Graphical OS Selector

Registered by Rick Spencer

Including grub-like functionality during the boot experience.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
David Barth
Needs approval
Canonical Desktop Experience Team
Series goal:
Proposed for karmic
Milestone target:
milestone icon later
Completed by
David Barth

Related branches



dbarth, 2009-08-17: postponed

pitti, 2009-07-17:
 - first, nice UI design!

mt, 2009-07-20: We're working on it right now!

 - I guess this will use X instead of trying to squeeze all that into usplash (which we decided not to use by default?)

mt: Correct. Usplash will only be used for the fallback splash screen (if X takes too long to start), disk check and fs decryption.

 - so Ubuntu has to boot far enough to bring up X; what kind of toolkit/application will be used for this?
 - how does the integration with gdm and kdm look like, i. e. will gdm start on the same X server than the os selector?

mt: That's the plan. The OS selector will stay on the screen as long as the user fiddles with it (there's also the 20-second timeout if idle). The system will continue booting in the background, so quitting the OS switcher will bring you right back to the gdm greeter, or indeed your desktop session (if autologin is enabled).

 - how to ensure that the OS selector stays around long enough to be useful?

mt: As above.

 - the previous questions are similar to the "unresolved issues" section, please resolve this.
 - how to select a different default OS, e. g. always boot into windows by default? this should then switch on the text grub UI on again (while changing the default to Ubuntu would disable it again).

mt: you can select default OS from the grub menu.

pitti, 2009-07-21:
 - Please add answers to questions into the spec (in particular, where to select the default OS, gdm and usplash handling, etc.)

 - It's still not clear to me how to ensure that the OS selector stays around long enough to be usable. It needs to wait until X is up (which should be pretty fast once Scott is done with his optimizations), and then it'll just be a couple of seconds (1 to 10, depending on how fast the hard disk/SSD is) until gdm starts up. You surely don't want to forcefully sleep for 20 seconds in the OS selector?

mt, 2009-07-21:
 - Let's discuss on irc first.

robbie.w, 2009-07-29:
 Has anyone looked into the GRUB 2 graphical menu project of grub2?

mt, 2009-07-30:
 @robbie.w Yes we have, but we don't really want to go down that route - we wouldn't have enough control over the presentation to make it a very good experience.


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.