Which default Boot to choose?

I bought a NitroPad with Qubes and the install system went through perfectly.

Second time I try and boot up and it presents me with 3 options on the OS I wanna boot up (image attached).
If I use option 1 & 2 it works well and loads. If I use option 3 it gives an error.

If it doesn’t make any difference, which one is the one I should setup as default ?
Also what’s the difference if any from a user standpoint on which one I should boot as default ?

Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question. I am only moderately tech savvy and am a new user of Qubes.


Welcome to the Qubes OS community and congratulations on your alias @KGBDoubleAgent. Since you are a new user I assume you were unable to attach a screenshot/photo as you intended.

So I am guessing you are referring the the boot menu entries to choose from. The first one being rather generic and all the other ones offering a specific kernel version. As a default it is best for you to always choose the first/generic entry.

GRUB/Qubes OS keep a few kernel versions around just in case an update would cause trouble on your specific hardware, in which case you could then select the slightly older version that worked before to boot into your system and report the issue / get some help.

Does this sound like it addresses your question?


Check out this image. Perhaps it may allow me to upload now.

I think your answer perhaps does perfectly answer my question. But still I have uploaded the image now. For some reason it didn’t upload previously. Please have a look and let me know if you were referring to this screen.
Thanks a ton .
I sincerely appreciate your response.

Yup, that’s what I thought. Right now all three entries will start Qubes OS with kernel v5.10.90.

The first is the default, which will boot the latest version. The second is the actual latest version, so in this particular state entry 1 & 2 are the same. Entry 3 sounds different, but I have to admit I don’t actually know what the “config” part in it means. Maybe someone else can elaborate.

As new kernel versions are released and you update dom0, these will show up here and also heads will prompt you to sign this new entries. So when you update dom0 it is important for you to watch the result and see if dom0 actually received a new kernel version. Otherwise you will freak the first time heads alerts you to a change in the boot config and you might think you’ve been hacked when in fact you simply upgraded.

The first entry will always point to the latest version so in most cases you just want to make it the heads default for booting. Only if that entry gives you trouble would you choose another one.

No doubt that sounds complicated right now, but once you did it a few times it’ll become routine. Again the important part is that you keep an eye on the update so you are not surprised about heads warning you. On the flip side: if heads is warning you and you didn’t install an upgrade … that’s the case you have it for. Then someone or something else tampered with your boot config.


Name entry could be anything, best check in /boot/efi/EFI/qubes/grub.cfg or /boot/grub2/grub.cfg (not sure what file and directory name in legacy bios) then search for the entry, see what the difference between them and how it process the parameters.

Thanks a ton. You are the GOAT