Posted by: richlyn | April 2, 2010


Introduction:GRand Unified Bootloader, version 2 (Grub 2) is the second version of GNU GRUB. It is the software responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel during the initial boot. Grub 2 is compatible with standard POSIX (GNU/Linux, *BSD, Mac OS, etc) and can also connect to systems incompatible with standard POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for Unix) Grub 2 is however referred to as simply Grub and the older version is called Grub legacy. Grub 2 is currently at version 1.98 in the testing mode as yet. GRUB 2 is installed by default on installations of Karmic onwards. Look up the Grub General Public license website for more Information. The Grub documentation can be found  at ubuntu community. The Dedoimedo and Herman’s site also has commendable documentation and related links for Grub.You may also check these great  Grub2 threads  in Ubuntuforums and

Burg is a brand-new boot loader based on GRUB. It uses a new object format which allows it to be built in a wider range of OS, including Linux/Windows/ OSX/Solaris/FreeBSD, etc. It also has a highly configurable menu system which works in both text and graphic mode. Check the ubuntu community documentation for Burg here.


Here are the steps to install BURG using PPA package from launchpad.

1. Insert these lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

Jaunty (9.04):

deb jaunty main

deb-src jaunty main

Karmic (9.10):

deb karmic main

deb-src karmic main

Lucid (10.04):

deb lucid main

deb-src lucid main

And install burg and related themes using these commands:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install burg

If you want to avoid the warning about unknown signature, use these commands to import it:

gpg –keyserver –recv 55708F1EE06803C5

gpg –export –armor 55708F1EE06803C5 | sudo apt-key add –

Then, install burg to MBR with the following command:

sudo burg-install “(hd0)”

2. Edit configuration file /etc/default/burg

For the latest version, you don’t need to modify /etc/default/burg at all. If you upgrade from previous version, it’s recommended to change the setting of GRUB_THEME and GRUB_FOLD to:



This allows you to change theme and folding options dynamically.

Here are the hot-keys defined in the boot menu:

  • t – Open theme selection menu
  • f – Toggle between folding mode
  • n – Jump to the next item with the same class
  • w – Jump to the next Windows item
  • u – Jump to the next Ubuntu item
  • e – Edit the command of current boot item
  • c – Open a terminal window
  • 2 – Open two terminal windows
  • h – Display help dialog (only available in sora theme)
  • i – Display about dialog (only available in sora theme)
  • q – Return to old grub menu
  • F5/ctrl-x – Finish edit
  • F6 – Switch window in dual terminal mode
  • F7 – List the folded boot items
  • F8 – Toggle between graphic and text mode
  • F9 – shutdown
  • F10 – reboot
  • ESC – quit from the current popup menu or dialog.

Since 20100309 version, burg also supports grub2 theme. To try it, set GRUB_THEME to the name of the theme file, and run update-burg. Currently only one grub2 theme is available in burg-themes package:


Screenshots: Screenshots

3. Live preview themes in host OS

To preview the current configuration, use this command:

sudo burg-emu

grub2 theme needs to access disk directly, to preview it, you need to add -D option:

sudo burg-emu -D


Whenever there is a new version released Here is how you manually update the new package:

1. Install program and themes


sudo apt-get install burg burg-themes

2. Use burg-install to install the new boot loader to MBR/BS.

2. Edit /etc/default/burg, uncomment the GRUB_THEME setting, you can also uncomment GRUB_FOLD to fold items.

3. Use update-burg to generate config file /boot/burg/burg.cfg
4. (Optional) Install burg-emu for live preview.


The  new menu list, screen layout and shortcut keys are all easily customized. BURG supports old text menu as well, just comment out GRUB_THEME option, and it behaves the same as old grub.

For Grub, you’re stuck with what the programmer has designed, but with BURG, you can design your own Interface. For example, you can place the boot menu anywhere you want, or define hot-keys to do certain function. And BURG support both text and graphic mode. A well designed theme can work in both mode, and you can use a hot-key to switch between them.
  • Edit the title of boot item with ‘t’ hot-key.
  • You can use F8 to switch back to text mode if graphic mode doesn’t work well.
  • To change background image   Modify /boot/grub/themes/refit/theme.txt , find this:
class {
screen {
background = “,,#BFBFBF/blue”
And change it to:
class {
screen {
background = “${theme_dir}/splash.png,,#BFBFBF/blue”
You also need to copy splash.png to /boot/grub/themes/refit directory
  • To make the Fonts Large (I prefer them small since they are smooth) set the gfxmode to a lower resolution and set gfxpayload to your higher previous gfxmode resolution instead of “keep”
instead of :
set gfxmode=1920×1200
set gfxpayload=keep
make it:
set gfxmode=1024×768
set gfxpayload=1920×1200
You may also try this:
open /boot/burg/fonts/font.lst to see what fonts are available, then you can replace the font parameter, for example “Fixed Regular 20”.
You can use burg-mkfont to generate new fonts, -h option to show all options, for example:
burg-mkfont -o my_font.pf2 -s 20 my_font.bdf
You can also convert TTF.
Then, copy my_font.pf2 to /boot/burg/fonts, and use the following command to update the font list:
cd /boot/burg/fonts
sudo burg-mkfont -i *.pf2 > font.lst
  • To change the icons in the themes you can edit /boot/burg/themes/winter/theme.txt, add these inside the class section, for example:
class {
Windows {
image = “${theme_dir}/os_win.png”
Ubuntu {
image = “${theme_dir}/os_ubuntu.png”
image {
image = “${theme_dir}/os_unknown.png”
And copy icons to /boot/burg/themes/winter/.
  • To change the size of the Images you just add width and height property to image and it’d scale to the specify size, for example:
class {
Windows {
image = “windows.png”
width = “16/0”
height = “16/0”
  • Use hotkey ‘t’ to open the theme selection menu. You can change theme dynamically. The default value of GRUB_THEME is:
which means use the last selected theme.
* Change folding option dynamically
  • Use hotkey ‘f’ to toggle between folding modes. The default value of GRUB_FOLD is:
which means use the last folding option.
With these settings, you don’t need to edit /etc/default/burg anymore. Theme and folding can be changed at runtime.
To change the background image, copy it to /boot/burg/themes/my_theme, and modify theme as:
include “../ubuntu/theme”
+screen {
The + prefix mean merge this setting into the screen section. $$ expands into the current directory.
To add icons for unknown class, copy image to /boot/burg/themes/my_theme, and modify theme as:
include “../ubuntu/theme”
+screen {
+class {
-OS1 {
-OS2 {
The – prefix mean replace, you can use this to overwrite icon already defined in ubuntu. The default icon is at /boot/burg/themes/icons. Ubuntu uses small icon which is 24×24. refit uses large icon 128×128.


  1. […] Burg Partition After successfully installing Burg you may install it on a dedicated partition.For sake of illustration let’s assume I have made a 1 […]

  2. […] Burg April 2010 1 comment 3 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: