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GAG Page

Edited  Friday, June 05 2009

This web-page is part of a larger site giving examples of how to install Windows+Ubuntu Linux operating systems 'dual boot' in a computer.  Illustrated Dual Boot HomePage.

GAG's HomePage: GAG Boot Manager
GAG's Sourceforge Forums: http://sourceforge.net/forum/?group_id=67836

About GAG
It is a good idea to make a GAG Boot Manager CD-ROM or floppy disk before-hand if you are planning on dual booting. GAG can be used as a rescue disk, especially for those with Windows operating systems.
If things don't go entirely according to plan when you install Linux, you may find yourself temporarily 'locked out' of your Windows system, (you could lose the ability to easily to boot Windows in the same way you are used to).
GAG is the 'graphical boot manager', so it's nice and user freindly, you won't be side tracked into using up your precious time doing a crash course in Linux commands.   
GAG Boot Manager will easily boot Windows for you, so you can at least get your urgent work our of the way.
Then, later on when you have time and you are in the right mood, you can fiddle around with fixing the dual boot.  GAG Boot Manager might save your day!

It is easy to make yourself a GAG floppy disk or CD-ROM to boot your operating systems with. I'll show you how, complete with illustrations, further down this page.

To boot with your GAG floppy disk or CD-ROM, once it is made, you can insert it in the appropriate drive before starting your computer up. Then during start-up, the GAG menu will come up. It can be configured to present you with a list of up to nine operating systems to choose from, if you need that many.

You can use GAG Boot Manager to install Linux operating systems without touching your MBR if you wish. During installation, just select to install Grub or LiLo to the new operating system's own partition (boot sector), not to MBR. Then set up your GAG floppy disk to boot it with.
If you only want to boot Windows, you won't need to insert the GAG floppy disk or CD-ROM, because your MBR has not been touched, so Windows will boot up as usual. 

GAG functions especially well from a floppy disk, because it is easy to 'set up' GAG on a floppy disk to suit the current arrangement of your computer, and 'save the changes' to the floppy disk.

GAG can be installed to MBR at any time if you decide to, and performs very well there. GAG is much simpler to use than any other boot manager. A great advantage of using GAG is that it is 'operating system independent', so when you decide to uninstall an operating system, you can just go right ahead and delete the partition it's on.  It won't affect your ability to boot your other operating systems, because GAG installs to MBR and the first track of your hard disk.
For this reason, GAG is very convenient for serious Linux connoisseurs who like to experiment a lot and sample different distros. You can multiple boot a whole smorgasboard of operating systems and add or remove operating systems as often as you like. GAG is very simple to re-configure after an operating system (or hard disk) is removed and new one is added. It saves a lot of time and effort compared with reconfiguring the other types of bootloaders every time, unless you are a real masochist and happen to actually enjoy all that work.

GAG on a CD-ROM is useful for those of us who might have a computer without a working floppy disk drive for any reason. You can either find GAG on 'System Rescue CD', if you have one, or make your own GAG CD-ROM. I will show you how to do that soon. GAG can boot your operating systems from a CD, but you can't 'save the changes' to a CD, so it just means it takes a minute to set GAG up each time you need to boot from the CD.

Booting Windows with GAG
When used as an emergency boot disk, GAG normally should boot Windows especially easily. This can really save the day for anyone who is new to dual booting when they are in distress. It is a good idea to take the precaution of creating a GAG boot disk before beginning any Linux install. Keep it near your computer and have it ready for an emergency. If you try to install GRUB or Lilo to MBR and something goes wrong, your GAG boot disk should be able to at least boot Windows for you. Then you can use Windows to get on-line and find help with your new install. You will then be able to fix GRUB or Lilo at your leisure. You will also be able to continue with any urgent work you might need to get done in the meantime.
If GAG doesn't boot Windows in an emergency, it could be a sign that something else is probably wrong with your computer rather than the (MBR) bootloader. Therefore it is a good test for trouble-shooting purposes, and knowing this fact can help to narrow down the real problem.

Booting Linux with GAG
To prepare Ubuntu (or any other Linux operating system) for booting with GAG, you can use either GRUB or Lilo installed in your operating system partition. You can do that during your install or you can do it later.

To install Grub or Lilo during the Ubuntu install, choose 'Go Back' when the installer asks if you want to install the GRUB bootloader to MBR. Click Here to see an illustrated example of that part of a Ubuntu install. You will need a GAG CD-ROM or floppy disk ready to re-boot with to complete your install, and make sure you prepare your BIOS boot settings in advance too!

