1

The title doesn't really mean that I expect GRUB to recognize my Desktop environments. I just want to have separate Debian 9 installations with different environments and to be able to recognize them in the GRUB menu.

I tried to change the /etc/default/grub but this is used only from the current system (let's say Debian 9.2 xfce) and so the other system (let's say Debian 9.2 lxde) sees just "Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)".

I can't understand which file I have to change so that GRUB from every OS will give the appropriate entry name (with DesktopEnvironment).

I looked in similar topics that was discussing of changing 40_custom or 30_os_prober, but didn't manage to find an answer.

6
  • 2
    Do you actually want these different Debian installations to be using different kernels and/or root partitions, or just different DEs? You know, you can have multiple DEs installed on the same system and choose between them on the graphical login window? (usually clicking on the logo button for the distro will give you a drop-down menu of the DEs)
    – Time4Tea
    Dec 2, 2017 at 23:13
  • Thanks @Time4Tea, but I know that. I need them for comparsion with their default (offered) applications etc and for testing purposes. For example I want to show to my students the different DEs and let them run and choose the one they preffer... And not only. I have several reasons to don't want to mix separated DEs but to keep them clean for testing and learning.
    – koleygr
    Dec 3, 2017 at 2:31
  • What's wrong with using VMs for that, rather than rebooting? That's so 2000s. Dec 4, 2017 at 14:51
  • @koleygr ok, just wanted to make sure :-)
    – Time4Tea
    Dec 4, 2017 at 18:15
  • @WouterVerhelst I am used with multiboot systems, I have never tried a VM but as far as I know and I can understand, a VM uses some resources for the host OS... I have no really fast or new pcs... I use pcs of 10 years old and so the resources are really important for me. But thanks for the advice... I would use a VM just for windows or for recording an installation process but not for real use of the OS
    – koleygr
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

2
+100

I agree with Time4Tea's comment about having multiple DEs on a single system, however, if you really want to have two separate installs, then I recommend you pick one as your primary to use for configuring grub. So for example, for debian xfce, I would edit /etc/grub.d/10_linux, and then /etc/grub.d/40_custom for debian lxde. Be sure to first backup those files before editing them. Then run update-grub to apply your changes to /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

3
  • Thanks @Lucas. I will try to do it and answer soon. (Thinking that if your way works, then if I change both 40_custom's but rename them to 09_custom... will give my desired result -independent of primarydistro- )
    – koleygr
    Dec 3, 2017 at 2:41
  • I had left a comment here but don't see it now... I tried using a 40_custom file like the oneone the most upvoted here: askubuntu.com/questions/344125/…... I also tried through 30_os-prober but could not make it work.
    – koleygr
    Dec 3, 2017 at 6:18
  • fixed... thanks.... I will wait a little bit before award you the bounty. I also will add an answer with full instructions later (like removing 30_os-prober and the way we add the entries in 40_custom)
    – koleygr
    Dec 3, 2017 at 10:08
0

Finally the previous settings (before this edit) can not work after some updates of my debian system. So I solved the problem like this:

In the file of /etc/grub.d/10_linux of every distro, I added a word that shows the DE used in the distro like this (see "MATE"):

if [ "x${GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR}" = "x" ] ; then
  OS=GNU/Linux
else
  case ${GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR} in
    Ubuntu|Kubuntu)
      OS="${GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR}"
      ;;
    *)
      OS="${GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR} MATE"
      ;;
  esac
  CLASS="--class $(echo ${GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR} | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z' | cut -d' ' -f1|LC$
fi

then I edited the file /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober and changed some things.

My final file is:

#! /bin/sh
set -e

# grub-mkconfig helper script.
# Copyright (C) 2006,2007,2008,2009  Free Software Foundation, Inc.
#
# GRUB is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
#
# GRUB is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
# GNU General Public License for more details.
#
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with GRUB.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

prefix="/usr"
exec_prefix="/usr"
datarootdir="/usr/share"
quick_boot="0"

export TEXTDOMAIN=grub
export TEXTDOMAINDIR="${datarootdir}/locale"

. "$pkgdatadir/grub-mkconfig_lib"

found_other_os=

adjust_timeout () {
  if [ "$quick_boot" = 1 ] && [ "x${found_other_os}" != "x" ]; then
    cat << EOF
set timeout_style=menu
if [ "\${timeout}" = 0 ]; then
  set timeout=10
fi
EOF
  fi
}

if [ "x${GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER}" = "xtrue" ]; then
  exit 0
fi

if [ -z "`which os-prober 2> /dev/null`" ] || [ -z "`which linux-boot-prober 2> /dev/null`" ] ; then
  # missing os-prober and/or linux-boot-prober
  exit 0
fi

