HOWTO: Install GAG on a default Ubuntu box

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I know I just mentioned GAG a few days ago, but I didn’t do a very good job explaining how to install it. And a legitimate question was asked: Why are you setting up such weird partitions? In short, I was way too used to building my own quadruple-partition systems and hadn’t thought about it the way a default installation would stand.

So here’s a better way: This will install GAG on a default Xubuntu 6.10 box (although K/Ubuntu will be no different), using the partitions that are set by the guided configuration process on the alternate install CD. In other words:

/dev/hda1 (primary) : root and home, ext3
/dev/hda5 (logical) : swap

Nothing more than that. Grub is installed to the master boot record.

Install and update your system as you like. When you’re done, insert the alternate installation CD again, and boot to it. You can’t use the live CD for this method, unfortunately.

From the opening menu, pick “Rescue a broken system.”

Follow the rescue mode setup prompts. It will look a lot like the alternate installation process, but don’t worry.

When you reach the “Enter rescue mode” menu, pick /dev/hda1 from the root file system menu. Remember that I’m sticking to the default setup, so if your system is configured differently, you’ll have to figure out which one you want.

From the ‘Rescue operations” menu, pick “Reinstall GRUB boot loader.”

The next menu will ask you where GRUB will be put. If you want to read through their examples, it will help you if your partitions are different from the default. For the default setup, type /dev/hda1 in the box and press Continue.

Grub will install. Be patient. If all goes well, you should return to the “Rescue operations” menu. Reboot your system from the menu, and put the GAG install CD in. You’re not ready to boot your new system yet; we still have to install GAG.

At the GAG option menu, pick 4 to install GAG. If you want more information about how GAG works or how to set it up differently, it’s a good idea to read the instructions and the FAQ.

Pick your keyboard and language. The vanilla GAG menu will appear. Press S to set it up.

I delete the default “Boot from disk” option that appears in the menu; I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t want it getting in the way of the system. Do as you like for that.

Press A to add a new operating system.

Use option B to select the first Linux EXT2 boot option. Enter a description. If you want a password for that option, enter it too.

Pick an icon for your OS. I’m all about Tux.

At this point you can set the boot timer or other options. If you want, you can access this menu any time GAG loads, so there’s nothing lost in just writing the menu to the hard disk, as it is. Press H.

If all went well, you should have a message that says “GAG installed succesfully.” ;)

Pop the CD and press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to reboot. You should return to the GAG menu again, and … woo-hoo! A graphical bootloader! Whee!

I think I’ll try setting up a dual boot next. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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