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I installed Debian 6 on the same PC where I am running different versions of Ubuntu. Debian 6 installed grub, probably a different version than Ubuntu. I am running update-grub from Ubuntu 10, 11 & 12 and it does not overwrite the Debian boot loader. The Debian grub has failed to correctly define the boot options for 10.04 Ubuntu distro, the other Ubuntu distros where correctly defined. I had to modify the boot options at the grub prompt, intead of single, I wrote recovery nomodeset and I could load 10.04 Ubuntu but not in the recovery mode.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use sudo grub-install /dev/sdX X is the drive letter ex:- a, b You can find it out by doing a sudo fdisk -l

Then do a update-grub2

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I got it, thanks. – Salvador Aug 21 '12 at 12:07

Recent versions of Debian and Ubuntu both use grub2; both have a version number of 1.99. As indicated by Manula, the problem is probably that the boot loader needs reinstalling. What he doesn't point out is that this is because you probably have multiple versions of th /boot folder, unless you have this as a separate partition, and hence Ubuntu updates its copy of /boot/grub/grub.cfg and then Debian uses a different one, which has not been updated.

You might want to look into manually putting the entries you want into /etc/grub.d/40_custom on both systems, or, if possible, creating a common /boot partition. Debian and Ubuntu although you then would need to be careful if the kernel version numbers ever get to be the same!

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A same /boot partition seems to risky as far as I don't even know how to compile a kernel (I actually use examples, as for installing nvidia private driver in debian) I am not capable to modify any of the /etc/grub.d files for the same reason. I would be interested to know if there is any suitable tool to modify such files, then I will look at the results. I cannot understand why it is recommended to keep older kernel versions, if there is a recovery mode where to compile a kernel as root. – Salvador Aug 21 '12 at 12:49
I don't know of any tool to maintain the grub config files. People normally just edit them. Most people never compile a kernel and I wouldn't consider using recovery mode for compiling! I usually keep the current and most recent versions of any kernel after installing an upgrade in case there's a problem. If you keep separate /boot folders for Debian and Ubuntu and don't feel confident to put the required menuentry's in /etc/grub.d/40_custom then you are likely to continue to have problems when switching between Debian and Ubuntu on a dual boot system. – StarNamer Aug 21 '12 at 15:58
I found a Grub Customizer at, I did installed, it is a pretty and simple program, however I had to add a new repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer, which is a little bit risky for a beginner. – Salvador Aug 29 '12 at 9:31

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