Lubuntu long boot on Inspiron 1525

Problem

I installed Lubuntu 18.04, the LXDE variant of Ubuntu, on an old Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop. It worked, but every bootup would take several long minutes.

Solution

Turns out that this is a known problem for this Dell laptop reported here. I followed these steps:

  • Opened Grub config file:
$ sudo vi /etc/default/grub
  • Change the Grub commandline option to be:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=SVIDEO-1:d"
  • Update Grub and reboot:
$ sudo update-grub
$ sudo reboot

Boot time dropped dramatically to about a minute after this change.

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Keyboard not working in GRUB boot menu

Problem

I faced this strange problem on a friend’s computer which had a USB keyboard. The keyboard would not work in the GRUB boot menu! It would however work fine inside the BIOS setup and after booting into Ubuntu, it would work there too. Why was it not working only in GRUB?!

Solution

The solution turned out to be Legacy USB support. I enabled this in the computer’s BIOS and it started working in the GRUB boot menu! 😄

Ubuntu: Boot by default into Windows

Problem

When Ubuntu is installed to create a dual-boot system with Windows, it sets itself up with the Grub boot-loader as the default boot option. If you boot into Window more frequently than into Ubuntu, it would be a good idea to set Windows as the default boot option with Grub.

Solution

There used to be a time when changing the default boot option was as simple as editing a grub/menu.lst file and changing the default boot number from 0 to 4. That time is long gone! 😐 Messing around with the newer versions of Grub is more complicated now.

If you look for a utility to change the default boot setting, most of the Internet will shout back about something called StartupManager. However, development on this utility has been stopped and it does not appear in the recent Ubuntu repository.

What works is the new utility Grub Customizer. There is a small problem, this utility is not yet in the Ubuntu repository! Install it from the creator’s repository using the following invocation:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

After installation run Grub Customizer, it displays a list of boot entries. Move the Windows boot entry to the top using the arrow buttons and Save the list. Your computer should now boot into Windows by default.

Tried with: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) and Grub Customizer 2.2

Ubuntu: Removing Linux Kernel Boot Entries from GRUB

Ubuntu sometimes updates itself with a new Linux kernel version. Such kernel updates also create new entries in the GRUB bootloader screen which is displayed at bootup. I am not doing any kernel development and am confident enough that Ubuntu folks are updating me to safe stable versions. So, if I do not have any problems with the new kernel version, I find it irritating to see older Linux kernel entries cluttering up the GRUB screen.

Ubuntu now uses GRUB2, which is significantly different from the older GRUB. To remove Linux kernel entries from the GRUB bootloader screen, just un-install the related Linux kernel packages using the Synaptic Package Manager. And voila, the GRUB entries for that are auto-magically removed!

For example, to remove the GRUB boot entries of Linux kernel v2.6.31-20, I searched for 2.6.31-20 in Synaptic. I found the packages linux-headers-2.6.31-20, linux-headers-2.6.31-20-generic and linux-image-2.6.31-20-generic. I un-installed them, and their boot entries are gone! 🙂

Tried with: Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)