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Booting and Shutting Down Oracle® Solaris 11.4 Systems

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Updated: November 2020

Administering the GRUB Menu

All GRUB 2 configuration information is stored in the grub.cfg file. Never directly edit grub.cfg, whose contents can be overwritten by other commands. To configure GRUB2, use bootadm subcommands instead.

All bootadm subcommands for managing GRUB apply only to x86 systems. However, certain bootadm subcommands can be used on SPARC based systems. See, for example, Managing the Oracle Solaris Boot Archives.

The bootadm command has the following subcommands:


Adds a boot entry to the GRUB menu.


Changes the attributes of a specified boot entry in the GRUB menu.


Generates a new boot loader configuration file.


Installs the system boot loader. This subcommand applies to both x86 and SPARC platforms.


Displays the current boot entries in the GRUB menu.


Removes a boot entry from the GRUB menu.


Maintains the GRUB menu. You can use this subcommand to set a particular GRUB menu entry as the default, to add security protection to the GRUB menu, and to set other menu options and boot loader options.

The –P option supports changing menus on multiple root pools.


Sets a password to prevent the GRUB menu from being seen.


Shows a boot entry from the GRUB menu. This subcommand is equivalent to list-menu.

For more details, see the bootadm(8) man page.

Password-Protecting the GRUB Menu

    To control access to the GRUB menu, use set-menu-password. The command supports the following options:

  • –s password sets the password for accessing the GRUB menu entries.

  • –r removes the password lock.

  • –l verifies whether a password lock is in place and which users have access to each menu entry.

Caution  -  If the default boot entry is locked, the system would require a password in order to boot. To enable system boots without manual intervention, do not set a password lock.

Authorizing Users to Access the GRUB Menu

    To grant specific users access to the GRUB menu, follow these steps:

  1. Add users to the authenticated users list.

    $ bootadm set-menu add-user=username

    Note -  The password used to authenticate access to the GRUB menu is not the same password used by the OS when it is booted.
  2. Grant access to specific users.

    • To grant access to the whole GRUB menu:

      $ bootadm set-menu add-superuser username
    • To grant access to a specific menu entry:

      $ bootadm change-entry -i menu-number add-auth=username

      The menu-number corresponds to the menu entry to which access is granted.

Displaying GRUB Menu Entries

To display a system's menu entries, use list-menu or show-entry.

Used by itself, list-menu displays the entire GRUB menu, including the location of the boot loader configuration files and other information.

$ bootadm list-menu
the location of the boot loader configuration files is: /rpool/boot/grub
default 0
console graphics
timeout 30
0 Oracle Solaris 11/11
1 Oracle Solaris 11.3
2 Oracle Solaris 11.4

To obtain information about a specific menu entry, identify the entry with is menu number.

$ bootadm list-menu -i 0
     the location of the boot loader configuration files is: /rpool/boot/grub
     title: Oracle Solaris 11 11/11
     kernel: /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
     kernel arguments: -B $ZFS-BOOTFS -v
     boot archive: /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
     ZFS root pool: rpool

The show-entry command shows only entry-specific information.

$ bootadm show-entry -i 0
     title: Oracle Solaris 11 11/11
     kernel: /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
     kernel arguments: -B $ZFS-BOOTFS -v
     boot archive: /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
     ZFS root pool: rpool

Generating the GRUB Menu

To generate a grub.cfg file, use generate-menu. The file would contain the OS instances currently installed on a system.

$ bootadm generate-menu

    Options direct the way the command is implemented:

  • –f overwrites an existing grub.cfg file.

  • –P pool-name generates a new GRUB menu for a different root pool than the current one.

Note -  Verify your changes with the list-menu subcommand or by viewing the contents of grub.cfg.