System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

x86: Modifying Boot Behavior by Editing the menu.lst File

The GRUB menu, which is based on the menu.lst configuration file, can be customized. When you install or upgrade the Solaris release, the bootadm command automatically updates the menu.lst file to reflect menu entries that are supported for that particular GRUB implementation. Any newly installed OS that is listed in this file is displayed as a boot entry in the GRUB menu when the system is rebooted. Note that when installing an operating system other than the Solaris OS, you will need to manually add the menu entry to the menu.lst file afterwards.

The following is an example of a typical GRUB main menu, based on the contents of the menu.lst file. The GRUB main menu consists of boot entries that are available, plus a failsafe archive.

GNU GRUB  version 0.95  (631K lower / 2095488K upper memory)
 | Solaris 10.1 ... X86                                                    |
 | Solaris failsafe                                                        |
 |                                                                         |

A configurable timeout is available to boot the default OS entry. The default OS boot entry that is booted is configurable through the default command. The Solaris installation software typically sets this command to boot one of the valid Solaris boot entries. To boot a different instance of the Solaris OS (if applicable), or to boot a different OS, use the arrow keys to highlight a different boot entry. Then press Enter to boot that entry. Note that if the default command is not set, the first boot entry in the GRUB menu is booted.

Only the active menu.lst file is used to boot the system. To modify the GRUB menu that is displayed when you boot the system, edit the active GRUB menu.lst file. Changing any other menu.lst file has no effect on the menu that is displayed when you boot the system To determine the location of the active menu.lst file, use the list-menu subcommand of the bootadm command. For more information about using the bootadm command, see Using the bootadm Command to Manage the Boot Archives.

For a complete description of the menu.lst file in each of the GRUB implementations in the Solaris OS, see x86: Supported GRUB Implementations.