Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I installed Precise on my friend's computer to use it, but it automatically boots into Precise. He has Xp and wants it to boot into Xp automatically.

How can I set Windows Xp to be the primary boot operating system?

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of How do I set Windows to boot as the default in the boot loader? –  jokerdino Jul 22 '12 at 14:44
The duplicate above has a much better answer. –  prolink007 Nov 20 '12 at 3:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

You have to edit the grub.cfg located at /boot/grub. Change the order OS menu entries in the file.

You can even set time out before the OS is chosen automatically.

Go through this https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/CustomMenus

Be very careful while editing grub.cfg

share|improve this answer
Sorry but editing grub.cfg is absolutely not recommended for regular usage. The next time update-grub is run, your edits are removed. One could tinker with the contents of /etc/grub.d/, but that's still not the intended way of doing it. Only when you have a non-functional grub.cfg, because you put the drive in another computer, then you can edit grub.cfg, but you'd run update-grub as soon as you can boot the OS to generate a proper grub.cfg. –  LiveWireBT Jul 22 '12 at 15:26

You can do this by editing /etc/default/grub:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

You can change the value for GRUB_DEFAULT= to

  • a certain number, which is not recommended, because the menu entries can change,
  • a string like "Windows XP" or however the entry for Windows XP is named; or
  • save the last used entry with GRUB_DEFAULT=saved and adding GRUB_SAVEDEFAULT=true

after you have made the changes, press Ctrl+o to save and Ctrl+x to leave. Then run sudo update-grub to apply the changes.

I recommend the last option, it's the least annoying option in most cases, unless you boot into another OS each time you reboot.

See also the community documentation for Grub2 and Grub2/Setup.

share|improve this answer

As a follow up to LiveWireBT you need to set GRUB_DEFAULT=0 to GRUB_DEFAULT=[order in grub menu that the xp item apears]

share|improve this answer
I just accidentally hit tab and space. My answer is now complete. –  LiveWireBT Jul 22 '12 at 15:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.