OSPROBED="`os-prober | tr ' ' '^' | paste -s -d ' '`"
if [ -z "${OSPROBED}" ] ; then
  # empty os-prober output, nothing doing
  exit 0
fi

osx_entry() {
    found_other_os=1
    if [ x$2 = x32 ]; then
        # TRANSLATORS: it refers to kernel architecture (32-bit)
    bitstr="$(gettext "(32-bit)")"
    else
        # TRANSLATORS: it refers to kernel architecture (64-bit)
    bitstr="$(gettext "(64-bit)")"
    fi
    # TRANSLATORS: it refers on the OS residing on device %s
    onstr="$(gettext_printf "(on %s)" "${DEVICE}")"
        cat << EOF
menuentry '$(echo "${LONGNAME} $bitstr $onstr" | grub_quote)' --class osx --class darwin --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-xnu-$2-$(grub_get_device_id "${DEVICE}")'  {
EOF
    save_default_entry | grub_add_tab
    prepare_grub_to_access_device ${DEVICE} | grub_add_tab
    cat << EOF
        load_video
        set do_resume=0
        if [ /var/vm/sleepimage -nt10 / ]; then
           if xnu_resume /var/vm/sleepimage; then
             set do_resume=1
           fi
        fi
        if [ \$do_resume = 0 ]; then
           xnu_uuid ${OSXUUID} uuid
           if [ -f /Extra/DSDT.aml ]; then
              acpi -e /Extra/DSDT.aml
           fi
           if [ /kernelcache -nt /System/Library/Extensions ]; then
              $1 /kernelcache boot-uuid=\${uuid} rd=*uuid
           elif [ -f /System/Library/Kernels/kernel ]; then
              $1 /System/Library/Kernels/kernel boot-uuid=\${uuid} rd=*uuid
              xnu_kextdir /System/Library/Extensions
           else
              $1 /mach_kernel boot-uuid=\${uuid} rd=*uuid
              if [ /System/Library/Extensions.mkext -nt /System/Library/Extensions ]; then
                xnu_mkext /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
              else
                xnu_kextdir /System/Library/Extensions
              fi
           fi
           if [ -f /Extra/Extensions.mkext ]; then
              xnu_mkext /Extra/Extensions.mkext
           fi
           if [ -d /Extra/Extensions ]; then
              xnu_kextdir /Extra/Extensions
           fi
           if [ -f /Extra/devprop.bin ]; then
              xnu_devprop_load /Extra/devprop.bin
           fi
           if [ -f /Extra/splash.jpg ]; then
              insmod jpeg
              xnu_splash /Extra/splash.jpg
           fi
           if [ -f /Extra/splash.png ]; then
              insmod png
              xnu_splash /Extra/splash.png
           fi
           if [ -f /Extra/splash.tga ]; then
              insmod tga
              xnu_splash /Extra/splash.tga
           fi
        fi
}
EOF
}

used_osprober_linux_ids=

wubi=

for OS in ${OSPROBED} ; do
  DEVICE="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 1`"
  LONGNAME="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 2 | tr '^' ' '`"
  LABEL="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 3 | tr '^' ' '`"
  BOOT="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 4`"
  PTLABEL="`echo $(blkid -po udev  ${DEVICE} |grep LABEL_ENC| sed 's/^.*=//')`"
  if UUID="`${grub_probe} --target=fs_uuid --device ${DEVICE%@*}`"; then
    EXPUUID="$UUID"

    if [ x"${DEVICE#*@}" != x ] ; then
      EXPUUID="${EXPUUID}@${DEVICE#*@}"
    fi

    if [ "x${GRUB_OS_PROBER_SKIP_LIST}" != "x" ] && [ "x`echo ${GRUB_OS_PROBER_SKIP_LIST} | grep -i -e '\b'${EXPUUID}'\b'`" != "x" ] ; then
      echo "Skipped ${LONGNAME} on ${DEVICE} by user request." >&2
      continue
    fi
  fi

  BTRFS="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 5`"
  if [ "x$BTRFS" = "xbtrfs" ]; then
    BTRFSuuid="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 6`"
    BTRFSsubvol="`echo ${OS} | cut -d ':' -f 7`"
  fi

  if [ -z "${LONGNAME}" ] ; then
    LONGNAME="${LABEL}"
  fi

  # os-prober returns text string followed by optional counter
  CLASS="--class $(echo "${LABEL}" | LC_ALL=C sed 's,[[:digit:]]*$,,' | cut -d' ' -f1 | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z' | LC_ALL=C sed 's,[^[:alnum:]_],_,g')"

  gettext_printf "Found %s on %s labeled %s\n" "${LONGNAME}" "${DEVICE}" "${PTLABEL}" >&2

  case ${BOOT} in
    chain)

