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How to change the default OS in an Ubuntu dual-boot setup

The GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The GRUB boot menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual boots.

The boot menu for the GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual-boots.

Although Linux is great, there are still reasons to keep Windows hanging around on your hard drive. Maybe you can’t live without iTunes for your iPhone/iPod, or perhaps you’re a gamer and still want to play titles that aren’t available on Linux yet. Whatever the reason, dual-booting is a reality that many of us live with.

Ubuntu installs a bootloader called GRUB that allows you to choose which OS you’d like to boot when you start your PC. You’ve probably noticed that Ubuntu is the default OS that boots after you install it in a dual-boot setup. By default, GRUB is configured to automatically boot Ubuntu after 10 seconds, giving you the opportunity to boot into Windows if you so desire.

However, if you want to boot Windows by default, you can easily change GRUB’s default behavior. You can also change GRUB’s timeout length if you simply don’t want to sit around for an additional 10 seconds each time your computer boots. It involves a little under-the-hood tinkering, but by following the steps in this guide, you should be able to change the appropriate settings in just a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry