Whilst I suppose a distinction could be drawn between and (boot = grup, startup = everything later), I don't think there is any difference in the way they are being used.

I prefer the term startup, but boot has more uses currently.

1 Answer 1


I suppose you will get various answers here, BUT imo there are at least 5 categories.

BIOS - update bios, set bios to boot from CD / Flash

Grub - Second step in the boot process, main issues are configuring grub.

Boot - Generally this refers to upstart, mounting the file system(s) and starting networking and services (root owned processes or daemons).

GDM / LightDM - Graphical log in screen and configuration.

Startup - Generally, IMO, this refers to a users graphical session. What programs start automatically (pulse audio, customize what applications start on login , vino (VNC), seahorse, etc) (user owned processes).

  • I agree there are some different stages, but I don't think the way people normally tag fits in with these. The only places I expect are being used correctly are grub2 and login
    – 8128
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 7:54
  • I suppose it is a matter of education and editing those posts you see =) I try to edit flags when I notice they are off.
    – Panther
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 16:03

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