GRUB 2: the New Boot Loader in Ubuntu 9.10

Karmic Koala's nextgen boot loader

UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) for Karmic Koala took place this year, between the 25th and 29th of May, in Barcelona, Spain. There were 270 blueprints that needed to be discussed during the summit, like the new professional look of Plymouth (an application that takes care of the graphical boot animation) for Karmic Koala, which will not become reality very soon. However, some of the ideas discussed at UDS will be implemented in the next version of the Ubuntu operating system, due for release in late October 2009. One of these was the "grub2-as-default" discussion, and Colin Watson had the pleasure to announce last night that GRUB 2 would definitely be the default boot loader in Ubuntu 9.10.

"We do not expect to be changing the boot loader for existing installations, at least not at this time; this is an inherently risky operation. (Remember that we don't even automatically reinstall the boot loader when we upgrade to new versions of GRUB Legacy, let alone when changing to a complete reimplementation.)" - Colin Watson said in the official announcement.

This is a very good idea, and users of all Linux distributions should replace their old GRUB boot loaders with the next-generation GRUB 2 one, if they didn't already. Why? Simply, because GRUB wasn't updated since 1996 and it doesn't have support for today's BIOSes. But, let's see exactly what GRUB 2 will bring new to the table:

· Support for newer systems;

· Scripting support;

· Internationalization support;

· A new way to number partitions;

· Improved memory management;

· Cross-platform installation support;

· Graphical user interface;

· Portable;

· and many more.

Review image
GRUB 2 in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Daily Build 20090609

And, talking about good news, we should let our readers know that EXT4 is already the default filesystem in the daily builds of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).

Getting back to GRUB 2, those who want to see it in action, should know that it will be available in the daily builds, starting with today, June 9th. Even if it's not recommended, anxious Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) users or those who just want to test GRUB 2 without reinstalling their systems, can find detailed installation instructions here. Bugs can be reported here.

We, here at the Softpedia Labs, will keep you up-to-date with the new features of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) in the next weeks or months. Until then, do not forget to visit our website on Thursday (June 11th) for our usual first look at the second alpha of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 operating system.

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