GRUB bootloader finally reaches version 2.00
After nearly ten years of work and various 1.9x pre-releases, the GRUB development team has finally released version 2.00 of the Grand Unified Bootloader (GRUB). New features include an official theme for the boot menu (Starfield) and a driver for the EHCI high-speed controller standard.
GRUB 2.0's menus are now better organised with support for sub-menus. The boot loader also supports additional platforms such as Itanium and big-endian MIPS based systems. It includes extended and improved support for a range of filesystems, partitioning schemes and boot protocols. Automatic filesystem detection and video mode selection using EDID have also been improved. An overview of all of the changes in version 2.0 of GRUB can be found in the mailing list release announcement.
Work on GRUB 2 started in late 2002, when it still went by the name of "PUPA". The first pre-release version of GRUB 2 – version 1.90 – was released in 2005, at which point work on the original GRUB branch was abandoned at GRUB 0.97, with the old boot loader being renamed to GRUB Legacy. This posed a dilemma for Linux distributors – over time the lack of development in GRUB 0.97 meant that it was missing more and more essential functionality, but at the same time its successor, GRUB 2, remained unfinished. It was not until 2009 that Canonical, in Ubuntu 9.10, pioneered the switch to the then current pre-release version of GRUB 2. Most other Linux distributions have since followed suit and are now using one of the 1.99x versions of GRUB 2 released since autumn 2010.