grub gfx boot

I wanted the cd to boot using grub instead of isolinux (can be used for repairs/diagnostics). morphix and kanotix are both using a cute graphic grub menu, which gives easy access to various knoppix cheatcodes, documentation etc. This one's based on morphix, with slight ui changes.

To try the bootloader in qemu, download gfxboot.iso.bz2, extract it and run

qemu -cdrom gfxboot.iso

grub files need to be setup under boot/grub on the knoppix cd.

note: remember to make final iso image with :

mkisofs -pad -l -f -r -J -V "MYKNOPPIX" -b boot/grub/iso9660_stage1_5 -c boot/grub/ -o
../myknoppix.iso -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 1 -boot-info-table  knoppix_iso_directory

boot/grub/message is a cpio archive which controls the ui. to recreate it you need the tools from gfxboot_2.4.orig.tar.gz.

Then you can use gfxboot-grub-0.1_my.tgz to recreate message (based on morphix-iso-grubtheme_0.1-2.tar.gz)

documented on: 2008-03-25

Ubuntu Boot Menu with SUSE style


Now I will explain a very simple and effective way to significantly improve the GRUB in Ubuntu.

If you saw SUSE Linux, it is far more colorful than that brings Ubuntu default, and although it can be improved quickly putting a background image, sure that this kind of GRUB you like more:

It is quite easy to do so, as I configured both in the stand as on cell phones. Information is extracted from the Ubuntu How-To, but I have not worked to perfection with these steps, and they need to change a few things.

First, we must download the package grub-gfxboot and one of their themes. As I here use the Ububrown theme that I download from Ubuntu Forum like the image above.

As always, run a terminal, and type this:


Now we must uninstal grub and install the new (don't worry, it is safe):

sudo aptitude remove grub
sudo dpkg-i grub-gfxboot_0.97-5_i386.deb
sudo grub-install /dev/hda

Aware of one important thing: The /dev/hda must be changed to the correct path where we installed our Grub. To know exactly nothing better than watching the order to load the kernel in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

Next, decompress theme zip file that you have downloaded and copy it into /boot/grub:

sudo cp /boot/grub/

Now, the final step is simple, edit the menu of Grub:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

At the beginning add this line:

gfxmenu /boot/grub/message.ububrown

Finally, restart and we have new graphical boot loader.


Notes: You can use the updated packages of grub-gfxboot (last versions have support for amd64).

documented on: 2007-10-23, FRIS

Ubuntu Boot Menu with SUSE style

> try downloading the grub-gfxmenu.tar.gz

You can get the tarball from Ubuntu. When you unpack it, you will see a folder named Suse, with many files inside (including Themes, which is probably what you are looking for).

Anyhow, tarball in an Ubuntu folder in the repo.

documented on: 01-30-08, bigrigdriver

How To: Install and use gfxboot (Graphical Grub)

  1. Start by backing up your current menu.lst

    sudo cp -pv /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.backup
  2. Uninstall grub

    sudo aptitude remove grub
  3. Install your grub-gfxboot .deb

  4. Copy the message file to you want to use /boot/grub (example used message.mint1)

    sudo cp message.mint1 /boot/grub/
  5. Add line to beginning of /boot/grub/menu.lst and save file (example used message.mint1)

    gfxmenu /boot/grub/message.mint1
  6. Set up GRUB

  7. Installing Grub

    sudo grub-install /dev/sdx
  8. Reboot to see the Grub

documented on: Aug 20, 2007, merlwiz79

Trouble shooting 

Comment out "Pretty Colors" and "Hidden Menu" on your menu.lst Make sure the line gfxmenu /boot/grub/ is correct.

Editing my message files with your own images.

mkdir /home/USERNAME/whatever
cd /whatever
cpio -i < /boot/grub/message.mint1 # replace it by the name of you message
# edit the pictures
sudo ls . | cpio -o > /boot/grub/

Now you can edit the menu.lst to use the new one. The images have to be the same name and file format. They also need to be 800x600.

sudo ls . | cpio -o > /boot/grub/

Then just copy to /boot/grub/

Last edited by merlwiz79 on Fri Dec 14, 2007

documented on: 2008-03-21

Graphical Grub Theme

> Can someone please tell me how to get rid of this Winter splash screen?
  1. bcakup your system

    $ cp /boot/message ~/message.old
  2. make a new dir cpio (for example)

    $ mkdir cpio
  3. change to this dir ,copy message here

    $ cd cpio
    $ cp /boot/message .
    $ cpio -idv < message
    $ rm message
  4. edit gfxboot.cfg

    # penguin theme likelihood in percent; -1 = auto
    default-1,if you dont want to see penguin anymore ,use 0
    $ ls | cpio -ov > ../message

if there's no error, copy message to your system

$ sudo cp ../message /boot/message

documented on: Dec 16 2006, chen242

Graphical Grub Theme 

> Can you or someon plesse explain step 4 edit gfxboot.cfg ? How do i do this
> please ?
> I would like to get rid of this xmas boot grub

in gnome type

gedit gfxboot.cfg

in KDE

kwrite gfxconfig

the file is just those two lines it's easy to figure it out from there. Its the percentage of times you want the xmas screen to appear. If you want the penguins all the time change it to 100, none of the time change it to 0

documented on: Mar 7 2007, kenbo

Changing the Grub boot splash screen 

Instructions for changing the GRUB boot manager back ground on SuSE-10.0. I also successfully applied this technique to SuSE-9.3:

Note Remember that there is maximum size limit for message file: It can't exceed 150-200KB (not sure which one). If you will exceed the size, instead of seeing nice graphical GUI, you will see text (ncurses) based kernel selection.

Check out HowToCreateSuSEBootSplashPics if you are having picture problems.

Credits: oldcpu, broch

Creating Boot CDs 

SUSE LINUX - Administration Guide Chapter 7. Booting and Boot Managers / 7.7. Creating Boot CDs

Creating a bootable CD-ROM with GRUB merely requires a special form of stage2 called stage2_eltorito and, optionally, a customized menu.lst. The classic files stage1 and stage2 are not required.

Create a directory in which to create the ISO image, for example, with cd /tmp and mkdir iso. Also create a subdirectory for GRUB:

mkdir -p iso/boot/grub

Copy the file stage2_eltorito into the directory grub :

cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/stage2_eltorito iso/boot/grub

Also copy the kernel (/boot/vmlinuz), the initrd (/boot/initrd), and the file /boot/message to iso/boot/ :

cp /boot/vmlinuz iso/boot/
cp /boot/initrd iso/boot/
cp /boot/message iso/boot/

To make them available to GRUB, copy the file menu.lst to iso/boot and adjust the path entries to make them point to a CD-ROM device. Do this by replacing the device name of the hard disks, listed in the format (hd*), in the path names with the device name of the CD-ROM drive, which is (cd):

gfxmenu (cd)/boot/message
timeout 8
default 0

title Linux
    kernel (cd)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda5 vga=794 resume=/dev/hda1 splash=verbose showopts
    initrd (cd)/boot/initrd

Finally, create the ISO image with the following command:

mkisofs -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot \
-boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o grub.iso iso

The write the resulting file grub.iso to a CD using the utility of your preference.

documented on: 2008-03-21