      case ${LONGNAME} in
    Windows*)
      if [ -z "$wubi" ]; then
        if [ -x /usr/share/lupin-support/grub-mkimage ] && \
           /usr/share/lupin-support/grub-mkimage --test; then
          wubi=yes
        else
          wubi=no
        fi
      fi
      if [ "$wubi" = yes ]; then
        echo "Skipping ${LONGNAME} on Wubi system" >&2
        continue
      fi
      ;;
      esac

      found_other_os=1
      onstr="$(gettext_printf "(on %s)" "${DEVICE}")"
      cat << EOF
menuentry '$(echo "${LONGNAME} $onstr" | grub_quote)' $CLASS --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-chain-$(grub_get_device_id "${DEVICE}")' {
EOF
      save_default_entry | grub_add_tab
      prepare_grub_to_access_device ${DEVICE} | grub_add_tab

      if [ x"`${grub_probe} --device ${DEVICE} --target=partmap`" = xmsdos ]; then
      cat << EOF
    parttool \${root} hidden-
EOF
      fi

      case ${LONGNAME} in
    Windows\ Vista*|Windows\ 7*|Windows\ Server\ 2008*)
    ;;
    *)
      cat << EOF
    drivemap -s (hd0) \${root}
EOF
    ;;
      esac

      cat <<EOF
    chainloader +1
}
EOF
    ;;
    efi)

    found_other_os=1
    EFIPATH=${DEVICE#*@}
    DEVICE=${DEVICE%@*}
    onstr="$(gettext_printf "(on %s)" "${DEVICE}")"
      cat << EOF
menuentry '$(echo "${LONGNAME}  $onstr" | grub_quote)' $CLASS --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-efi-$(grub_get_device_id "${DEVICE}")' {
EOF
      save_default_entry | sed -e "s/^/\t/"
      prepare_grub_to_access_device ${DEVICE} | sed -e "s/^/\t/"

      cat <<EOF
    chainloader ${EFIPATH}
}
EOF
    ;;
    linux)
      if [ "x$BTRFS" = "xbtrfs" ]; then
         LINUXPROBED="`linux-boot-prober btrfs ${BTRFSuuid} ${BTRFSsubvol}  2> /dev/null | tr ' ' '^' | paste -s -d ' '`"
      else
         LINUXPROBED="`linux-boot-prober ${DEVICE} 2> /dev/null | tr ' ' '^' | paste -s -d ' '`"
      fi
      prepare_boot_cache=
      boot_device_id=
      is_top_level=true
      title_correction_code=
      OS="${LONGNAME}"

      for LINUX in ${LINUXPROBED} ; do
        LROOT="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 1`"
        LBOOT="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 2`"
        LLABEL="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 3 | tr '^' ' '`"
        LKERNEL="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 4`"
        LINITRD="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 5`"
        LPARAMS="`echo ${LINUX} | cut -d ':' -f 6- | tr '^' ' '`"

        if [ -z "${LLABEL}" ] ; then
          LLABEL="${LONGNAME}"
        fi

    if [ "${LROOT}" != "${LBOOT}" ]; then
      LKERNEL="${LKERNEL#/boot}"
      LINITRD="${LINITRD#/boot}"
    fi

    if [ -z "${prepare_boot_cache}" ]; then
      prepare_boot_cache="$(prepare_grub_to_access_device ${LBOOT} | grub_add_tab)"
      [ "${prepare_boot_cache}" ] || continue
    fi

    found_other_os=1
    onstr="$(gettext_printf "(on %s)" "${DEVICE}")"
    recovery_params="$(echo "${LPARAMS}" | grep 'single\|recovery')" || true
    counter=1
    while echo "$used_osprober_linux_ids" | grep 'osprober-gnulinux-$LKERNEL-${recovery_params}-$counter-$boot_device_id' > /dev/null; do
        counter=$((counter+1));
    done
    if [ -z "$boot_device_id" ]; then
        boot_device_id="$(grub_get_device_id "${DEVICE}")"
    fi
    used_osprober_linux_ids="$used_osprober_linux_ids 'osprober-gnulinux-$LKERNEL-${recovery_params}-$counter-$boot_device_id'"