To install GRUB in the first sector of your Ubuntu partition at any time after Ubuntu is already installed, Click Here  to see an example.
Here is a collection of methods in the official Ubuntu Wiki for re-installing GRUB. Be sure to read carefully and choose one that will install GRUB to the Ubuntu partition or a boot partition or somewhere other than your MBR. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it won't be helpful for booting with GAG).

To install Lilo in an already installed and working Ubuntu partition, (even if you already have GRUB on MBR), follow this how-to: Install Lilo from terminal.

To install Lilo in an emergency, even when the Ubuntu system won't boot, (especially if it is caused by the other bootloader being missing or damaged), follow this how-to: Install Lilo from Breezy Install CD

You need either, Lilo or GRUB installed to do the actual loading of the Linux kernel into your RAM to boot the computer. GAG's role is to direct the BIOS to either GRUB or Lilo. The actual kernel loading is done by either Grub or Lilo for Linux, or for Windows it is boot.ini and NTLDR . 

Downloading GAG
You can find GAG at sourceforge by clicking this link. GAG46.zip is only a 807.1KB download.

Unpacking GAG in Windows
'//////////////////////////////// To be updated, webpage under construction \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'
fig 1 gag      
Here is what the gag46 zip file looks like in Windows XP Home Edition.

fig 2 gag

I right-clicked on it and clicked 'Extract All' from the right-click menu.
Then I followed the prompts in the 'zipped folders extraction wizard'. (I clicked next, next, finish). Now I have the extracted folder named 'gag46' out in the open.

fig 3 gag
'//////////////////////////////// To be updated, webpage under construction \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'
This is what it looks like inside my gag46 folder.
For the official instructions, read the text document called   install  Text Document

To make a GAG floppy disk in Windows XP
   1) Insert your blank floppy disk and format it if you need to.
   2) Double-click the file named   install_XP     Windows NT Command Script

To make a GAG floppy disk in other Windows versions
   1) Insert your blank floppy disk and format it if you need to.
   2) Double-click the file named    install      MS-DOS Batch file

To make a GAG CD-ROM or CD-RW in Windows XP
Yours might be different to mine, here's what I did:
   1) Double-click on the .iso file called    cdrom   NTI iso file
   2) Click 'Write'.

The .iso file might appear different in your computer and your CD burning software is probably different to mine. As long as you find the .iso file and burn it as an .iso (not as data) in a way appropriate to your equipment, then you should be fine.
'//////////////////////////////// To be updated, webpage under construction \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'

Unpacking GAG in Ubuntu

fig 4 gag
This is what the downloaded zip file looks like in Ubuntu. The first thing I did was move it into my /home/herman folder because it landed on my desktop and I prefer working in my home directory.

fig 5 gag
The new gag46 directory appears after right-clicking the gag_4.9.zip package and clicking 'extract here'.

fig 6 gag
This is what it looks like inside the gag_4.9 directory in Ubuntu.
For the official instructions, open the docs folder and look for a file called: index.html
Open index.html, it should open in your Firefox or Konqueror web browser.
Read all about GAG in GAG's own internal website. I think that's really cool! :)
Actually, you won't need this website anymore once you get this far. Goodbye.

To make a GAG floppy disk in Ubuntu:
   1) Put a blank floppy disk in your machine's floppy disk drive.
   2) Open a terminal
   3) If the floppy needs formatting, use this command,  code:
herman@bookpc:~$ mkfs -t vfat /dev/fd0 1440
Note: You can copy and paste the commands off this web-page into your terminal,
but do not include the 'herman@bookpc:~$' part, just the command after it... (just in case you are new to Linux.)

That command should make the floppy drive light come on and you should hear some moaning and groaning noises coming from your floppy drive for a minute or so.

  4) Next, 'cd' to your gag directory with this command
herman@bookpc:~$ cd gag_4.9
If you are new to Linux, that command is to make the computer 'go inside' the gag directory. If the gag directory is inside another folder, or is still on the desktop, that command might not work. You will either need to move gag_4.9 into your /home/username folder like I did, or make up a cd command with the full path (file system address) for where you did leave your gag_4.9 directory.

  5) Finally, use this command to write GAG to the floppy disk, or you can copy mine and paste it into your own terminal if you want.
herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9$ dd if=disk.dsk of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=2880

Your floppy drive light should come on again and your should hear more moaning and groaning. In a minute or so you should have a new GAG floppy disk.

Installing GAG Directly to MBR in Linux

If you just want to install GAG to your hard disk and not mess around with floppy disks or CDs, just open the terminal, cd into the gag_4.9/linux/ directory and run the script copy-files.sh with a sudo command.


herman@bookpc:~$ cd gag_4.9/linux/

herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux$ sudo ./copy-files.sh
That will copy the linux installer and other needed files to /boot/gag.

Now you can use the gag-install script to install gag to your hard disk's MBR, passing as a parameter the device where you want to install it.
For example: if /dev/sda is your first hard disk, then you should use:

herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux$ sudo gag-install /dev/sda

By default, this command will install the English version and keyboard QWERTY.

To show the available keyboards, just type:

herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux$ sudo gag-install -k

And to show the available languages, just type:

herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux$ sudo gag-install -l

If you want, you can specify the keyboard you want with -k  and the language you want with -l options after the command. For example:
herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux$ sudo gag-install -k azerty -l french /dev/sda

Here's the output I got from running the gag-install script (command).
herman@bookpc:~/gag_4.9/linux/sudo gag-install /dev/sda
GAG installer, v4.9
Language: ENGLISH
Keyboard type: QWERTY
Will install GAG on device /dev/sda
GAG installer, v4.9
Language: ENGLISH
Keyboard type: QWERTY
Will install GAG on device /dev/sda

GAG successfully installed in /dev/sda

Don't forget to install GRUB in the superblock of your root partition using


herman@bookpc:~/ gag-4.9/linux$

To make a GAG CD ROM disk in Ubuntu:

Place a blank CD-ROM in your computer's CD-ROM drive.

Find the .iso file called cdrom.iso inside your gag_4.9 directory and right-click on it and click 'Write to Disc...

Whatever you did with GAG, whether you have a GAG CD, floppy disk or have GAG installed to MBR, now you can reboot and you should see your new GAG menu.

To boot from your GAG MBR, floppy disk or CD-ROM

If you are booting from CD-ROM or floppy disk, if you have not already done so, you will need to make sure that your BIOS boot order is set to boot from the floppy disk and / or the CD-ROM drive before the hard disk.

Simply start your computer up with the GAG floppy disk or CD-ROM if needed, in the appropriate drive.
You should see something like the following image in your monitor.

fig 7 gag
Just like most other things you do, it is always best to begin by reading the official instructions and any other information you can. GAG is very easy to use, but this is just a quick beginner's tour, and there might be some good information in the official reading material that you will be glad you didn't miss.

After reading all the information provided, it's safe to go right ahead and press your number '4' key. It's okay to do this even if you do not intend to install GAG to your hard disk. Don't worry, there will be an option for doing that later in the proceedings. (See under fig 16 ).
Right now all we are going to do is set up GAG to boot the computer. You can save the changes later on or not, it's up to you.

fig 8 gag
Press your number '1' key or whatever is applicable.

fig 9 gag
Press your number '8' key or whatever corresponds with your language

fig 10 gag
Press 'S' to set up GAG.

fig 11 gag
Press your 'A' key for 'Add a new operating system'.

fig 12 gag
If you have several partitions, GAG will present you with a list of them to choose from.
My Linux partitions are reiserfs, but they show up in GAG as EXT2. They still boot okay, so I'm not too worried about that.
The main thing is it saves time if you can select the partition you want without too much trial and error. Primary partitions are shown in black, logical partitions are shown in blue.

fig 13 gag
Type a name for your operating system here.

fig 14 gag
If you want to, you can set a password for each operating system.  
If you don't want one, just press 'enter' (also called 'return'), to skip this step.

fig 15 gag
These are the icons you can pick from. I chose 'C' for this example.

fig 16 gag
This brings us back to the same panel we saw back in fig 11. You can press 'A' again to repeat the last five steps again until you have all your operating systems listed, or your can press 'R' to return to the main menu and boot the computer.

You can press 'D' to delete any operating systems from the list if you made a mistake and want to start again. You an also press 'D' if you uninstall any of them someday.

'H' saves your GAG configuration and installs GAG to MBR and the first track of your first hard disk.

'F' saves the changes to your floppy disk, so you can boot with the same floppy again without needing to repeat this procedure.

There is no way to save the changes to a CD-ROM, so if you are booting from a CD-ROM, there is no point in loading more than the one operating system you want to boot right now.
This procedure will have to be repeated every time.

Using boot floppy disks
 Don't forget to 'write protect' the disk (slide the little plastic corner square to open the hole).
Remove the disk after your computer is booted, don't shut down a computer with a floppy disk in the drive.
Keep the same floppy disk to one computer, don't share it with other machines.

fig 17 gag
This is the GAG Boot Manager's Main Menu, this is the panel you can boot from.

To boot Windows 98, I just need to press my number '2' key.

