Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

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jameskga
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Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by jameskga » Thu May 17, 2018 10:58 pm

Hello,

I have two hard drives in a PC that requires a dualboot setup for Mint and Windows 10.

I like the idea of selecting my OS based on which drive I boot to, rather than using Grub to manage my OS choice. It just makes better sense to me, especially since I use Windows so little anyway.

The other day I read about an elegant solution to dualboot that gets around the need for a GRUB menu. I can't remember where I saw it, but basically you set up the drive order in UEFI/BIOS to the drive with your most commonly used OS - Mint, in this case - followed by any other drive (the other drive containing Windows in my case). This bypasses the need for a GRUB menu, because if I need to use Windows I'm already pressing a key in advance of the bootup during Grub, so it might as well be the F11 menu, right?

But I don't know how to install the operating system to one drive, and then the other drive - one at a time - you know what I'm asking?
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Mattyboy
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by Mattyboy » Fri May 18, 2018 2:56 am

jameskga wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 10:58 pm


But I don't know how to install the operating system to one drive, and then the other drive - one at a time - you know what I'm asking?
Presuming this is a desktop.

Unplug it
Open the case.
Identify the drive you wish to install to.
Pull the SATA lead out of the drive you DON'T want to install to.
Put the plug back in and install the OS.
Once installed Power off again and plug the SATA lead back in.
Power on again and select the drive you wish to boot.

Pretty foolproof that. :)

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by jameskga » Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 am

Thanks Mattybaby

I thought it would be something that easy. That means there's a MBR on both drives, right?
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by Mattyboy » Fri May 18, 2018 5:18 am

jameskga wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 am
Thanks Mattybaby

I thought it would be something that easy. That means there's a MBR on both drives, right?
Yup

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by jameskga » Fri May 18, 2018 5:28 am

Can you foresee any possible negative consequences from using this method for dualboot?
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Mattyboy
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by Mattyboy » Fri May 18, 2018 8:08 am

No, it's my preferred method of dual-booting. A dedicated drive for each OS. You're actually more likely to encounter issues when using the same mbr/drive with Windows 10, that stupid OS will do all it can to mess up your Linux boot. No real hassle booting from the UEFI/Bio's boot menu is it? :)

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by fabien85 » Fri May 18, 2018 10:09 am

Hi,
a detail : in a UEFI setup, there is no MBR. Rather it's the EFI System Partition (ESP) that contains the bootloader(s). That ESP will get automatically created if you use the whole drive for installation (option "erase disk and install Linux Mint")

Another thing, you will have to disable os-prober, otherwise next time grub gets updated it will find your windows and propose a menu entry for it (and show the grub menu instead of directly booting linux).
Simplest thing is to make the script not executable :

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -x /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober

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jameskga
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by jameskga » Fri May 18, 2018 6:55 pm

fabien85 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:09 am
Another thing, you will have to disable os-prober, otherwise next time grub gets updated it will find your windows and propose a menu entry for it (and show the grub menu instead of directly booting linux).
Simplest thing is to make the script not executable :

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -x /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober
Grub won't get updated if I don't install it, though, right? Or is Grub automatically installed with every Mint installation? If it is, then perhaps I don't interact with it on systems without other OS?
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by Mattyboy » Sat May 19, 2018 3:54 am

jameskga wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:55 pm
fabien85 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:09 am
Another thing, you will have to disable os-prober, otherwise next time grub gets updated it will find your windows and propose a menu entry for it (and show the grub menu instead of directly booting linux).
Simplest thing is to make the script not executable :

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -x /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober
Grub won't get updated if I don't install it, though, right? Or is Grub automatically installed with every Mint installation? If it is, then perhaps I don't interact with it on systems without other OS?
Providing you install Mint with the Windows drive removed you shouldn't see the GRUB menu when you boot the system when its re-connected. I never have. running update-grub will obviously make it show. That's either a user sudo update or when a new Kernel is installed, it gets automatically undated during the install process. ( there might be other times its automatically updated ?? )

Grub is your bootloader, without it your system won't boot so you do need it, its simply the case that if no other OS is detected it won't show and enforce its timeout .

As fabien85 said disable the os-prober and you should be good. Make this first priority after installing mint before you plug the windows drive back in.

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by jameskga » Sat May 19, 2018 4:00 am

So I just installed LMDE 2 and it offered me the option not to install grub; however, the installation videos and tutorials recommended I leave the option checked to install grub, and in the installation window it advised me grub loads the linux kernel.

So I left it checked. And now I see the ugly old grub menu every time I boot into Linux lol. Could I have elected not to install grub at that menu and retained a working, bootable Betsy? Sorry I know this is the main edition support. I'm a bit scatterbrained these days, something's wrong with me, and I changed plans halfway through the move.

How about this: Now that it's installed, is there some option I can select not to show grub?
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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by Mattyboy » Sat May 19, 2018 6:34 am

jameskga wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 4:00 am


How about this: Now that it's installed, is there some option I can select not to show grub?
Never used Debian edition but I imagine its the same.

xed being your text editor

Code: Select all

gksudo xed /etc/default/grub
You're looking at the line

Code: Select all

GRUB_TIMEOUT=10
Play with the 10 value ... change it to 1? ( don't think you can do a zero )

Save the file as then run

Code: Select all

sudo update-grub
I really would install grub, regardless, the ability to boot, easily, to an earlier kernel after an update can be a lifesaver.

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by fabien85 » Sat May 19, 2018 7:43 am

You always need a bootloader to launch linux.
Grub is the default bootloader on most distros, including Mint.
It's going to be installed even if there is no other OS is present (i.e. single-booting). In that case, usually the grub menu doesnt show up (because there is no choice to be made) and it boots straight your Linux. That's probably what you want. Although the grub menu wont show up by default, it will appear after a failed boot, allowing you to try another kernel as Mattyboy said. You can also force the grub menu to appear by pressing the good key at the good time during the boot sequence (good key is said to be right shift on the web, on my computers it's esc though ; the good time can be difficult to find, it's around the time the computer shows the splash screen of the manufacturer or the BIOS, i.e. just after POST).

I'm not a grub expert (I prefer to use refind as my boot manager), so I cant tell you why the menu still appears. In my experience it didnt appear after installs of the Mint main edition (Cinnamon, Mate) or of other Ubuntu derivatives. Maybe something is a bit different for distros directly based on Debian.

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Re: Dual boot without GRUB by selecting drive from the boot menu

Post by sdibaja » Sat May 19, 2018 8:46 am

indeed Grub is mysterious.
start here: https://wiki.debian.org/Grub
then have a look here: https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/

but Google is your friend "grub delay": https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... RgT_LV4_BI

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