Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am a GRUB noob and I would appreciate if you could help me with my issues.

I want to install several GNU/Linux Distros but I broke GRUB so I used boot-repair to fix it. I wanted to have a separated /boot partition on /dev/sda1 containing the following options: /dev/sda5 -> my old Ubuntu 12.04 x64 / /dev/sda6 -> /home for Ubuntu in sda5 /dev/sda10 -> LinuxMint

I first ran the boot-repair with "Recomended repair" and it left my system unusable so I ran it again by expanding the "Advanced options" section. These are the options that I used:

  • from the "Main options" tab I checked the "Reinstall GRUB" option;
  • in the "GRUB Location" tab I set the "OS to boot by default" option on sda5 (Ubuntu 12.04) and I selected sda1 for the separate /boot partition option.
  • in the "GRUB options" tab I selected "Purge GRUB before reinstalling it"
  • in the "Other options tab" I set "Place boot flag on sda1;

After this I had 2 entries in the boot menu: One for /dev/sda5 from which Ubuntu booted and one for /dev/sda10 with a LinuxMInt label from which still UBUNTU booted, not LinuxMint. Ubuntu started with Unity2D and not Unity which is default, it did not have the driver for the video card activated and the mouse pointer did not move.

This is the config that resulted;

After all this I reinstalled LinuxMint on sda10 but LinuxMint reinstalled grub and left only LinuxMint as a boot option. I ran boot-repair from a separate LiveUSB but this time with "Recomended Repair" Now I have both Ubuntu and LinuxMint boot options that point to the actual Distributions. The problem is that Ubuntu still loads with Unity2D default, the video driver is still inactive and the mouse cursor does not move. This is my current configuration:

I have the following questions: 1) Can you please tell me how to fix Ubuntu 12.04 to boot with Unity3D, video driver active and working mouse? If not, do you have any idea how did I broke this and how to avoid this in the future? 2) I am planning to use several linux distros and I am planning to change them a lot. How can I reinstall grub from scratch without breaking my config? What did I do wrong?

Thank you in advance, Andrei

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

2) I think you broke your config by moving Ubuntu's /boot to sda1, while sda1 was (i think) already used by another distro (Debian or Mint) as a separate /boot. DO NOT share a separate /boot between several distros, it will mess up everything. Instead, use sda1 as the /boot of your main distro, and don't use separate /boot for other distros.

1) If I were you, I would clean up sda1 and Ubuntu's system files by reinstalling it (you can preserve your /home folder this way: )

share|improve this answer
1) do you have any idea, will it keep my libs, or my /etc? I have /home on a separate partition already. – ddreian Aug 5 '12 at 21:07
The installation from point 1) basically did a fresh install (all old apps were cleaned) and keept /home. This is very useful for someone who does not have a separate /home partition like me. The /etc folder was completely changed. – ddreian Aug 11 '12 at 11:14

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.