Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This issue came up recently for me (and I've been prompted to lodge it as a specific question about it):

My system is not dual-boot, I run a standard Ubuntu desktop system "on the metal" (I think running it in a VM is the same).

Pressing "C" while booting does not cause the GRUB menu to appear (which I believe it does for a dual-boot system).

How can I get the GRUB-menu to present itself on a single-boot system?

share|improve this question
5  
+1 excellent question to expose an essentially undocumented feature of Ubuntu boot process, the answer to which I only found by accident while groveling through grub.cfg. Thanks for hoisting this up to the top (Googleable) level. –  msw Dec 3 '10 at 15:29
1  
Credit where credit is due... This issue came up in another question of mine (buried deep in the comments). Jorge Castro suggested that it would be a good idea to present as a question it its own right... (so credit to him.... and I'm happy to bask in the reflected glow ;) I can see the value of it being a primary Q/A. –  Peter.O Dec 3 '10 at 15:45
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 34 down vote accepted

Menu will appear if you press and hold Shift during loading Grub.

For permanent change you'll need to edit your /etc/default/grub file -- place a "#" symbol at the start of line GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0.

Save changes and run sudo update-grub to apply changes.

Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2

share|improve this answer
4  
You need to run sudo update-grub after changing this file IIRC. –  Oli Dec 3 '10 at 15:26
    
Thanks Oli, I forgot... (I've updated my answer.) –  Vojtech Trefny Dec 3 '10 at 15:27
1  
Actually, you need to increase GRUB_TIMEOUT to something non-zero for the menu to appear. –  Nick Pascucci Dec 3 '10 at 15:40
    
@codeMonk: Oops! (I've deleted my previous comment because I was on the wrong track)... I originally misunderstood the context of "GRUB_TIMEOUT=0". The context you mean is in relation to the "permanent" display of GRUB-menu... I thought you meant in relation to the "Shift" key method... It is true that for a permanently recurring display, you need both "#GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0" and "GRUB_TIMEOUT=*NON-ZERO*", as described in the link in the answer ... (I've just test it both ways.) –  Peter.O Dec 3 '10 at 17:24
    
Yeah, sorry! ^_^ My bad, I must have misunderstood your question. –  Nick Pascucci Dec 3 '10 at 18:20
add comment

I've heard Shift does it. But I've used Space before and it worked.

share|improve this answer
1  
I've just now tried both Shift and Space, in two situations: In a VM, and "on the metal" ... The "Shift" worked in both situations... The "Space" failed in both situations... –  Peter.O Dec 3 '10 at 15:39
1  
If you can't use shift, try escape. Seems to work for me with Ubuntu 12.10. –  Another Googler Mar 25 '13 at 23:34
add comment
  • Keep hitting shift key until you see "Grub Loading Message"
  • After the message, hold the shift key down until the menu appears.
share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.