Comboot/menu.c32

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Additional items that must be documented (in both doc/menu.txt and this page) since 4.0:

  • New MENU IMMEDIATE --- permit hotkeys to activate immediately without needing Enter.
  • New MENU HELP statement to display fullscreen help text as a result of a menu selection. documented
  • New MENU HIDDENKEY command to provide a one-keystroke way to activate a boot option from a hidden menu intro screen. documented
  • New MENU SAVE statement.documented
  • New MENU CLEAR statement.documented
  • New MENU SHIFTKEY statement.documented
  • New MENU RESOLUTION statement.documented


(See also Syslinux 4 Changelog and How do I Configure SYSLINUX )

( Note that since version 3.74, the default directive usage has changed. Use UI instead) ( See UI mode or Changes in 3.74 )


Note: Some minor updated documentation can be seen at the Menu wiki page.
The content of doc/menu.txt (release 3.72, with some updates):


There are two menu systems included with Syslinux, the advanced menu system, and the simple menu system.


THE ADVANCED MENU SYSTEM

The advanced menu system, written by Murali Krishnan Ganapathy, is located in the cmenu/ sub-directory. It allows the user to create hierarchical sub-menus, dynamic options, check-boxes, and just about anything you want. It requires the menu to be compiled from a simple C file, see menu/simple.c and menu/complex.c for examples.


The advanced menu system doesn't support serial console at this time.

See menu/README for more information.

THE SIMPLE MENU SYSTEM

The simple menu system is a single module located at com32/menu/vesamenu.c32 (graphical) or com32/menu/menu.c32 (text mode only). It uses the same configuration file as the regular Syslinux command line, and displays all the LABEL statements.

To use the menu system, simply make sure [vesa]menu.c32 is in the appropriate location for your boot medium (the same directory as the configuration file for SYSLINUX, EXTLINUX and ISOLINUX, and the same directory as pxelinux.0 for PXELINUX), and put the following options in your configuration file:

DEFAULT menu.c32
PROMPT 0

There are a few menu additions to the configuration file, all starting with the keywords MENU or TEXT. As the rest of the Syslinux config file language, it is case insensitive:

MENU TITLE title

Give the menu a title. The title is presented at the top of the menu.

MENU HIDDEN

Do not display the actual menu unless the user presses a key. All that is displayed is a timeout message.

MENU HIDDENKEY key[,key...] command...

If they key used to interrupt MENU HIDDEN is "'key'", then execute the specified command instead of displaying the menu.
Currently, the following key names are recognized:
Backspace, Tab, Enter, Esc, Space, F1..F12, Up, Down, Left, Right, PgUp, PgDn, Home, End, Insert, Delete
... in addition to all single characters plus the syntax " ^X " for " Ctrl-X ". Note that single characters are treated as case sensitive, so "A" and "a" can bind different commands. The same command can be bound to different keys by giving a comma-separated list of keys:
	menu hiddenkey A,a key_a_command

MENU CLEAR

Clear the screen when exiting the menu, instead of leaving the menu displayed. For vesamenu, this means the graphical background is still displayed without the menu itself for as long as the screen remains in graphics mode.

MENU SHIFTKEY

Exit the menu system immediately unless either the Shift or Alt key is pressed, or Caps Lock or Scroll Lock is set.

MENU SEPARATOR

Insert an empty line in the menu.

MENU LABEL label

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Changes the label displayed for a specific entry. This allows you to have a label that isn't suitable for the command line, for example:
	# Soft Cap Linux
	LABEL softcap
		MENU LABEL Soft Cap ^Linux 9.6.36
		KERNEL softcap-9.6.36.bzi
		APPEND whatever

	# A very dense operating system
	LABEL brick
		MENU LABEL ^Windows CE/ME/NT
		KERNEL chain.c32
		APPEND hd0 2
The ^ symbol in a MENU LABEL statement defines a hotkey. The hotkey will be highlighted in the menu and will move the menu cursor immediately to that entry.
Reusing hotkeys is disallowed, subsequent entries will not be highlighted, and will not work.
Keep in mind that the LABELs, not MENU LABELs, must be unique, or odd things will happen to the command-line.


MENU INDENT count

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Will add "count" spaces in front of the displayed menu entry.

MENU DISABLE

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Makes the entry unselectable. This allows you to make a section in your menu with different options below it. for example:
	# Entries for network boots
	LABEL -
		MENU LABEL Network:
		MENU DISABLE

	# Soft Cap Linux
	LABEL softcap
		MENU LABEL Soft Cap ^Linux 9.6.36
		MENU INDENT 1
		KERNEL softcap-9.6.36.bzi
		APPEND whatever

	# Dos 6.22
	LABEL dos
		MENU LABEL ^Dos 6.22
		MENU INDENT 1
		KERNEL memdisk
		APPEND initrd=dos622.imz

	# Separator
	MENU SEPARATOR

	# Entries for local boots
	LABEL -
		MENU LABEL Local:
		MENU DISABLE

	# Windows 2000
	LABEL w2k
		MENU LABEL ^Windows 2000
		MENU INDENT 1
		KERNEL chain.c32
		APPEND hd0 1

	# Windows XP
	LABEL xp
		MENU LABEL Windows ^XP
		MENU INDENT 1
		KERNEL chain.c32
		APPEND hd0 2


MENU HIDE

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Suppresses a particular LABEL entry from the menu.


MENU DEFAULT

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Indicates that this entry should be the default for the particular (sub)menu. See also the DEFAULT directive. If no default is specified, use the first one.


TEXT HELP
Help text ...
... which can span multiple lines
ENDTEXT

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
Specifies a help text that should be displayed when a particular selection is highlighted.


MENU PASSWD passwd

(Only valid after a LABEL statement, or a MENU BEGIN statement.)
Sets a password on this menu entry. "passwd" can be either a cleartext password or a password encrypted with one of the following algorithms:
MD5 (Signature: $1$)
SHA-1 (Signature: $4$)
SHA-2-256 (Signature: $5$)
SHA-2-512 (Signature: $6$)
Use the included Perl scripts "sha1pass" or "md5pass" to encrypt passwords. MD5 passwords are compatible with most Unix password file utilities; SHA-1 passwords are probably unique to Syslinux; SHA-2 passwords are compatible with very recent Linux distributions. Obviously, if you don't encrypt your passwords they will not be very secure at all.
If using passwords, make sure to use "NOESCAPE 1" and "PROMPT 0", and either set "ALLOWOPTIONS 0" or use a master password (see below).
If passwd is an empty string, this menu entry can only be unlocked with the master password.


MENU MASTER PASSWD passwd

Sets a master password. This password can be used to boot any menu entry, and is required for the [Tab] and [Esc] keys to work.


MENU RESOLUTION height width

Requests a specific screen resolution when in graphics mode. The default is "640 480" corresponding to a resolution of 640x480 pixels, which all VGA-compatible monitors should be able to display.
If the selected resolution is unavailable, the text mode menu is displayed instead.


MENU BACKGROUND background

For vesamenu.c32, sets the background image. The background can either be a color (see MENU COLOR) or the name of an image file, which should be the size of the screen (normally 640x480 pixels, but see MENU RESOLUTION) and either in PNG, JPEG or LSS16 format.


MENU BEGIN [tagname]
MENU END

Begin/end a submenu. The entries between MENU BEGIN and MENU END form a submenu, which is marked with a > mark on the right hand of the screen. Submenus inherit the properties of their parent menus, but can override them, and can thus have their own backgrounds, master passwords, titles, timeouts, messages and so forth.


MENU GOTO tagname

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
This label will transfer to the named submenu instead of booting anything. To transfer to the top-level menu, specify "menu goto .top".


MENU EXIT [tagname]

(Only valid after a label statement inside MENU BEGIN ... MENU END)
Exit to the next higher menu, or, if tagname is specified, to the named menu.


MENU QUIT

(Only valid after a LABEL statement.)
This label quits the menu system.
WARNING: if MENU MASTER PASSWD or ALLOWOPTIONS 0 is set, this will still allow exiting to the CLI; however, a separate MENU PASSWD can of course be set for this label.


MENU START

(Only valid inside MENU BEGIN ... MENU END)
Indicates that the menu system should start at the menu being defined instead of at the top-level menu. See also the DEFAULT directive.


