21

Is there a way of retrieving list of "menuentries" titles of GRUB?

I need a results in a format that grub-set-default will accept. eg.

"Ubuntu"
"Memory test (memtest86+)"
etc.
29

Using awk

awk -F\' '/menuentry / {print $2}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg 

gives you a full list of all menu entries in grub.cfg.

  • 1
    You do not need to pipe grep to awk , awk will pattern match with /foo/ – Panther Mar 20 '15 at 17:06
  • 1
    awk -F\' '/menuentry / {print $2}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg – Panther Mar 20 '15 at 17:57
  • A.B. I agree with @bodhi.zazen. If you edit and leave me a note, I'mm come back and upvote! – Fabby Aug 9 '15 at 20:40
  • @Fabby a note for you. OMG Those were my first steps with awk. :\ – A.B. Aug 9 '15 at 21:03
  • 3
    Add the entry number to the output: awk -F\' '/menuentry / { print i++, $2}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg to use for grub-set-default – mikezter Apr 28 '17 at 18:42
7

Exactly this has been annoying me for over a year - so I did a quick and dirty script to do it. Hope this helps others?

This stacks the names in a push/pop queue, but not the menu indexing so it could be better but I have gone as far as I could be bothered.

gawk  'BEGIN {                                                                                                                       
  l=0                                                                                                                                
  menuindex= 0                                                                                                                       
  stack[t=0] = 0                                                                                                                     
}                                                                                                                                    

function push(x) { stack[t++] = x }                                                                                                  

function pop() { if (t > 0) { return stack[--t] } else { return "" }  }                                                              

{                                                                                                                                    

if( $0 ~ /.*menu.*{.*/ )                                                                                                             
{                                                                                                                                    
  push( $0 )                                                                                                                         
  l++;                                                                                                                               

} else if( $0 ~ /.*{.*/ )                                                                                                            
{                                                                                                                                    
  push( $0 )                                                                                                                         

} else if( $0 ~ /.*}.*/ )                                                                                                            
{                                                                                                                                    
  X = pop()                                                                                                                          
  if( X ~ /.*menu.*{.*/ )                                                                                                            
  {                                                                                                                                  
     l--;                                                                                                                            
     match( X, /^[^'\'']*'\''([^'\'']*)'\''.*$/, arr )                                                                               

     if( l == 0 )                                                                                                                    
     {                                                                                                                               
       print menuindex ": " arr[1]                                                                                                   
       menuindex++                                                                                                                   
       submenu=0                                                                                                                     
     } else                                                                                                                          
     {                                                                                                                               
       print "  " (menuindex-1) ">" submenu " " arr[1]                                                                               
       submenu++                                                                                                                     
     }                                                                                                                               
  }                                                                                                                                  
}                                                                                                                                    

}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Here you can see a screen grab from my box showing it running enter image description here

  • +1 I like the push and pop commands in your answer. Wish I had known them before I wrote my answer. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Apr 6 '18 at 23:55
7

Color Screen shot (short version)

Use mouse scroll wheel, Home, End, PgUp, PgDn, and keys to navigate the menu.

grub-menu.sh

Text Screen shot (long version)

The bash script uses whiptail instead of dialog to display the menu. One advantage is you can copy the terminal image to the clipboard as text and paste it into this website as text. Other advantages include:

  • Mouse scroll wheel support
  • Faster performance
  • dialog is not installed by default in Ubuntu Server or Lubuntu. whiptail is included by default.

