17.2 Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST

The easiest way to configure the boot loader in your openSUSE system is to use the YaST module. In the YaST Control Center, select System > Boot Loader. As in Figure 17-1, this shows the current boot loader configuration of your system and allows you to make changes.

Figure 17-1 Boot Loader Settings

Use the Section Management tab to edit, change and delete boot loader sections for the individual operating systems. To add an option, click Add. To change the value of an existing option, select it with the mouse and click Edit. To remove an existing entry, select it and click Delete. If you are not familiar with boot loader options, read Section 17.1, Booting with GRUB first.

Use the Boot Loader Installation tab to view and change settings related to type, location and advanced loader settings.

Access advanced configuration options from the drop-down menu that opens after you click on Other. The build-in editor lets you change the GRUB configuration files (see Section 17.1, Booting with GRUB for details). You can also delete the existing configuration and Start from Scratch or let YaST Propose a New Configuration. It is also possible to write the configuration to disk or reread the configuration from the disk. To restore the original Master Boot Record (MBR) that was saved during the installation, choose Restore MBR of Hard Disk.

17.2.1 Adjusting the Default Boot Entry

To change the system that is booted by default, proceed as follows:

Setting the Default System

  1. Open the Section Management tab.

  2. Select the desired entry from the list.

  3. Click Set as Default.

  4. Click OK to activate these changes.

17.2.2 Modifying the Boot Loader Location

To modify the location of the boot loader, follow these steps:

Changing the Boot Loader Location

  1. Select the Boot Loader Installation tab and then choose one of the following options for Boot Loader Location:

    Boot from Master Boot Record

    This installs the boot loader in the MBR of the first disk (according to the boot sequence preset in the BIOS).

    Boot from Root Partition

    This installs the boot loader in the boot sector of the / partition (this is the default).

    Boot from Boot Partition

    This installs the boot loader in the boot sector of the /boot partition.

    Boot from Extended Partition

    This installs the boot loader in the extended partition container.

    Custom Boot Partition

    Use this option to specify the location of the boot loader manually.

  2. Click OK to apply your changes.

17.2.3 Changing the Boot Loader Time-Out

The boot loader does not boot the default system immediately. During the time-out, you can select the system to boot or write some kernel parameters. To set the boot loader time-out, proceed as follows:

Changing the Boot Loader Time-Out

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Options.

  3. Change the value of Time-Out in Seconds by typing in a new value and clicking the appropriate arrow key with your mouse, or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

  4. Click OK twice to save the changes.

17.2.4 Setting a Boot Password

Using this YaST module, you can also set a password to protect booting. This gives you an additional level of security.

Setting a Boot Loader Password

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Options.

  3. Activate the Protect Boot Loader with Password option with a click and type in your Password twice.

  4. Click OK twice to save the changes.

17.2.5 Adjusting the Disk Order

If your computer has more than one hard disk, you can specify the boot sequence of the disks to match the BIOS setup of the machine (see Section 17.1.2, The File device.map). To do so, proceed as follows:

Setting the Disk Order

  1. Open the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. Click Boot Loader Installation Details.

  3. If more than one disk is listed, select a disk and click Up or Down to reorder the displayed disks.

  4. Click OK two times to save the changes.

17.2.6 Configuring Advanced Options

Advanced boot options can be configured via Boot Loader Installation > Boot Loader Options. Normally, it should not be necessary to change the default settings.

Set Active Flag in Partition Table for Boot Partition

Activates the partition that contains the boot loader. Some legacy operating systems (such as Windows 98) can only boot from an active partition.

Write Generic Boot Code to MBR

Replaces the current MBR with generic, operating system independent code.

Debugging Flag

Sets GRUB in debug mode where it displays messages to show disk activity.

Hide Boot Menu

Hides the boot menu and boots the default entry.

Use Trusted GRUB

Starts the Trusted GRUB which supports trusted computing functionality.

Enable Acoustic Signals

Enables or disables acoustic signals in GRUB.

Graphical Menu File

Path to the graphics file used when displaying the boot screen.

Serial Connection Parameters

If your machine is controlled via a serial console, activate this option and specify which COM port to use at which speed. See info grub or http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html#Serial-terminal for details.

17.2.7 Changing Boot Loader Type

Set the boot loader type in Boot Loader Installation. The default boot loader in openSUSE is GRUB. To use LILO, proceed as follows:

WARNING: LILO is unsupported

Using LILO is not recommended—it is unsupported on openSUSE. Only use it in special cases.

Changing the Boot Loader Type

  1. Select the Boot Loader Installation tab.

  2. For Boot Loader, select LILO.

  3. In the dialog box that opens, select one of the following actions:

    Propose New Configuration

    Have YaST propose a new configuration.

    Convert Current Configuration

    Have YaST convert the current configuration. When converting the configuration, some settings may be lost.

    Start New Configuration from Scratch

    Write a custom configuration. This action is not available during the installation of openSUSE.

    Read Configuration Saved on Disk

    Load your own /etc/lilo.conf. This action is not available during the installation of openSUSE.

  4. Click OK two times to save the changes

During the conversion, the old GRUB configuration is saved to the disk. To use it, simply change the boot loader type back to GRUB and choose Restore Configuration Saved before Conversion. This action is available only on an installed system.

NOTE: Custom Boot Loader

To use a boot loader other than GRUB or LILO, select Do Not Install Any Boot Loader. Read the documentation of your boot loader carefully before choosing this option.