Friday, 18 February 2011

Ubuntu 10.10 Dual Booting Change Default OS

If you have loaded Ubuntu 10.10 on to a PC that already has a version of windows on it you will probably find that the Grub loader that starts when you boot the machine will set the default operating system to be Ubuntu. This is fine if you want Ubuntu to be your OS of choice and you only want Windows every now and then. You can of course change the OS that starts up by selecting your preferred option in the Grub loader. If however you want Windows to be the OS that starts up when you turn your machine on and walk away to make a cup of tea you will have to change the default OS from Ubuntu to Windows.

You could do in Terminal somehow, probably, but for an Ubuntu newbie like me it is just to damned complicated. Instead use the GUI. Thats not as straight forward as you might think either though.

To use the GUI you need to have Start Up Manager installed. If it is installed it will be in System|Administration. You will probably it isn't there. In that case you need to install it via Synaptic Package Manager which should be in the same System|Administration menu.

Start the package manager, enter your root password, type "startupmanager" in to the "Quick Search" box. Click in the box to the left of the package and select "Mark For Installation". You may get a warning screen about other packages that are required, select "Mark". Then click "Apply" and follow any instructions.

Once the Start up Manager is installed you can access it via System|Administration.

When the Start UP Manager has loaded you will probably see that the default OS is set to Ubuntu. Using the drop down select your version of Windows to boot on start up. Then click "Close"

You should now find that on start up, and without select any OS that the PC will boot to Windows. You should also find that the other people that use the PC and don't understand Ubuntu and don't want to use it have now stopped complaining. You of course will now have to choose Ubuntu at start up instead of the new default of Windows.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Ubuntu Window Resizing

The area that you click on to with the mouse to resize windows in Ubuntu is very small and tricky to actually click on to. However if you press ALT and click the middle mouse button whilst hovering over any part of a window you can resize it a lot easier. A disadvantage is that this is now a two handed operation.