My laptop keyboard recently had a losing encounter with a beer, and the arrow keys don't work anymore. No big deal, I figured -- I remapped CAPS+hjkl to the arrows in xkb, and after a little getting used to it's an improvement. The one problem is that I can't navigate the menu in GRUB anymore. Is there any alternative way to choose which option to boot in GRUB, besides scrolling up and down?

PgUp and PgDn will get me the first and last options, so I can put the two most common choices there and get the rest as needed with a USB keyboard. Obviously this isn't ideal. I vaguely remember that in the old GRUB the options could be selected by number -- is it possible to enable this somehow?

3 Answers 3


Grub uses Emacs-like key bindings:

  • Ctrl+B = Left, Ctrl+F = Right (mnemonic: backward/forward)
  • Ctrl+P = Up, Ctrl+N = Down (mnemonic: up/down)
  • Ctrl+A = Home, Ctrl+E = End (mnemonic: A=beginning/end)

See the manual for other key bindings.

You can also define your own key layout and load it with the keymap command. This is not documented in the manual; the Arch Linux wiki has a few pointers.


Saved my weekend :

  • Ctrl + v - moves to next item

At the bottom of Ubuntu 20.10 grub menu there is clear instruction to use up and down arrows on keyboard. If (instruction do not work) system is broken

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .