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How to set windows as default OS in dual boot with ubundu

Updated on August 31, 2011

Old versions of Linux were not at all user friendly. But today with the arrival of newer versions of Ubuntu it has changed. Latest versions of Linux are very user friendly. So most of us (even Windows lovers) are now ready to try installing Linux along with windows. But even now we use windows only for our day to day purpose. So most of us love to keep windows as default OS. But if you install Ubuntu after installing windows, your default OS in boot loader(grub) will be Ubuntu. In this case the display will be like shown below

This will be the default display of grub boot loader if you install Ubuntu after installing windows. In most cases you will like to set windows as default OS. For that follow the steps in this article
This will be the default display of grub boot loader if you install Ubuntu after installing windows. In most cases you will like to set windows as default OS. For that follow the steps in this article

How to set Ubuntu as default

If you want to change Ubuntu as the default OS, there are two ways.

Using StartupManager( Needs internet connection)

This is a free Linux application that you can easily download from internet using synaptic package manager. For installing this in your Ubuntu, go to System-> administration ->synaptic package manager. In the one there is a search bar. Search in it for StartupManager. Then it will list the application. Select it from the check box and install it. After installing it, start it. There will be a drop down menu to select the default Operating system. Set Windows if you want to.

Using Command line( using terminal- no need of internet)

The beauty of Linux lies in doing everything using terminal. It is more easy. Just type the following command after opening terminal

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

You may be asked to enter the password. Do it. Then you will get a display showing details of boot menu. From that display find the section, looking as given below

# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not change this entry to ‘saved’ or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default 0

Here default 0 indicates the default booting option. In the picture shown above ubuntu is shown as first (ie the zeroth position). In that picture, windows is at fourth, by numbering starting from 0. So if I change the 0 in the file to 4 and save that file, I can change the default booting OS to windows. If you want to change your default OS, first find its number from the display, and change that number in the position. the save that file and reboot. You will see the system booting into windows by default.

Be careful while doing this. Because you are editing an important system file. In some cases you may want to keep a backup of the initial setup of boot menu. For those detailed steps refer ubuntu site


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