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I have a system with Ubuntu 11.10 and GRUB classic installed. Does an upgrade to the most recent version of Ubuntu also updates my GRUB to GRUB2?

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If your Ubuntu version is 11.10, it's unlikely you have GRUB "classic" installed, unless it is installed by another, separate operating system. Ubuntu started using GRUB2 in 9.10.

One point of confusion is that a GRUB installation with version number 1.98 or later is GRUB2. It's only GRUB1, or GRUB legacy, if the version is 1.97 or earlier.

Furthermore, in Ubuntu, the normal package providing GRUB2 for machines with BIOSes is called grub-pc. (Traditionally, BIOS is a major part of what's thought to make a computer a "PC," which may explain this naming convention.) The GRUB package for GRUB legacy is called grub.

  • There is a grub2 package but currently it is a dummy package with grub-pc and grub-common as dependencies.

I am composing this answer from an Ubuntu 11.10 system. My system definitely has GRUB2, but the grub-pc version is 1.99-12ubuntu5.1. That's perfectly normal.

If you upgrade your Ubuntu 11.10 system to a later version of Ubuntu, the version of GRUB it provides will also be upgraded. It will take on a version number that starts with 2. But it was GRUB2 before that, too.

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yeah. latest ubuntu using grub2, anyway u can install back to grub-pc (legacy) for replace grub2.

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Since Ubuntu 9.10, the grub-pc package provides GRUB2, not GRUB legacy. For GRUB legacy, one would install the grub package. See my answer for details. – Eliah Kagan Jan 3 '13 at 18:38

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