Reboot Choice Selection to Reboot to Multiple different OSes

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Would you like an OS selection option when you reboot or shutdown?

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Reboot Choice Selection to Reboot to Multiple different OSes

Postby onlyoneskwalla » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:16

Just a request/idea, I think instead of just having a single reboot choice for the computer, sabayon/linux should help the dual and triple booters of the world by automating the boot selection, before the reboot.

This is mainly targeted at Grub users, but could likely affect lilo or perhaps even windows or mac bootloaders if enough hacking is done.

To clarify I think you should be able to choose what OS you'd like to reboot into when you decide to reboot, not later at the grub os select screen.

Further I guess this could even apply to shutdown, say perhaps your going to shutdown your laptop before you head to work and you think/know you'll need to use windows/whatever at work.

Now this possibly increases the chance to mess up grub by messing with the menu.lst at every shutdown/reboot, but grub could be protected if it relied upon a backup untampered copy and allowed you to choose between the 2.
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Postby Appleman1234 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:48

This sounds like an ok idea.
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Postby wolfden » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:54


what is wrong with using grub? you have to go thru grub anyway.

Same options as if shutting down windows or any other operating sytem so you really don't gain anything unless every other operating system does it.

Grub FTW! Universal and as many choices as you would like.
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Postby onlyoneskwalla » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:39

Of course you'd be using grub. I'm sorry I wasn't as clear as I needed to be, I'd like to see a feature that essentially changes the default OS for the next boot of grub when you choose to shutdown or reboot.

This feature would automate, and free the user during boot/reboot to attend other matters, and not force them to be watching their computer to catch grub before the timer runs out(btw I know how to raise or lower the timer). So that when they return to their computer after fresh boot/reboot they find a fully booted OS of their preference.

Further to build a bridge you have to at least start at one end right?
Why not start at the linux side that we control, eh? Why should I have to wait for windows to have this before we perfect it? Ok enough blind ranting.

I can see this feature applying in soooo many instances beyond the epic battle of Win/Lin. Perhaps people experimenting in different linuxes/BSDs, linux/mac, linux/mac/win, linux/ps3, linux/xbox360. Obviously the first to benefit will be the open source systems, followed by open source add-ons for those proprietary desktops.

I would agree that posting this at sabayon's doorstep is not likely the place to see it implemented, likely kde devs, or the gnome devs would be able to do more with it, but I thought I'd offer here first at my beloved distro's forum.
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Postby wolfden » Thu Feb 01, 2007 13:14

I can just see Billy adding to his M$ ~Reboot to Sabayon Linux~ option :lol:

Poor Steve would have heart failure. :lol:
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Postby Jesterhead » Thu Feb 01, 2007 18:07

Personally i like the way SuSE did something like this ;)

Its nice that i havent wait until reboot to boot for example into windows.
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Postby cvill64 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 20:02

its not possible to change the default for grub unless it prompts you for root privs, which is a ridiculous waste of time

now if one were to build a user handle into grub that would accept something from gnome or kde, then yes, it would be possible
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Postby onlyoneskwalla » Thu Feb 01, 2007 22:25

You couldn't just change the ownership/group of the /boot/grub/menu.lst? Then like I said change grub to rely on 2 menu.lst, one main protected by root and less vulnerable to damage, and the smaller one that the user can alter. The user alterable file doesn't even have to be able to alter everything, it could just be allowed to change aspects of grub that aren't a security risks like the default boot.

This brings up another interesting idea, could you make a single file with root control except with certain values being changeable by the user as they don't hold a security risk.

Anyways thanks for the replies :)
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Postby AmpLiF1eR » Thu Feb 01, 2007 22:39

A default is called default for a reason right ?
Why would I change my 'default' many times, then it wouldn't be 'default' anymore.

"I always use sabayon 98% of my time but I need Xp tomorrow morning and I don't want to wait while booting to select it, so I want to choose it now!" :)

Sorry, I don't say it's ridiculous, but it isn't useful enough to spend time on (I think) ;)


p.s. Instead, I would like it to see some attention to firefox, so a seperate binary from Mozilla isn't necessary anymore because of crashing issues (wmv stream) and the undefined default skin in 'themes', that's more useful because konqueror is replaced by FF and Opera nowadays by most people as the default browser of choice.
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Postby thedevilsjester » Fri Feb 02, 2007 0:28

Many distributions have this feature already, however none of them have actually worked for me.

As for the naysayers to such a feature, let me give you the ' it happens to me everyday' reason why it would be a great addition.

I have my default set to Linux, and I have the timer set to 5 seconds because I dont want to wait on the timer the 90% of the time that I boot default.

So when I need to boot into another OS (games, development, whatever), it is a pain sometimes when for one reason or another I have to look away from the PC and I miss the grub screen. I cannot count the number of times that I had to reset 2 or 3 times to catch my grub screen because something always took my attention (I have kids, a wife, and pets, so there are lots of attention grabbers). Examples of this are my 1yr old getting behind the PC and playing with the wires, its odd that he always tries this right as I am rebooting, and I always miss the grub screen because of it.

So having the ability to choose what OS I want to boot to next is a god send.

Now I know you can set the timer up really high, but that would just add alot of time to the bootup process unless you are sitting there watching the screen, and with the amount of time it takes some OSes to shutdown, having to sit there and watch it shutdown is about as fun as watching grass grow.

As for how it can easily be done, simply modify grub to have a 'NextDefault' setting that is stored either in the menu.lst (or for added security in a separate file that is owned by 'ShutdownGroup'). If this setting exists, it overrides the grubs default FOR NEXT BOOT ONLY. If the setting existed when grub loads the settings file, then the setting should be set to the original grub default, this allows grub to load its normal default next time.
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