mint and Manjaro.

So I don't think even this version is much good, but as it was only a sort of 'wishlist' item I will leave it as solved, it is taking up too much time!
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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby GeneC on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:57 pm

Gotta love those linux int's{, and anjaro's{... :lol:

You know you can edit the text to anything you want (M)int and (M)anjaro but just double clicking on the text line to make it editable..

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Re: Grub Viewer (Solved)

Postby viking777 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:12 pm

GeneC wrote:Gotta love those linux int's{, and anjaro's{... :lol:

You know you can edit the text to anything you want (M)int and (M)anjaro but just double clicking on the text line to make it editable..

Image


Yes I know that, but what I am saying is my menu does not look like that, it looks perfectly normal complete with M's at the front of Mint and Manjaro, this is a fault with grub-customizer, not my grub menu. So what it would do if I edited it in grub-customizer and then wrote it out I don't know, I would probably have MMint and MManjaro. :lol:

I think I will leave it alone, it is fine as it is.

Just to go back to the very opening post of this thread, if I had my 'Grub Viewer' that I was asking for I could run it and take a screenshot of how grub really looks just to prove it to you. As it is at the moment I would have to get my camera out to take a snapshot of my grub menu - and it just isn't worth it, my menu is perfect and grub-customizer is faulty (but only on Ubuntu, not Mint, or should that be int - groan :x )
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