If you are new to Linux and were in a big panic because you tried to install GRUB or Lilo to MBR and things didn't go well and you were afraid you lost Windows you will be very happy to be able to do this now, and see Windows boot up again.
Your job or marriage will be safe and your wife or boss will never need to know.

I would like to thank Mr. Sergio Rodriguez of Raster Software Vigo for his kind permission and help to copy these images and present this web-page, and more importantly, for writing GAG for us all and sharing it for free.

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             GAG with Ubuntu and other Icons
It is possible to make our own icons for GAG. These are just a few of the icons I made.
 The documentation in the .html pages inside GAG explain how to get started. You will need to install libc6-dev and dosbox from synaptic first. You'll also need to find your own copy of tasm (Borland's Turbo Assembler) from somewhere. 

Install GRUB to a Linux O.S. Partition

You might need to do this to make your Linux system bootable by GAG if you didn't have Grub or LiLo installed to the first sector of the partition during installation.

This is the best method and can be used from a live Linux operating system (on a CD), Super Grub Disk, from a floppy disk with Grub on it, or a hard disk installed operating system.
It can be done from any grub Command Line Interface or just about anywhere there is already a grub installation present with the necessary Grub files.

This method is safe for Windows users who may not understand the difference between their Windows bootsector and their hard disk's Master Boot Record. This method will refuse to do anything and will return an error message if an attempt is made to write Grub to a Windows bootsector.
Please avoid using the grub-install command if you don't know what you are doing. It  has no fail-safe in it and will do exactly as you tell it. Therefore it is possible for new users to accidentally  corrupt their Windows bootsector with it. Windows with FAT32 filesystrem can be recovered but I'm not sure about NTFS. So please refrain from using the grub-install command.

The method I recommend is the grub shell method, as described here.

You open a grub shell by typing 'sudo grub'. 

herman@red~:$ sudo grub

     GNU GRUB  version 0.97  (640K lower / 3072K upper memory)

       [ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported.   For
         the   first   word,  TAB  lists  possible  command
                  completions.  Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
                  completions of a device/filename. ]

In Ubuntu,  it is important  to use the 'sudo' preface to the 'grub' command. If not, you will get what appears to be a grub shell, but you won't be able to do very much with it. You will probably get some confusing error messages.

This is an example of one use of a grub shell.  I know this is a Grub shell, because it has a grub prompt, like this, 'grub>_'    

grub> find /boot/grub/stage1

Here, I typed 'find /boot/grub/stage1' because I want to find out which partitions in my computer have Grub installed in them, (just to remind me).
This gives me a clue as to exactly where the necessary Grub files may be located that I can install grub from.

grub> root (hd0,1)
 Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

The 'root (hd0,1) will tell grub which operating system partition contains the grub I want to install from.  
It has to be one of the ones listed by the 'find' command (above).

The Grub menu from the operating system's /boot/grub/menu.lst that I installed grub from is the one that will appear on boot up.
In other words, if (hd0,1) contians Ubuntu, and I install grub from (hd0,1), I'll get Ubuntu's Grub menu on boot up.
If (hd0,3) contians Kubuntu, and I install grub from (hd0,3), I'll get Kubuntu's Grub menu on boot up.
Grub should recognize the filesystem, and will reply with an output similar to the one shown above. If not, then check to make sure you didn't make a mistake.

grub> setup (hd0,1)
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
 Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0,1)"... failed (this is not fatal)
 Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0,1)"... failed (this is not fatal)
 Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd0,1) /boot/grub/stage2 p /boot/grub/menu.lst "... succeeded

The 'setup' command is the command that tells Grub exactly where to install Grub to.
Installing Grub to a partition:
To install Grub to a partition, you would use a command like, 'setup (hd0,1), or 'setup (hd0,3)', where (hd0,1) and (hd0,3) are Linux partitions. If you do that, you should be able to 'chainload' grub from a boot manager like GAG and boot your operating system that way.

In this example, I just installed grub to the first sector of my Ubuntu partition. The error messages "..failed (this is not fatal)" are normal for this operation. If it were a Master Boot Record, Grub would have written stage1_5 to the next 15 sectors of the first track of the hard disk. The first track of the hard disk is normally empty and by convention is not formatted with any filesystem. But in this case, there is a filesystrem there and it's in the way, so Grub doesn't write stage1_5 here. So we can just ignore the error message, it doesn't apply to us now.

grub> quit

This is just to take you back to the regular terminal prompt again.

herman@red~:$ exit

That's it! Easy eh? Now grub is installed to the first sector of my Ubuntu partition and I can use it to boot with GAG Boot Manager in an emergency (or all the time if I want.)

Link to Icons