Here's a text screen shot:

Grub Version: 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.15


        ┌─────────┤ Use arrow, page, home & end keys. Tab toggle option ├──────────┐
        │ Menu No. --------------- Menu Name ---------------                       │ 
        │                                                                          │ 
        │     0    Ubuntu                                                     ↑    │ 
        │     1    Advanced options for Ubuntu                                ▮    │ 
        │     1>0  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.31-041431-generic                  ▒    │ 
        │     1>1  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.31-041431-generic (upstart)        ▒    │ 
        │     1>2  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.31-041431-generic (recovery mode)  ▒    │ 
        │     1>3  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.30-041430-generic                  ▒    │ 
        │     1>4  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.30-041430-generic (upstart)        ▒    │ 
        │     1>5  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.30-041430-generic (recovery mode)  ▒    │ 
        │     1>6  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.27-041427-generic                  ▒    │ 
        │     1>7  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.27-041427-generic (upstart)        ▒    │ 
        │     1>8  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.27-041427-generic (recovery mode)  ▒    │ 
        │     1>9  Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.24-041424-generic                  ▒    │ 
        │     1>10 Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.24-041424-generic (upstart)        ▒    │ 
        │     1>11 Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.24-041424-generic (recovery mode)  ▒    │ 
        │     1>12 Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.23-041423-generic                  ▒    │ 
        │     1>13 Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.23-041423-generic (upstart)        ↓    │ 
        │                                                                          │ 
        │                                                                          │ 
        │                   <Display Grub Boot>        <Exit>                      │ 
        │                                                                          │ 
        └──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ 

Highlight entry and press Enter

Use the navigation keys to highlight an option and press Enter to see the pre-kernel drivers loaded by grub and the boot parameters passed by grub to the kernel when booting it:

menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 4.14.27-041427-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-4.14.27-041427-generic-advanced-f3f8e7bc-b337-4194-88b8-3a513f6be55b' {
recordfail
savedefault
load_video
gfxmode $linux_gfx_mode
insmod gzio
if [ x$grub_platform = xxen ]; then insmod xzio; insmod lzopio; fi
insmod part_gpt
insmod ext2
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root f3f8e7bc-b337-4194-88b8-3a513f6be55b
else
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root f3f8e7bc-b337-4194-88b8-3a513f6be55b
fi
echo 'Loading Linux 4.14.27-041427-generic ...'
linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.14.27-041427-generic root=UUID=f3f8e7bc-b337-4194-88b8-3a513f6be55b ro quiet splash loglevel=0 vga=current udev.log-priority=3 fastboot kaslr acpiphp.disable=1 crashkernel=384M-2G:128M,2G-:256M $vt_handoff
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
initrd /boot/initrd.img-4.14.27-041427-generic
}
Press <Enter> to continue

grub-menu.sh bash script

grub-menu.sh only has one option to tweak:

# Default for hide duplicate and triplicate options with (upstart) and (recovery mode)?
HideUpstartRecovery=false

Set the value to true (hide the extra entries) or false (list all entries).

The default format can be overridden when calling the script using:

grub-menu.sh short

or:

grub-menu.sh long

The code:

#!/bin/bash

# NAME: grub-menu.sh
# PATH: $HOME/bin
# DESC: Written for AU Q&A: https://askubuntu.com/q/1019213/307523
# DATE: Apr 5, 2018. Modified: May 7, 2018.

# $TERM variable may be missing when called via desktop shortcut
CurrentTERM=$(env | grep TERM)
if [[ $CurrentTERM == "" ]] ; then
    notify-send --urgency=critical "$0 cannot be run from GUI without TERM environment variable."
    exit 1
fi

AllMenusArr=()      # All menu options.
# Default for hide duplicate and triplicate options with (upstart) and (recovery mode)?
HideUpstartRecovery=false
if [[ $1 == short ]] ; then
    HideUpstartRecovery=true    # override default with first passed parameter "short"
elif [[ $1 == long ]] ; then
    HideUpstartRecovery=false   # override default with first passed parameter "long"
fi
SkippedMenuEntry=false  # Don't change this value, automatically maintained
InSubMenu=false     # Within a line beginning with `submenu`?
InMenuEntry=false   # Within a line beginning with `menuentry` and ending in `{`?
NextMenuEntryNo=0   # Next grub internal menu entry number to assign
# Major / Minor internal grub submenu numbers, ie `1>0`, `1>1`, `1>2`, etc.
ThisSubMenuMajorNo=0
NextSubMenuMinorNo=0
CurrTag=""          # Current grub internal menu number, zero based
CurrText=""         # Current grub menu option text, ie "Ubuntu", "Windows...", etc.
SubMenuList=""      # Only supports 10 submenus! Numbered 0 to 9. Future use.

