i am playing with grub and i change the root using:

root (hda,x)

how can i know what's x for /dev/sda7 ?

fdisk -l

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        1958    15727603+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            1959        7476    44323335    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5            1959        4569    20972826    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6            4570        5352     6289416   83  Linux
/dev/sda7            6373        7119     6000246   83  Linux
/dev/sda8            7120        7476     2867571   83  Linux
/dev/sda9            5353        6135     6289416   83  Linux
/dev/sda10           6136        6372     1903671   82  Linux swap / Solaris

the problem is that in Gparted view, the order is not like sda5, sda6, sda7, ... but the order is like:

  • sda6
  • sda9
  • sda10
  • sda7
  • sda8

so what's x for /dev/sda7 ?

2 Answers 2


First off, you need to realize that in grub, it does not use normal linux hard drive identifiers. Instead, the letters correlate to numbers, starting with zero (i.e. hda = hd0, hdb = hd1, etc).

Secondly, in grub-legacy, the partition number starts at 0, not 1 like in Linux, so subtract 1 from the linux partition number. And in grub2, it starts at 1.

An example is: hda1 = (hd0, 0)

Finally, grub does not differentiate between hd and sd devices, so everything is labeled hd.

Thus, in your case, your grub entry for /dev/sda6 should read (hd0, 5)


Easiest way to be sure is from grub cli and using tab completion.

start by typing... root (hd0,

then hit [tab]
The tab completion should then list the partitions available. pick the one you think makes most sense close off the parentheses and on the next line type kernel /

then hit [tab] again... if the files and directory structure look right you picked the right one... if not.. back up and redo the root line.

  • Did not work for me, using openSUSE Leap 42.1 and GRUB Legacy (GRUB 0.97) Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 1:34
  • This is helpful in my situation but my partitions (I have 11) list scrolled off-screen and I can't SHIFT+PGUP to see the first ones. Is there a way to list the partitions specifically? like type (hd1,gpt2) or something? Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 13:29
  • 3
    I just found a set pager=1 command. I think that will work, never mind. Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 13:32
  • 2
    From grub cli, you can also type ls to list available drives and partitions
    – sayanel
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 15:37
  • 1
    @fymita How do I enter a grub cli inside my Linux box? I mean, not at boot time, but when using a terminal. Is it possible?
    – LobaLuna
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 22:25

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