DEFAULT label

Set the global default. If "label" points into a submenu, that menu becomes the start menu; in other words, this directive has the same effect as both MENU DEFAULT and MENU START.
For backwards compatibility with earlier versions of Syslinux, this behavior is ignored unless the configuration file also contains a UI directive.
Note: the CLI accepts options after the label, or even a non-label. The menu system does not support that.


MENU SAVE
MENU NOSAVE

Remember the last selected entry and make that one the default for the next boot. A password-protected menu entry is *not* saved. This requires the ADV data storage mechanism, which is currently only implemented for EXTLINUX, although the other Syslinux derivatives will accept the command (and ignore it.)
NOTE: MENU SAVE stores the LABEL tag of the selected entry; this mechanism therefore relies on LABEL tags being unique. On the other hand, it handles changes in the configuration file gracefully.
NOTE: In software RAID-1 setups, MENU SAVE only stores the default label on the actual boot disk. This may lead to inconsistent reads from the array, or unexpectedly change the default label after array resynchronization or disk failure.
The MENU SAVE information can be fully cleared with "extlinux --reset-adv <bootdir>".
A MENU SAVE or MENU NOSAVE at the top of a (sub)menu affects all entries underneath that (sub)menu except those that in turn have MENU SAVE or MENU NOSAVE declared. This can be used to only save certain entires when selected.


INCLUDE filename [tagname]
MENU INCLUDE filename [tagname]

Include the contents of the configuration file filename at this point.
In the case of MENU INCLUDE, the included data is only seen by the menu system; the core syslinux code does not parse this command, so any labels defined in it are unavailable.
If a tagname is included, the whole file is considered to have been bracketed with a MENU BEGIN tagname ... MENU END pair, and will therefore show up as a submenu.


MENU AUTOBOOT message

Replaces the message "Automatic boot in # second{,s}...". The symbol # is replaced with the number of seconds remaining. The syntax "{singular,[dual,]plural}" can be used to conjugate appropriately.


MENU TABMSG message

Replaces the message "Press [Tab] to edit options".


MENU NOTABMSG message

Takes the place of the TABMSG message if option editing is disabled. Defaults to blank.


MENU PASSPROMPT message

Replaces the message "Password required".


MENU COLOR element ansi foreground background shadow

Sets the color of element "element" to the specified color sequence:
	screen          Rest of the screen
	border          Border area
	title           Title bar
	unsel           Unselected menu item
	hotkey          Unselected hotkey
	sel             Selection bar
	hotsel          Selected hotkey
	disabled	Disabled menu item
	scrollbar       Scroll bar
	tabmsg          Press [Tab] message
	cmdmark         Command line marker
	cmdline         Command line
	pwdborder       Password box border
	pwdheader       Password box header
	pwdentry        Password box contents
	timeout_msg     Timeout message
	timeout         Timeout counter
	help		Help text
	msgXX		Message (F-key) file attribute XX
... where XX is two hexadecimal digits (the "plain text" is 07).
"ansi" is a sequence of semicolon-separated ECMA-48 Set Graphics Rendition (<ESC>[m) sequences:
	0     reset all attributes to their defaults
	1     set bold
	4     set underscore (simulated with color on a color display)
	5     set blink
	7     set reverse video
	22    set normal intensity
	24    underline off
	25    blink off
	27    reverse video off
	30    set black foreground
	31    set red foreground
	32    set green foreground
	33    set brown foreground
	34    set blue foreground
	35    set magenta foreground
	36    set cyan foreground
	37    set white foreground
	38    set underscore on, set default foreground color
	39    set underscore off, set default foreground color
	40    set black background
	41    set red background
	42    set green background
	43    set brown background
	44    set blue background
	45    set magenta background
	46    set cyan background
	47    set white background
	49    set default background color
These are used (a) in text mode, and (b) on the serial console.
"foreground" and "background" are color codes in #AARRGGBB notation, where AA RR GG BB are hexadecimal digits for alpha (opacity), red, green and blue, respectively. #00000000 represents fully transparent, and #ffffffff represents opaque white.
"shadow" controls the handling of the graphical console text shadow. Permitted values are "none" (no shadowing), "std" or "standard" (standard shadowing - foreground pixels are raised), "all" (both background and foreground raised), and "rev" or "reverse" (background pixels are raised.)
If any field is set to "*" or omitted (at the end of the line) then that field is left unchanged.


