GRUB — the heart of my triple boot system

At home, I run a triple boot PC environment – Antergos (a variant of Arch Linux), Ubuntu 18.04 (a variant of Debian) and Windows 10 (a variant of insanity). I can select any of these operating systems from the GRUB boot loader screen.

You’ll usually find me booting into Antergos which I seem to prefer as my primary OS these days. Antergos is a great rolling distribution and the community is very friendly and helpful. It has a bit of a learning curve if you are more used to Ubuntu or Windows, but Antergos is a great OS .

From time to time, all OSes require updating: squishing bugs, patching security or simply to update to improved software versions. I’ve noticed that when I update Ubuntu, it often stuffs up and I get a kernel panic when I try to boot into Antergos.

This is relatively easy to fix providing you have an Antergos Live Disc. Adjust the BIOS to boot from the Antergos Live Disc. Once you get into a desktop environment fire up a terminal.

Reinstalling GRUB

To learn what the locations of the partitions are, do:

sudo fdisk -l
Image of terminal listing the available partitions
The list of available partitions on my hard drives

Now, become the SuperUser (aka root) with:

sudo su

You need to mount your / root partition. As can be seen from the results posted by fdisk, in my case the / partition is at sdb1. So I run:

mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt

I also need to mount the EFI partition as it holds the Windows boot loader. In my setup, the EFI partition is at sda3. So I run:

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/boot/efi

We then chain root into the mounted partitions with:

arch-chroot /mnt

To locate all of the operating systems and configure the boot loader, do:

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Next we reinstall the boot loader with:

grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=Antergos-grub

After rebooting, a new boot loader screen presents itself. Normally, on my system, Windows 10 is still missing. However, this is readily fixed.

Enter GRUB Customizer

As I like to customise my boot loader screen, I have installed on Antergos the GRUB Customizer program. This program makes it really easy to change the appearance of your boot loader screen.

When running GRUB Customizer, it automatically runs the os-prober which picks up all three operating systems installed on my PC. Conveniently it picks up my previously chosen custom background image and my text colour settings.

Image of GRUB Customizer
GRUB Customizer finds all three of my installed operating systems
as well as the custom background image and text settings

Once I have confirmed that everything is how I like it, as I want my old settings installed, saving this setup will reinstall the boot loader with Antergos, Windows 10 and Ubuntu for me at boot time.

There are a lot of resources out in Cyberia to help you manage your boot loader. If you are using If you are using Antergos, try the Wiki for boot loader tips. For those who use Ubuntu, try the community pages. Or, if you are having problems with Windows boot loader, try a Duck Duck Go search.

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