Whenever I boot on Ubuntu, I see the entire GRUB menu by default. Is there a way I could make it simply auto-boot if uninterrupted within X seconds? I remember that this was the case on previous releases of Ubuntu, it would only show the GRUB menu if you held down a button during the boot.

How can I make GRUB do this by default and just get on with the boot process?


I assume you are using GRUB.

With GRUB 1 (GRUB legacy, versions 0.9x), in /boot/grub/menu.lst, type in hiddenmenu. Press ESC key to show the menu.

#General configuration:
#Uninterupted within 5 seconds and default boot option 0.
timeout   5
default   0
color light-blue/black light-cyan/blue

#Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)

If you are using GRUB 2 (versions 1.9x and up), /boot/grub/grub.cfg contains the menu. But to change settings, edit the /etc/default/grub file.

  • Yeah, I'm on GRUB2. Thanks, I think it's because I had to install GRUB to a specific partition and not to the drive itself due to EFI. – Naftuli Kay Jan 6 '12 at 13:57

Odd that it's not already in there, it still is for me. Anyway, add this to your /boot/grub/menu.lst:

timeout 5
default 0

That sets grub to boot the first entry after five seconds. If you prefer the second, third, etc. entry in your grub configuration, change 0 accordingly.

If you want something other than the newest kernel, you may need to check that the number is still correct after updating the kernel.

  • That's for Grub 1, which is not the default bootloader on current Ubuntu version (it's the default on Ubuntu 10.04 which is still supported but is two LTS versions behind). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 18 '14 at 23:02

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