Monday, January 04, 2010 Posted by d0od
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Getting a gorgeous, animated and informative boot-loader is no longer a dream thanks to relatively-new project ‘BURG’.
Admittedly, “BURG” may sound like something from the depths of Star Trek mythology but the letters actually stand for “Brand-new Universal loadeR from GRUB” and is based on the GRUB bootloader. A bevvy of cool features and enhancements make it an option well worth considering if you like to beautify your system.

Here’s a video of BURG in action: –

Here sits my warning – don’t try this unless you’re really sure you want to. Whilst there shouldn’t be any frakk-ups this is a delicate area of your system and things will go awry without attention or intention!

Step 1: Note down the reinstall commands
Yes, this write it down on PAPER in case you need to reinstall GRUB. ‘Target’ will be the drive you wish/need to install to (E.G. /dev/hda1, /dev/sdb, etc) You can always run sudo fdisk -l to see a list of your drives.

  • grub-install [target]

Noted down? Awesome. Let’s go!

Step 2: Add The PPA
Lets start off my adding the PPA.

Open up a terminal and type: –

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bean123ch/burg

Now update using: –

  • sudo apt-get update

Take a deep breath and install: –

  • sudo apt-get install burg burg-themes

You now need to install BURG to the MBR (Master Boot Record). You can do this via the following command: –

  • sudo burg-install “(hd0)”
Phew! Almost done!

Step 3: Theming
Now we’ll want to get some nice themes.

Below are some of the themes you can choose from, we’ll get to how you select them in a second! : –

When you’ve decided on the ones you wish to use, note down its name.

Now open a terminal: –

  • gksu gedit /etc/default/burg
  • Uncomment “GRUB_THEME” and add the name of theme you wish to use. (sora, proto, etc)

To condense all of the kernel, memtest+, recovery options available for Ubuntu on boot into one single menu entry you will also want to uncomment the ‘GRUB_FOLD” option.

Save and exit the editor. You MUST now update BURG for the changes to work

  • sudo update-burg

Now restart and you should see your chosen theme!

Additional Steps

Previewing Your GRUB Menu
You can preview your GRUB theme without rebooting providing you have first done all of the above.
Now install the ‘burg-emulation’ package using: –
  • sudo apt-get install burg-emu
After installation run the command: –
  • burg-emu -r host
A new window will open displaying your GRUB menu. To close it press the ‘c’ button on your keyboard and type ‘exit’.

Yet To Come…
Although the project is still fairly young development is moving quite fast. Refinements and features are sure to come along the line very soon. A GUI for editing/managing themes would be great – if perhaps wishful on my part.

The theme used at the top of this post is, sadly, a mock-up for the time being, but given the feature-set of BURG over GRUB it shouldn’t be too long before it’s available to install.

You’ll certainly be hearing lots more about BURG here @ OMG! Ubuntu! as and when things happen so why not subscribe to our RSS feed or  follow us on twitter?

Screenshot at top by Lasse Havelund