Solaris 10 Installation Guide: Network-Based Installations

Description of GRUB menu.lst File

The GRUB menu.lst file lists the contents of the GRUB main menu. The GRUB main menu lists boot entries for all the OS instances that are installed on your system, including Solaris Live Upgrade boot environments. The Solaris software upgrade process preserves any changes that you make to this file.

Any revisions made to the menu.lst file are displayed on the GRUB main menu, along with the Solaris Live Upgrade entries. Any changes that you make to the file become effective at the next system reboot. You can revise this file for the following reasons:

Caution – Caution –

Do not use the GRUB menu.lst file to modify Solaris Live Upgrade entries. Modifications could cause Solaris Live Upgrade to fail.

Although you can use the menu.lst file to customize booting behavior such as booting with the kernel debugger, the preferred method for customization is to use the eeprom command. If you use the menu.lst file to customize, the Solaris OS entries might be modified during a software upgrade. Changes to the file would then be lost.

For information about how to use the eeprom command, see How to Set Solaris Boot Parameters by Using the eeprom Command in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.

Example 4–2 Menu.lst File

Here is a sample of a menu.lst file:

default 0
timeout 10
title Solaris
  root (hd0,0,a)
  kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot -B console=ttya
  module /platform/i86pc/boot_archive
title Solaris failsafe
  root (hd0,0,a)
  kernel /boot/multiboot -B console=ttya -s
  module /boot/
#----- second_disk - ADDED BY LIVE UPGRADE - DO NOT EDIT  -----
title second_disk
  root (hd0,1,a)
  kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot
  module /platform/i86pc/boot_archive
title second_disk failsafe
  root (hd0,1,a)
  kernel /boot/multiboot kernel/unix -s
  module /boot/x86.miniroot-safe
#----- second_disk -------------- END LIVE UPGRADE ------------
title Windows
  root (hd0,0)
  chainloader -1

Specifies which item to boot if the timeout expires. To change the default, you can specify another item in the list by changing the number. The count begins with zero for the first title. For example, change the default to 2 to boot automatically to the second_disk boot environment.


Specifies the number of seconds to wait for user input before booting the default entry. If no timeout is specified, you are required to choose an entry.

title OS name

Specifies the name of the operating system.

  • If this is a Solaris Live Upgrade boot environment, OS name is the name you gave the new boot environment when it was created. In the previous example, the Solaris Live Upgrade boot environment is named second_disk.

  • If this is a failsafe boot archive, this boot archive is used for recovery when the primary OS is damaged. In the previous example, Solaris failsafe and second_disk failsafe are the recovery boot archives for the Solaris and second_disk operating systems.

root (hd0,0,a)

Specifies on which disk, partition, and slice to load files. GRUB automatically detects the file system type.

kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot

Specifies the multiboot program. The kernel command must always be followed by the multiboot program. The string after multiboot is passed to the Solaris OS without interpretation.

For a complete description of multiple operating systems, see How Multiple Operating Systems Are Supported in the GRUB Boot Environment in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.

Locating the menu.lst File To Change the GRUB Menu

You must always use the bootadm command to locate the GRUB menu's menu.lst file. The list-menu subcommand finds the active GRUB menu. The menu.lst file lists all the operating systems that are installed on a system. The contents of this file dictate the list of operating systems that is displayed on the GRUB menu. If you want to make changes to this file, see x86: Locating the GRUB Menu's menu.lst File (Tasks).