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Why would one move from Grub to Grub2?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

GRUB 2's major improvements over the original GRUB include:

  • New configuration file structure
  • Scripting support including conditional statements and functions
  • Dynamic module loading
  • Rescue mode
  • Themes
  • Graphical boot menu support and improved splash capability
  • Boot Ubuntu LiveCD and some other ISO images directly from hard drive
  • Non-X86 platform support (such as PowerPC)
  • Universal support for UUIDs (not just Ubuntu)
  • Improved internationalization, including support for non-ASCII characters
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Unfortunately, instead of just adding a module that extends the feature set, they ditched the classical system and completely replaced it. The new version makes it easy to execute one app that auto-generates the config file for you based on the operating systems that exist on the hard drive. Unfortunately, it makes it really hard for users to fine tune the config by manually editing. While Grub was pretty easy to fine tune manually, I wouldn't touch a Grub2 config file with a 20ft pole. – Evan Plaice Sep 16 '10 at 13:41
Only the administrators and programmers would have benefits. But none of those benefits seem to be relevant to an ordinary simple user. Could you clarify, what I would get from it? something relevant like "faster" or such – rubo77 Feb 24 '14 at 23:48

Grub legacy is no longer being maintained, so distros would have to do all the work of patching it to support newer file systems like Ext4 and btrfs. That's a lot of really unnecessary work for them, and diverts dev time away from doing more useful things.

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This question is not really relevant anymore, since Ubuntu 9.10 and later already have GRUB2 installed.

sudo update-grub just has still prevailed as the standard command.

sudo update-grub and sudo update-grub2 are equivalent, so it doesn't matter which one you run. /usr/sbin/update-grub2 is just a symbolic link to /usr/sbin/update-grub.

There are no relevant benefits for the end-user. Only developers and distribution-maintainers benefit from grub2 over grub (see yevhenes answer)

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A user with an already working grub legacy install probably wouldn't benefit from switching, but users benefited from the switch to using grub2 by default because it works correctly with a wider set of system configurations ( for instance, it understands raid and lvm, as well as many more filesystem types ) and avoids several ways grub legacy can break down. – psusi Feb 25 '14 at 0:17

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