This is the README.menu file from the SYSLINUX source.
There are two menu systems included with SYSLINUX, the advanced menu system, and the simple menu system.
The advanced menu system, written by Murali Krishnan Ganapathy, is located in the menu/ subdirectly. It allows the user to create hierarchial submenus, dynamic options, checkboxes, and just about anything you want. It requires that the menu is 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 is a single module located at com32/modules/vesamenu.c32 (graphical) or com32/modules/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 command line, all starting with the keyword MENU; like the rest of the SYSLINUX config file language, it is case insensitive:
Give the menu a title. The title is presented at the top of the menu.
(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.
(Only valid after a LABEL statement.) Suppresses a particular LABEL entry from the menu.
(Only valid after a LABEL statement.) Indicates that this entry should be the default. If no default is specified, use the first one.
(Only valid after a LABEL statement.) Sets a password on this menu entry. "passwd" can be either a cleartext password or a SHA-1 encrypted password; use the included Perl script "sha1pass" to encrypt passwords. (Obviously, if you don't encrypt your passwords they will not be very secure at all.)
If you are using passwords, you want to make sure you also use the settings "NOESCAPE 1", "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.
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.
For vesamenu.c32, sets the background image. The image should be 640x480 pixels and either in PNG or JPEG format.
Include the contents of the configuration file filename at this point. Keep in mind that 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.
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 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
"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 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 stdMENU WIDTH 80 MENU MARGIN 10 MENU PASSWORDMARGIN 3 MENU ROWS 12 MENU TABMSGROW 18 MENU CMDLINEROW 18 MENU ENDROW 24 MENU PASSWORDROW 11 MENU TIMEOUTROW 20
These options control the layout of the menu on the screen. The values above are the defaults.
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.
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.
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 ~
To use the secondary configuration file, simply make sure it 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). It should not be located in the pxelinux.cfg/ subdirectory.
See also the MENU INCLUDE directive above.