while read -r line; do
    # Example: "           }"
    BlackLine="${line//[[:blank:]]/}" # Remove all whitespace
    if [[ $BlackLine == "}" ]] ; then
        # Add menu option in buffer
        if [[ $SkippedMenuEntry == true ]] ; then
            NextSubMenuMinorNo=$(( $NextSubMenuMinorNo + 1 ))
            SkippedMenuEntry=false
            continue
        fi
        if [[ $InMenuEntry == true ]] ; then
            InMenuEntry=false
            if [[ $InSubMenu == true ]] ; then
                NextSubMenuMinorNo=$(( $NextSubMenuMinorNo + 1 ))
            else
                NextMenuEntryNo=$(( $NextMenuEntryNo + 1 ))
            fi
        elif [[ $InSubMenu == true ]] ; then
            InSubMenu=false
            NextMenuEntryNo=$(( $NextMenuEntryNo + 1 ))
        else
            continue # Future error message?
        fi
        # Set maximum CurrText size to 68 characters.
        CurrText="${CurrText:0:67}"
        AllMenusArr+=($CurrTag "$CurrText")
    fi

    # Example: "menuentry 'Ubuntu' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu" ...
    #          "submenu 'Advanced options for Ubuntu' $menuentry_id_option" ...
    if [[ $line == submenu* ]] ; then
        # line starts with `submenu`
        InSubMenu=true
        ThisSubMenuMajorNo=$NextMenuEntryNo
        NextSubMenuMinorNo=0
        SubMenuList=$SubMenuList$ThisSubMenuMajorNo
        CurrTag=$NextMenuEntryNo
        CurrText="${line#*\'}"
        CurrText="${CurrText%%\'*}"
        AllMenusArr+=($CurrTag "$CurrText") # ie "1 Advanced options for Ubuntu"

    elif [[ $line == menuentry* ]] && [[ $line == *"{"* ]] ; then
        # line starts with `menuentry` and ends with `{`
        if [[ $HideUpstartRecovery == true ]] ; then
            if [[ $line == *"(upstart)"* ]] || [[ $line == *"(recovery mode)"* ]] ; then
                SkippedMenuEntry=true
                continue
            fi
        fi
        InMenuEntry=true
        if [[ $InSubMenu == true ]] ; then
            : # In a submenu, increment minor instead of major which is "sticky" now.
            CurrTag=$ThisSubMenuMajorNo">"$NextSubMenuMinorNo
        else
            CurrTag=$NextMenuEntryNo
        fi
        CurrText="${line#*\'}"
        CurrText="${CurrText%%\'*}"

    else
        continue    # Other stuff - Ignore it.
    fi

done < /boot/grub/grub.cfg

LongVersion=$(grub-install --version)
ShortVersion=$(echo "${LongVersion:20}")
DefaultItem=0

if [[ $HideUpstartRecovery == true ]] ; then
    MenuText="Menu No.     ----------- Menu Name -----------"
else
    MenuText="Menu No. --------------- Menu Name ---------------"
fi

while true ; do

    Choice=$(whiptail \
        --title "Use arrow, page, home & end keys. Tab toggle option" \
        --backtitle "Grub Version: $ShortVersion" \
        --ok-button "Display Grub Boot" \
        --cancel-button "Exit" \
        --default-item "$DefaultItem" \
        --menu "$MenuText" 24 76 16 \
        "${AllMenusArr[@]}" \
        2>&1 >/dev/tty)

    clear
    if [[ $Choice == "" ]]; then break ; fi
    DefaultItem=$Choice

    for (( i=0; i < ${#AllMenusArr[@]}; i=i+2 )) ; do
        if [[ "${AllMenusArr[i]}" == $Choice ]] ; then
            i=$i+1
            MenuEntry="menuentry '"${AllMenusArr[i]}"'"
            break
        fi
    done

