GRUB -- GRand Unified Bootloader
Some of these contents are included in other pages.
NOTE: Up-to-date versions of this documentation directory can
be found at
specifics might be for a newer version of the program, so check the
online NEWS file for details
about the differences.
GRUB is an attempt to produce a bootloader for IBM PC-compatible machines
that has both the capability to be friendly to beginning or
interested users and the flexibility to help experts in diverse
environments. It is currently most useful for users of at least
one of the various free UNIX-like operating systems, though it can
be used with most any PC operating system.
This project actually started because we wanted to boot the
operating system on top of
Mach4 on an IBM PC-compatible system in a manner compliant
with the Multiboot Standard, which
was put together as a general solution to the problem of the different
boot formats and the functionality they need.
I then tried to add support for the extra functionality to the
standard bootloader used for FreeBSD. The number of things I had to do
to get it all to work multiplied until it was obviously necessary to
start from scratch with something different.
GRUB has evolved a long way from it's beginnings as a multi-module
of the techniques used have no analogue in the rest of the free
software world, and a few are apparently superior to most proprietary OSes
The documentation here and in the multiboot proposal should be very
useful to prospective OS and bootloader writers for PCs.
The name comes from the acronym, but also from the realization that although
a grub is one of the smaller (and less interesting) critters - barely worthy
of notice - it is nearly ubiquitous and vital to the order of things.
- Members of the Multiboot e-mail list and Bryan Ford
(email@example.com) -- for all the multiboot discussion
and OS code to test with.
- VaX#n8 (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- for testing feedback plus the
initial implementation for the ext2fs filesystem.
- Miles Bader (email@example.com) -- for testing feedback.
- Eric Hanchrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- for interstate remote
debugging by hand.
- Gord Matzigkeit (email@example.com) -- for lots of
- Heiko Schroeder (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- for
a re-writing stage1 to be much more readable, plus several patches.
GRUB is currently available under the
GNU General Public License.
This should not be an issue for OS developers or users who dislike
the terms of the GPL, as it is a separate package, and will not
have any licensing impact upon their own work or installation.
If it is still an issue,
send me e-mail and maybe we can
work something out.
The publically available releases are available on my
FTP site, and I
believe they will get included in the GNU FTP sites as well.
Here are links to the NEWS file,
TODO list, and list of known BUGS.