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I'm afraid I was assuming that Ubuntu (12.10) would be slightly easier to use and to tweak a little, however this is apparently not the case.
I have a 750 GB hard disk in my Asus laptop. 600 GB for Windows and the rest for Ubuntu. I had first installed Windows and then added Ubuntu afterwards. However this sets Ubuntu to be the default boot system. That doesn't strike me as being a good idea. I'm the computer-aware one who can boot into a secondary system, but my wife wants it nice and simple and Windows. So I was hoping to change the boot order. However instead of a simple utility, I was confronted with very complicated instructions. The first option was to change some grub.lst file, however I couldn't find it. The second was to install Grub Customizer. This was however a major task, as I had to perform several terminal operations. I find this strange for what is supposedly such a friendly shell.
Anyway I did and then started the program, only to find it wasn't exactly intuitive. The interface gave me the impression that I could move items up and down. So I moved the Windows boot up until it was above the Ubuntu boot and the several other Ubuntu options. However the only effect of this was to remove Windows entirely from the boot menu. It took me quite a few trials to find out that I now suddenly have to go into the Ubuntu advanced options in order to get to Windows.
Why can't I simply set a boot order? With the accent on simply?

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closed as not constructive by Stephen Myall, Eric Carvalho, hhlp, Javier Rivera, Eliah Kagan Feb 15 '13 at 16:10

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It is simple ;) but as with ANY operating system: it works different than the OS you are used to so it will take a long time before you are used to it. 1 thing you will notice is that Linux users have a strong affection to using the command line since we use serveral(!) different desktops and command line is the method that works across all systems (to an extend ;) ). –  Rinzwind Feb 15 '13 at 9:35

2 Answers 2

You can:

sudo mv /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober /etc/grub.d/09_os-prober
sudo update-grub

That puts Windows first because the Windows entry is generated by the 09_os-prober script, and it will be executed before the linux entries are added (by 10_linux). (The scripts are processed in numerical order.)

Simple? Yes. Easily understood? No.

Caveat Probably Grub-customizer has worked some magic and so you may need to undo this first. If this doesn't work or things don't look right, provide some more information as to the state of the files in /etc/grub.d

PS I've never used Grub Customizer, but this is supposed to be more user friendly. Maybe someone that has experience with this will provide a simpler answer since you already have it installed.


Newbie explanation:

  • sudo means to use administrator permissions and will ask for your password.
  • mv is the move command.
  • /etc/grub.d/ is a directory that contains files that are read (by grub) and used in order they are found so moving /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober from 30 to 09 (/etc/grub.d/09_os-prober) will put it up the ranks.
  • I added in sudo update-grub since you also need to tell the system to start using the new settings.
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Why complicate matters as such when the user just wants to change boot order? –  To Do Feb 15 '13 at 10:13
    
@ToDo I don't see how it's more complicated than editing /etc/default/grub. PS Thanks @Rinzwind for your edit. –  bcbc Feb 15 '13 at 10:18

To change boot order, while the computer is booting take note of where is the Windows entry in Grub (let us say it is the sixth entry as an example).

Boot Ubuntu, press Alt + F2 and type gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub. There is a line with GRUB_DEFAULT=0 where 0 is the first entry. Change it to point to the Windows entry. In our example above you should enter 5 (not 6), that is, sixth entry since the first is 0. Save the file and exit.

Now open terminal (ctrl + alt + t) and type sudo update-grub.

Reboot your computer to test it. You should see that the highlighted line is the Windows line and without any intervention the computer will boot into Windows.

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