    TheGameIsAfoot=false
    while read -r line ; do
        if [[ $line = *"$MenuEntry"* ]]; then TheGameIsAfoot=true ; fi
        if [[ $TheGameIsAfoot == true ]]; then
            echo $line
            if [[ $line = *"}"* ]]; then break ; fi
        fi
    done < /boot/grub/grub.cfg

    read -p "Press <Enter> to continue"

done

exit 0

3

This should be the right "string"...

awk -F\' '/^menuentry / {print $2}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg|cat -n|awk '{print $1-1,$1="",$0}'

The last pipe delete white space at the beginning of each row and correct the number sequence in accordance with grub number entry. Sample output:

0   Ubuntu
1   Memory test (memtest86+)
2   Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)
3   Windows 10 (su /dev/sdc1)

If you like to see all entries, also the advanced, you could use

awk -F\' '/(^|| )nuentry / {print $2}' /boot/grub/grub.cfg|cat -n|awk '{print $1-1,$1="",$0}'

but the numbers sequence isn't suitable for use with grub-set-default.

  • 6
    This only shows the top level menu. The Advanced Options sub-menu is missing. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jan 24 '18 at 23:52
  • 1
    Could you explain what the piped commands do and how it is better than the accepted answer? – Melebius Jan 25 '18 at 10:00
  • For me, this worked better as it prints also the entry numbers – Zac Jan 29 '18 at 16:08
2

I just found out that you can just use auto-complete (pressing tab twice) on commands like grub-reboot or grub-set-default and it'll give you a list of the available boot menu entries. You can then just copy the title you want literally, you don't need to use a number.

Unfortunately, for some reason my Windows 7 installation doesn't show up that way.

0

In OpenSuSE grub2-once provides the menu id which you can then use in other commands. Not much help for Ubuntu users though.

# grub2-once --list
     0 openSUSE Leap 42.3
     1 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.172-86-default
     2 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.172-86-default (recovery mode)
     3 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.165-81-default
     4 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.165-81-default (recovery mode)
     5 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.159-73-default
     6 Advanced options for openSUSE Leap 42.3>openSUSE Leap 42.3, with Linux 4.4.159-73-default (recovery mode)
     7 openSUSE 42.1 (x86_64) (on /dev/sda8)
     8 Advanced options for openSUSE 42.1 (x86_64) (on /dev/sda8)>openSUSE Leap 42.1 (on /dev/sda8)
     9 Advanced options for openSUSE 42.1 (x86_64) (on /dev/sda8)>openSUSE Leap 42.1, with Linux 4.1.39-56-default (on /dev/sda8)
    10 Advanced options for openSUSE 42.1 (x86_64) (on /dev/sda8)>openSUSE Leap 42.1, with Linux 4.1.39-53-default (on /dev/sda8)
    11 Advanced options for openSUSE 42.1 (x86_64) (on /dev/sda8)>Install 42.3 (on /dev/sda8)
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  • You should probably share the location that you got grub2-once from – Charles Green Feb 11 at 16:38
  • Although this is about ubuntu I use OpenSuSE and it installs all grub v2 commands as grub2-????. When I was searching for how to get the grub menu list this is the question that is found irrespective of the linux flavour so I figured my response may be helpful to others. What I didn't realise is that the grub2-once command appears to be unique to suse (no equivalent grub-once in ubuntu). I'll amend my answer to reflect this – Paranoid Feb 11 at 17:35
  • Seems like a handy utility... – Charles Green Feb 11 at 17:38

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