Design your own boot menu with Grub Customizer

Paint by Numbers

Article from Issue 219/2019
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Is the simple black and white GRUB menu causing confusion and obscuring important choices? Why not customize with GRUB themes and the Grub Customizer?

Many Linux distributions keep the boot menu so simple that it hardly differs from the BIOS messages. If you settle for the default boot menu, you might be missing the chance to provide some visual enhancement to the user experience. The need for visual clarity is often more than cosmetic. The boot menu sometimes contains real choices, including alternative boot options and operating system versions, and some attention to design can make those choices much easier to see and understand.

With just a few settings, you can spice up a drab and confusing boot menu. But be aware that incorrect GRUB settings can quickly cause the boot process to fail. A tool with a graphical user interface can help ensure that editing the GRUB files is a safe experience. On the other hand, editing the files manually is a time-honored practice if you know what you are doing, and it might be your only option: Some Linux distributions don't provide a graphical tool.

First Step: Backup

But before you get started, you will want to back up the boot partition or boot directory: A faulty GRUB configuration can quickly lead to entries disappearing from the boot menu or a system unable to boot. Use the commands in Listing 1 to create the necessary backup copies.

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