I would like to reduce the size of the font of GRUB boot loader. Is it possible and so how?


After some research based on the answers of @fpmurphy and @hesse, also based on a comprehensive thread at ubuntuforums and on Fedora Wiki, I found out how to reduce the font size of GRUB2.

  1. Choose a font, in this example I chose DejaVuSansMono.ttf
  2. Convert the font in a format GRUB understands:
    sudo grub2-mkfont -s 14 -o /boot/grub2/DejaVuSansMono.pf2 /usr/share/fonts/dejavu/DejaVuSansMono.ttf
  3. Edit the /etc/default/grub file adding a line:
  4. Update GRUB configuration with:
    sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
  5. reboot.

The resolution of GRUB display may also affect the size of the font, more on resolution etc. on the ubuntuforums link above.

  • 5
    That's cool. With 36px size, the bootloader finally looks good on a high-res display. Works also with grub (grub-mkfont) instead of grub2. – BurninLeo Sep 16 '14 at 17:38
  • 4
    Thanks! grub-mkfont and grub-mkconfig in my case (though I do have grub2). – Deleplace Apr 1 '15 at 21:22
  • when I try to execute the grub-mkfont command I get: Freetype Error 21 loading glyph 0x2c7 for U+0x33f: invalid composite glyph – Aaron N. Brock Oct 16 '17 at 19:10
  • 1
    grub-mkfont and sudo update-grub for me on Ubuntu. Perfect for HiDPI/4k screens – aidan Dec 22 '17 at 10:49
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    On UEFI system one would use grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/centos/grub.cfg – scrutari Mar 13 '19 at 15:32

Yes, both the font and the font size can be customised. See the grub-mkfont utility. Bitmap (.pf2) and Truetype (.ttf) fonts are supported.

Just do an Internet search on grub-mkfont and you will quickly come across a number of examples of the necessary steps.

  • 1
    Nice indeed I found this documentation but somehow I need to update-grub, which command I don't seem to have on Fedora 16 (?). – Benjamin Feb 15 '12 at 12:49
  • OK, I see elsewhere the equivalent of update-grub is grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg. – Benjamin Feb 15 '12 at 12:51

In Debian/Ubuntu you can change the default GRUB resolution, thereby resulting in larger fonts on the GRUB menu:

  1. sudo cp -a /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.bak
  2. sudo vi /etc/default/grub
  3. Edit the "GRUB_GFXMODE" entry to suit your resolution e.g. 800x600
  4. sudo update-grub
  5. Reboot - the GRUB will display in the mode you set e.g. 800x600
  • 1
    Should be sudo update-grub - at least on my Ubuntu 17.10. – Alan Mimms Mar 7 '18 at 3:23
  • 1
    You are right it is update-grub. Updated line 4 accordingly. – arunk Nov 13 '18 at 2:12
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    This kind of works at the grub level, but then my X display also has a size of 800x600, urgh. (Intel videocard, FBDEV driver, OpenSUSE Leap 15.0) – David Faure Dec 10 '18 at 17:40

If you are looking for a simpler GUI alternative, you can use Grub Customiser to change the font size, colors and background of GRUB.

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