StartUp Manager – change settings in Grub, Grub2 and Usplash

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StartUp Manager, or SUM, is a gui tool for changing settings in Grub, Grub2 and Usplash.SUM should work with recent versions of Debian and Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu.

StartUp Manager Features


Grub timeout
Default boot title
Number of kernels in bootloader menu
Enable/disable boot option for memtest86
Enable/disable boot option for "rescue mode"
If the default boot option should be automatically updated
Bootup resolution and color depth
Grub menu colors
Grub menu resolution(Grub2 only)
If Splashy should be loaded from initramfs


Rescue floppy

Change visibility of

Grub menu
Grub menu colors
Grub menu background image
Splash screen and boot text

Password protect

Grub menu from editing
"Alternate" boot options
Old boot options


Install/change/remove Grub backgrounds
Install/change/remove Usplash themes
Install/change/remove Splashy themes
Preview Splashy themes

Install StartUp Manager in Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install startupmanager

This will complete the installtion

Using StartUp Manager

If you want to open StartUp Manager go to System--->Administration--->Startup-Manager

This will prompt for root password enter and click ok

Once it open you should see similar to the following screen here you can change boot options screen

If you want to change appearance change on this screen

Security screen

Advanced screen

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37 Responses

  1. RavanH says:

    Trying to install SUM on Ubuntu Gutsy, I run sudo apt-get install startupmanager but that returns a ‘cannot find package’ error… Are there any repositories I have to add to the sources.lst ?

  2. admin says:

    which version of ubuntu you are using

  3. jj says:

    It’s in Gutsy an subsequent. In Universe repository.

  4. Lo says:

    I had the same problem from my country server, resolved using main server.

  5. sythe says:

    can also download the .deb for it at

  6. altonkov says:

    Hi, I am using Ubuntu 7.10 – the Gutsy Gibbon. All the images I have tried for my GRUB using StartUp Manager are somewhat pixelised and look kinda 90’s :). I tried with different resolutions and color depth but no result. Thanx.

  7. jj says:

    Images must be:
    .xpm file
    14 color only

  8. Julio says:

    Hi, I installed Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and run on terminal “sudo apt-get install startupmanager” but get the following response: “Couldn’t find package startupmanager”.

    I’m new to Ubuntu so have little to no experience with linux.

    Is there a post that can help me in a step by step fashion with this problem.


  9. admin says:

    you need to make sure you have universe and multiverse are enabled in your repositories

    Follow the procedure to Add the Universe and Multiverse Repositories

    Software Sources

    To enable the universe and multiverse repositories using the Software Sources tool, you can execute the following steps:

    1. Open System->Administration->Software Sources

    2. Input your administrative password if you are prompted to do so. Once the program loads, check the boxes next to “Community-maintained Open Source software (universe)” and “Software restricted by copyright or legal issues (multiverse)”.

    3. Next, close Software Sources. A dialog will prompt you to reload the package information. Click the “reload” button.

    4. If you do not see any errors, then you have successfully enabled the universe and multiverse repositories.

    Now you need to try to install startupmanager

  10. Noodle_Bar says:

    I’ve managed to install start up manager but when I go to load it it says “performing pre-configuration tasks” then goes off the screen. Help please!

  11. Noodle_Bar says:

    Incidentally I’m using Ubuntu 8.04 but my user interface is xfce4.

  12. ed_zachary says:

    Hey, I did this for Intrepid and it works great! Thanks!

  13. Aaron says:

    Seems to not be working for grub2 on 9.04 (Jaunty? I forget all the names).

    I’ve used it before with grub and this IS a fine utility for those, like me, who aren’t that great delving into the files.

    Until the new SUM comes out, I’ll have to start learning to manually configure 😉

    Thanks ubuntugeek. You always have good stuff on here.

  14. crjackson says:

    While I have always enjoyed SUM to customize my grub, it doesn’t really offer much for the Grub2 of karmic.

    I would really like to colorize the menu and remove the memtest86+ but the options just aren’t there anymore.