    if [ "x$is_top_level" = xtrue ] && [ "x${GRUB_DISABLE_SUBMENU}" != xy ]; then
            cat << EOF
menuentry '$(echo "$OS $PTLABEL $onstr" | grub_quote)' $CLASS --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-gnulinux-simple-$boot_device_id' {
EOF
        save_default_entry | grub_add_tab
        printf '%s\n' "${prepare_boot_cache}"
        cat <<  EOF
    linux ${LKERNEL} ${LPARAMS}
EOF
            if [ -n "${LINITRD}" ] ; then
          cat << EOF
    initrd ${LINITRD}
EOF
            fi
        cat << EOF
}
EOF
        echo "submenu '$(gettext_printf "Advanced options for %s" "${OS} ${PTLABEL} $onstr" | grub_quote)' \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-gnulinux-advanced-$boot_device_id' {"
        is_top_level=false
    fi
    title="${LLABEL} ${PTLABEL} $onstr"
        cat << EOF
    menuentry '$(echo "$title" | grub_quote)' --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-gnulinux-$LKERNEL-${recovery_params}-$boot_device_id' {
EOF
    save_default_entry | sed -e "s/^/$grub_tab$grub_tab/"
    printf '%s\n' "${prepare_boot_cache}" | grub_add_tab
    cat <<  EOF
        linux ${LKERNEL} ${LPARAMS}
EOF
        if [ -n "${LINITRD}" ] ; then
            cat << EOF
        initrd ${LINITRD}
EOF
        fi
        cat << EOF
    }
EOF
    if [ x"$title" = x"$GRUB_ACTUAL_DEFAULT" ] || [ x"Previous Linux versions>$title" = x"$GRUB_ACTUAL_DEFAULT" ]; then
        replacement_title="$(echo "Advanced options for ${OS} $onstr" | sed 's,>,>>,g')>$(echo "$title" | sed 's,>,>>,g')"
        quoted="$(echo "$GRUB_ACTUAL_DEFAULT" | grub_quote)"
        title_correction_code="${title_correction_code}if [ \"x\$default\" = '$quoted' ]; then default='$(echo "$replacement_title" | grub_quote)'; fi;"
        grub_warn "$(gettext_printf "Please don't use old title \`%s' for GRUB_DEFAULT, use \`%s' (for versions before 2.00) or \`%s' (for 2.00 or later)" "$GRUB_ACTUAL_DEFAULT" "$replacement_title" "gnulinux-advanced-$boot_device_id>gnulinux-$version-$type-$boot_device_id")"
    fi
      done
      if [ x"$is_top_level" != xtrue ]; then
      echo '}'
      fi
      echo "$title_correction_code"
    ;;
    macosx)
      if [ "${UUID}" ]; then
    OSXUUID="${UUID}"
    osx_entry xnu_kernel 32
    osx_entry xnu_kernel64 64
      fi
    ;;
    hurd)
      found_other_os=1
      onstr="$(gettext_printf "(on %s)" "${DEVICE}")"
      cat << EOF
menuentry '$(echo "${LONGNAME} $onstr" | grub_quote)' --class hurd --class gnu --class os \$menuentry_id_option 'osprober-gnuhurd-/boot/gnumach.gz-false-$(grub_get_device_id "${DEVICE}")' {
EOF
      save_default_entry | grub_add_tab
      prepare_grub_to_access_device ${DEVICE} | grub_add_tab
      grub_device="`${grub_probe} --device ${DEVICE} --target=drive`"
      mach_device="`echo "${grub_device}" | sed -e 's/(\(hd.*\),msdos\(.*\))/\1s\2/'`"
      grub_fs="`${grub_probe} --device ${DEVICE} --target=fs`"
      case "${grub_fs}" in
    *fs)    hurd_fs="${grub_fs}" ;;
    *)  hurd_fs="${grub_fs}fs" ;;
      esac
      cat << EOF
    multiboot /boot/gnumach.gz root=device:${mach_device}
    module /hurd/${hurd_fs}.static ${hurd_fs} --readonly \\
            --multiboot-command-line='\${kernel-command-line}' \\
            --host-priv-port='\${host-port}' \\
            --device-master-port='\${device-port}' \\
            --exec-server-task='\${exec-task}' -T typed '\${root}' \\
            '\$(task-create)' '\$(task-resume)'
    module /lib/ld.so.1 exec /hurd/exec '\$(exec-task=task-create)'
}
EOF
    ;;
    minix)
      cat << EOF
menuentry "${LONGNAME} (on ${DEVICE}, Multiboot)" {
EOF
         save_default_entry | sed -e "s/^/\t/"
         prepare_grub_to_access_device ${DEVICE} | sed -e "s/^/\t/"
     cat << EOF
    multiboot /boot/image_latest
}
EOF
    ;;
    *)
      # TRANSLATORS: %s is replaced by OS name.
      gettext_printf "%s is not yet supported by grub-mkconfig.\n" "  ${LONGNAME}" >&2
    ;;
  esac
done

adjust_timeout

The changes are:

1) Created the variable:

 PTLABEL="`echo $(blkid -po udev  ${DEVICE} |grep LABEL_ENC| sed 's/^.*=//')`"

2) This variable is the partition label and I am labeling my partitions (at least the root partitions of every operating system). This label is saved in this variable and then is added in the menuentries and sudmenuenties of my system independent of the system. Search for PTLABEL in the code above to see where I used it. You can also use it in any other kind of OS (I suppose) but I used it just for linux distros.

3) Added this variable in the sentence "found DISTRONAME" that appears when we updating grub, So that I can check if my systems found or which found etc.

This way I use the labels of my disks to name my grub entries.

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