How to Change Grub Boot Order in Ubuntu 11.10

There are two approaches to change Grub boot order: command line and GUI.

For command line method:

  1. Run this command to edit /etc/default/grub:

    $ sudo nano /etc/default/grub

  2. Change the number in GRUB_DEFAULT line. First boot menu is numbered 0. If it is 6th boot menu, type in GRUB_DEFAULT=5.
  3. Press CTRL-X, press Y, press Enter (save modified file).
  4. Run this command:

    $ sudo update-grub

  5. Finish

For GUI method:

  1. Install startupmanager:

    $ sudo apt-get install startupmanager

  2. Run startupmanager:

    $ startupmanager

  3. Select Default operating system and press Close button
  4. Finish


6 thoughts on “How to Change Grub Boot Order in Ubuntu 11.10

  1. Worked for me. I used the GUI method because I was doing this remotely and couldn’t see the order of the operating systems.

  2. Opened a terminal and used the command line method.

    Worked great. If I can do it any one can!

    Note: use arrow keys to navigate to the ‘0’ in GRUB_DEFAULT=0 then type in your number.

    I wanted Win XP to be the default (while I am exploring Linux). Changed to GRUB_DEFAULT=05

    Many thanks.

  3. I tried StartManager, the settings show as correct but it doesn’t change the default boot. It would be very nice if this was installed by default and worked. Maybe it works on a dead clean computer that’s never had GRUB installed before?

    I looked at the etc/default/grub file and it lists my preferred default windows as #16 which is probably right since there are a ton of optional ubuntu entries (why?), but it still defaults to #1 when you reboot the machine. It’s like it’s reading a different GRUB file. Maybe it was an upgrade issue or ???

  4. Clear and concise instructions. It worked for me using the Terminal, although I did spend some time trying to change the default with the mouse. After reading comments from grumpy grandad to use the Arrow Keys to navigate it worked fine. Many Thanks CW

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