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GRUB would look much nicer if it was graphical. Well, Suse folk have made a package gfxboot that patches GRUB. Here's how to install in on Gentoo.

Grub with a graphical menu. More screenshots in and  here [1]
Grub with a graphical menu. More screenshots in and here [1]

This is patched grub And gfxboot ebuilds from gentoo bugzilla gfxboot_overlay.tar.bz2 grub-0.97-patches-1.5-ext.tar.bz2

NOTE: Not Available --> just rename ebuild

Go to and look for the gfxboot package. If it is for example "gfxboot-3.3.24-27.src.rpm " rename the ebuild to "gfxboot-"

And this is our gentoo theme (looks really nice), but needs to be totally rewritten because of new gfxboot api

The bug report (check for updates)

Emerge using /usr/local/portage/gfxboot_overlay:

File: /etc/make.conf

Unpack overlay

# tar xjf gfxboot_overlay.tar.bz2 -C /usr/local/portage/

Digest if gfxboot package not available (see above)

# ebuild /usr/local/portage/gfxboot_overlay/media-gfx/gfxboot/gfxboot- digest

Move the patches to their appropriate directories

# mv grub-0.97-patches-1.5-ext.tar.bz2 /usr/portage/distfiles/


# emerge =gfxboot-
# emerge =grub-0.97-r3.ebuild

NOTE: you can use themes USE flag to install default themes from SuSE

NOTE: theme will compile only with old gfxboot

Extract and compile the theme

# tar -xjvpf -C /var/tmp
# cd /var/tmp/ 
# make

Mount /boot and install the theme file

# cp /var/tmp/ /boot/message

Also you can try default themes from /usr/share/gfxboot/themes/ in case of using themes USE flag (check [theme name]/boot/message file). they most likely work.

If you had any troubles with the above themes you can also just choose a theme from the following link (bottom of the first post)

Change splashimage line with this in grub.conf: (emerge grub may have already done this)

gfxmenu (hd0,X)/boot/message

An example grub.conf

File: grub.conf
timeout 5
default 0
gfxmenu (hd0,X)/boot/message
color white/blue black/light-gray

title Gentoo
        root (hd0,X)
        kernel /gentoo/kernel-genkernel-x86-2.6.20-gentoo-r4 root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk=8192 real_root=/dev/hdaY udev 
        initrd /gentoo/initramfs-genkernel-x86-2.6.20-gentoo-r4

Where Y is the partition where your gentoo installation is and X the partition where your kernel (and graphical bootmessage) is.

Re-install GRUB on your MBR, an example for hda3:

# grub
> root (hd0,X)
> setup (hd0)
> quit

Reboot and welcome your shiny new bootmenu.

More information on how to customise the menu screen can be found here:

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Last modified: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 23:08:00 +0000 Hits: 17,751