Ugly GRUB menu entries

Akkana Peck akkana at
Wed Jan 18 19:29:07 UTC 2012

Denis Washington writes:
> - The Ubuntu entries as the kernel version ("Ubuntu, with kernel
> 3.2.0-9...") that do not relate to anything that we usually present
> the user. It would be much nicer if we had the actual Ubuntu version
> stand there instead, so that the entry just becomes "Ubuntu 12.04".

Adding the Ubuntu version would be a big help. I recently upgraded
a Natty desktop to Oneiric by cloning the Natty partition, then
upgrading one of the clones. The Natty had been a fresh install,
and there were no other OS partitions on the system.

After the install, my grub screen had 22 lines (!), with labels like
    Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-12-generic
There was no way to tell which entries were for Natty, which were
for Oneiric, and which were an unbootable mixture of Natty partition
with Oneiric kernel (but no Oneiric modules) or vice versa.

After poking at it for a while, I gave up and switched to extlinux
so I'd have some control over the boot menu. If the entries had
offered some clue about Ubuntu version (or even root partition),
I might have stuck with grub2.

You can't just omit the kernel entirely: grub generates lines for
all kernels available in /boot, so you'd end up with 11 lines of
"Ubuntu 11.10" and no way to tell them apart.  But the "last known
good kernel" idea is a good one; you could also have "newest installed
kernel", since update-grub is typically run after installing a new
kernel but before rebooting. So you could use readable strings for
those two cases, and only show the kernel names for other cases.


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