    Finally, I have read some information on how to modify Grub2, but I can’t figure out on my own how to just remove the memtest86+ entries. I would love to see a howto here on Ubuntu Geek that even someone like me can follow.

  15. Mustdie says:

    Seems that we just have to wait for SUM to get more GRUB2 customizing options…
    or read the GRUB2 docs and try to do it manually =)

  16. Brandon M. Sergent says:

    Too bad this app can’t actually edit the entries list.

    I have duplicates that need deleting.

  17. lincks says:

    Brandon M. Sergent,
    follow this step
    7 . # Removing Entries from Grub 2
    on the link

    Its pretty easy.

  18. Jawaid says:

    Easy and useful.
    I’ve Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7

  19. abiheiri says:

    in 10.04 there is no option to password protect grub

  20. Pewterbot 9 says:

    Hello, I just fresh-install upgraded from Jaunty Jackalope to Lucid Lynx, on my dual-boot netbook. Now, the startup menu does appear when I boot up, but only for a fraction of a second! Default bootup is of course, Ubuntu, but since the menu flashes by so fast, there’s no way I can access the other choices, including Windoze Expee.

    So I installed Startup Manager, and set the timeout to 10 seconds. (And to “show text during boot”.) Still, the startup menu flashed by, no delay at all, not even a second! Tried setting timeout to 100 seconds, and once more, this did not help. (Examining grub.cfg shows the timeout was changed to my specs…I just viewed the file.)

    I searched for bootup problems in ubuntu forums, but did not find any problem similar to mine. My situation seems to be that I simply can’t get the startup menu to delay, so I might access it.

    How do I manage to correct this? TIA.

  21. Pewterbot 9 says:

    To let everyone know: I resolved my startup problem. With Lucid Lynx you’re supposed to call up the startup menu by tapping any key when the first bootup screen occurs…but that doesn’t work at all for me. So I found a very useful third-party boot manager, which gave me back my dual-boot control. Very user friendly and easy to configure, I highly recommend it:

    GAG, the Graphical Boot Manager

  22. wahidhasan says:

    Thank u so much, it is very useful. it works.

  23. MaL says:

    what is the command to call/run in the shell text UI?

  24. Zeke Krahlin says:

    > what is the command to call/run
    > in the shell text UI?

    You just type the name of the script or application, then press[enter]. If the program is not in a default path location, then you must type the full path, too!

  25. bartman2589 says:

    Ok, fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid), and I’m wondering how do I get startup manager to show all of the options it shows in the above pictures, right now I’ve only got the boot options and the advanced tab and the advanced tab is missing about half of the options shown on the images above. I’m using whatever version of Grub is installed by default on Ubuntu 10.04 (Grub 2 I think). I’m especially interested in adding a background and changing the colors, as well as the option shown to limit the number of kernels in the boot menu. I would think that by now Grub 2 has been around long enough where we’d have a decent configuration editor (with a GUI) for those of us who are a little iffy with the idea of manually editing the grub.cfg file.

  26. Faban says:

    Esta fue la mejor respuesta de toda la web que he estado buscando desde hace días.

  27. Eruaran says:

    Once again we see the retarded attitude of GNOME developers. The current version of startup manager has been stripped of almost ALL the features most users want to use it for. Can’t at least keep the appearance tab? After all that’s all MOST USERS want to change… But, that would be too sensible wouldn’t it…

  28. Merel says:

    Does anyone has no problem running (in tab Advanced)the option to create a rescue floppy ?

    I noticed that it is a common bug, reported many times but could not find any report telling that it was actually possible to use the option.

    Even if the “mounting floppy” problem is solved (reverting to old version udisks), this does not allow the option to run with succes. Even worse : the floppy is accessed by in an attempt to format, but the Fat format is destroyed, so even in Windows it cannot be accessed anymore.

  29. Prasad DVR says:

    I am using Ubuntu 11.04 (upgraded from 10.04 LTS), my startup-manager now showing 4 options (tabs) Its only showing 2 tabs please help me to resolve my problem

  30. S says:

    startup manager doesn’t work in 11.04

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