PCLinuxOS and grub2

Wow! The latest PCLinuxOS update provides the grub2 boot manager. Grub2 replaces the older grub boot manager and I am ecstatic to see PCLinuxOS adopting it!

Grub2, in short, helps Windows users new to Linux to more easily configure a boot menu with both Windows and Linux distributions. The boot menu allows you to boot into either a Windows or Linux distribution.

I configured grub2 to probe for other distributions on my machine and I no longer have to understand chaining. Note that grub2 probing finds other Linux and Windows distributions installed on your machine and adds them as entries to the boot menu.

Here is my change to the grub2 configuration in the /etc/default/grub file to allow probing for other distributions on my machine.

  1. From a terminal window, enter “su –” and press the Enter key.
  2. Provide the root password at the prompt and press the Enter key.
  3. Enter “kwrite /etc/default/grub &” to edit the grub2 configuration file.
  4. Change “GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=true” to “GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=false” so that the boot menu will include your other Linux and Windows distributions as menu entries. Save your change and exit kwrite.

Then, use Configure Your Computer from Menu -> Settings to rebuild the boot menu using grub2:

  1. Enter the root password in the authentication pop-up window and the PCLinuxOS Control Center window appears.
  2. Select Boot from the left panel and then select Set up boot system from the main panel on the right side.
  3. Select GRUB2 with graphical menu for Bootloader to use.
  4. Select Next.
  5. Select Finish. A pop-up asking you to wait appears and then completes.
  6. Reboot to see your results!

Windows users can keep their Windows release as well as install PCLinuxOS and boot into either Windows or (preferably!) PCLinuxOS.

PCLinuxOS provides the KDE, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. Each of these desktops behave similarly to Windows 7 and Windows Xp. I have installed both the KDE and Xfce desktops from the Synaptic Package Manager (from Menu -> System).

  • Install task-kde4 and task-kde4-help to install the KDE desktop from the Synaptics Package Manager.
  • Install task-xfce and task-xfce-plugins to install the Xfce desktop from the Synaptics Package Manager.
  • Install task-lxde to install the LXDE desktop from the Synaptics Package Manager.

So, why do I like the PCLinuxOS distribution so much? For starters, it immediately recognized my nVidia graphics card and Belkin Wireless USB adaptor during the installation. Mostly, though, PCLinuxOS allows me to appreciate the KDE desktop. PCLinuxOS not only defaults the KDE desktop configurations to sane values; but, is fast! Really, KDE is fast!

Slowly, I started logging into the KDE session more and more often after booting into PCLinuxOS from the boot menu. Now, I find myself booting into PCLinuxOS more often than not. Lastly, I like many of the KDE applications like dolphin, Konsole, KateAmarok, digiKam, and kdenlive.

But, I am not a recent Windows convert. I use PCLinuxOS because its software repositories are filled with (a lot of) useful applications; PCLinuxOS is stable, I have not experienced any “crashes” (or “Blue Screens of Death”); and it just works! PCLinuxOS’ adoption of the grub2 boot manager makes it an even better choice.

So, check out the Windows Migration Guide Special Edition of the PCLinuxOS Magazine at the PCLinuxOS web site if you plan to give PCLinuxOS a try!