GFX Boot Menu Support

Easy2Boot can use a GFXBoot Menu. A sample GFXMenu  ‘message’ file is included in the download (\_ISO\docs\Templates\GFXMenu folder) together with a MyE2B.cfg file. Just copy these to the \_ISO folder to test it out.

Tip: E2B allows you to ‘stamp’ up to ten bitmaps onto the background wallpaper, and display one animated sequence (similar to an animated GIF) and supports larger, double-height fonts too (FONT24) – this may be easier and provide more functionality than trying to make a GFX Boot menu! There are limitations when using a GFX menu, so read the sections below carefully! 

How to make a GFX Boot menu

1. First make a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file containing (at least) these lines: 

set GFX=docs/GFXBoot/message 

The MyE2B.cfg file must start with !BAT. The set GFX= line can be anywhere below the first line.

Note that the file path is relative to the \_ISO folder and so must not start with /_ISO/. The normal E2B background .bmp or .jpg wallpaper is not used if you specify a GFX Boot file. 

2. Double-click on the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\repack.cmd file to make a new message file 

3. Now boot to E2B and you should see a menu similar to that below.

You can alter the background by changing the 800×600 back.jpg file in the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\files folder.

You can change the menu colours and position by editing the  \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\files\gfxboot.cfg file.

Double-click on the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\repack.cmd file to make a new message file once you have made the changes. 

Tip1: Keep the number of files in the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\files folder to a minimum because they will all be packed into the message file.

Tip2: You can use 7Zip to unpack a message file and obtain the gfxboot.cfg and back.jpg files from it.

Tip3: Remove the selected menu entry highlight bar (dark green in example menu) by using menu_bar_color=0x000000 (transparent)

Tip4: F1 and F2 are not really useful, so disable them as well as the Language text (xmenu_hide_current=1

Animate Penguin menu

The penguin menu can only be enabled if you copy the .jpg files in the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\files\penguin folder up a level to the \_ISO\docs\GFXBoot\files folder and then edit the gfxboot.cfg file to set the percentage likelihood that the penguin background will be shown instead of the back.jpg background.

Use penguin=-1 for a date-dependent XMas surprise which always use the penguin theme, or use penguin=50 to see it 50% of the time.

Animated ‘Penguin’ theme at Xmas time (automatically uses pback.jpg as the background) 

Alternate Methods

You can make you own GFXMenu (which has to be compiled each time you change it) by following Windows Tutorial 21 here. This tutorial uses the same files as in the GFXBoot folder which is already included in E2B.You can also download the Windows GFX-Boot Customizer utility by SBond here to make a GFX-BOOT.GFX file.For a linux-based GFX Boot GUI, see here. See Laura’s GFXBoot menus for some nice examples of menus.

You can also use a GFXBoot menu for the ‘CSM’ menu of a .imgPTN file. 

Your GFX Menu file (e.g. message or GFX-BOOT.GFX) must be under the /_ISO folder (the path specified in the MyE2B.cfg file is relative to the \_ISO folder) and you must specify the relative file path in your MyE2B.cfg file (e.g. use set GFX=message if the message file is in the \_ISO folder). 

set GFX=docs/GFXMenu/message

Limitations of GFX Menus

Using a GFXMenu has disadvantages:

  • Any error will take you to the grub4dos textmode menu
  • Hotkeys don’t work
  • The keyboard scan codes and language can ony be changed by configuring GFXBoot
  • Number keys will immediately run a menu entry (e.g. press 9 to run the 10th menu entry)
  • No titles at the top of the menus
  • No help text is displayed for each menu item
  • No Help (F1) menu
  • No menu heading or footer text (unless in the jpeg background)
  • Cannot set the default menu entry or timeout
  • Cannot show the number of files present in each folder
  • When E2B switches to the text-mode console to list XML files, etc. it looks a bit messy.
  • You cannot define the resolution, wallpaper, text colours or menu position in the MyE2B.cfg file (must be done in the GFXMenu file and recompiled)
  • Password protection does not work
  • Uses a larger font so less items per screen.
  • Cannot enter  menu number by using the number keys – e.g. press 1 and then 2 – also menu items are not numbered
  • Cannot use the cursor keys to scroll from end to beginning (cursor stops on last item)
  • % Variables are not translated to text in menu entries, so you can’t use a variable in a title .txt or .mnu file line.

If using your own compiled GFXBoot Menu menu file (e.g. message), I strongly advise you to get your USB E2B drive tested and working first, without using your GFXMenu message file – and then when it is all working correctly, try your GFXMenu.

Some GFXMenus have been known to crash E2B (and display a small ‘debug’ box at the top left).  You can instead try the sample GFXMenu files included in the \_ISO\docs\Templates folder in the E2B download. 

Do not use hotkey entries (e.g. ^P) in any of your .mnu files or .txt menu files if using GFXMenu – it may cause the menu to crash when it loads! 

Please don’t ask me for any help making a GFXMenu – ask forum members instead. I will only support grub4dos menus unless you are sure it is an E2B bug. 

Tip: For a GFXBoot menu, the grub4dos console mode text menus will look best if you use black as the standard console background colour in MyE2B.cfg and suppress the E2B boot messages, e.g. 

color standard=cyan/black
set redir=> nul
set redirp=> nul

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