The current defaults are:
	menu color screen	37;40      #80ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color border	30;44      #40000000 #00000000 std
	menu color title	1;36;44    #c00090f0 #00000000 std
	menu color unsel	37;44      #90ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color hotkey	1;37;44    #ffffffff #00000000 std
	menu color sel		7;37;40    #e0000000 #20ff8000 all
	menu color hotsel	1;7;37;40  #e0400000 #20ff8000 all
	menu color disabled	1;30;44    #60cccccc #00000000 std
	menu color scrollbar	30;44      #40000000 #00000000 std
	menu color tabmsg	31;40      #90ffff00 #00000000 std
	menu color cmdmark	1;36;40    #c000ffff #00000000 std
	menu color cmdline	37;40      #c0ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color pwdborder	30;47      #80ffffff #20ffffff std
	menu color pwdheader	31;47      #80ff8080 #20ffffff std
	menu color pwdentry	30;47      #80ffffff #20ffffff std
	menu color timeout_msg	37;40      #80ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color timeout	1;37;40    #c0ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color help		37;40      #c0ffffff #00000000 std
	menu color msg07	37;40      #90ffffff #00000000 std


MENU MSGCOLOR fg_filter bg_filter shadow

Sets all the msgXX colors to a color scheme derived from the fg_filter and bg_filter values. Background color zero is always treated as transparent. The default corresponds to:
	menu msgcolor #90ffffff #80ffffff std
This directive should come before any directive that customizes individual msgXX colors.


MENU WIDTH 80
MENU MARGIN 10
MENU PASSWORDMARGIN 3
MENU ROWS 12
MENU TABMSGROW 18
MENU CMDLINEROW 18
MENU ENDROW -1
MENU PASSWORDROW 11
MENU TIMEOUTROW 20
MENU HELPMSGROW 22
MENU HELPMSGENDROW -1
MENU HIDDENROW -2
MENU HSHIFT 0
MENU VSHIFT 0

These options control the layout of the menu on the screen.
The values above are the defaults.
A negative value is relative to the calculated length of the screen (25 for text mode, 28 for VESA graphics mode.)


F1 textfile [background]
...
F12 textfile [background]

Displays full-screen help (also available at the command line.) The same control code sequences as in the command line interface are supported, although some are ignored.
Additionally, an optional second argument allows a different background image (see MENU BACKGROUND for supported formats) to be displayed.


MENU HELP textfile [background]

Creates a menu entry which, when selected, displays full-screen help in the same way as the F-key help.


The menu system honours the TIMEOUT command; if TIMEOUT is specified it will execute the ONTIMEOUT command if one exists, otherwise it will pick the default menu option. WARNING: the TIMEOUT action will bypass password protection even if one is set for the specified or default entry!

Normally, the user can press [Tab] to edit the menu entry, and [Esc] to return to the Syslinux command line. However, if the configuration file specifies ALLOWOPTIONS 0, these keys will be disabled, and if MENU MASTER PASSWD is set, they require the master password.

The simple menu system supports serial console, using the normal SERIAL directive. However, it can be quite slow over a slow serial link; you probably want to set your baudrate to 38400 or higher if possible. It requires a Linux/VT220/ANSI-compatible terminal on the other end.

USING AN ALTERNATE CONFIGURATION FILE

It is also possible to load a secondary configuration file, to get to another menu. To do that, invoke menu.c32 with the name of the secondary configuration file.

LABEL othermenu
	MENU LABEL Another Menu
	KERNEL menu.c32
	APPEND othermenu.conf

If you specify more than one file, they will all be read, in the order specified. The dummy filename ~ (tilde) is replaced with the filename of the main configuration file.

# The file graphics.conf contains common color and layout commands for
# all menus.
LABEL othermenu
	MENU LABEL Another Menu
	KERNEL vesamenu.c32
	APPEND graphics.conf othermenu.conf

# Return to the main menu
LABEL mainmenu
	MENU LABEL Return to Main Menu
	KERNEL vesamenu.c32
	APPEND graphics.conf ~

See also the MENU INCLUDE directive above.

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