Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to boot Ubuntu into recovery mode but there is no grub menu entry allowing me to do so. I pressed e and now I am able to edit boot options. It looks like that:

setparams 'Ubuntu , with Linux 3.6.0-26-generic'

gfxmode $linux_gfx_mode
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root <uuid>
linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-26-generic root=<uuid> ro ipv6.disable=1 quirt splash $vt_handoff
initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-26-generic

The menu editing examples documentation says:

Boot to the recovery mode even if it is not listed on the menu:

  • Remove existing kernel options from the linux line and add single

But this sentence doesn't make any sense, maybe the wiki page is broken somehow. How to modify the boot menu to boot directly into recovery mode?

Note: I don't have access to grub config or anything else, only the boot menu edit page is available.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The instruction Remove existing kernel options from the linux line and add single refers to changing the line

linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-26-generic root=<uuid> ro ipv6.disable=1 quirt splash $vt_handoff


linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-26-generic root=<uuid> single

which will boot up and show a text-mode terminal with root permissions ("single-user mode") from which fixes can be made.

The Ubuntu recovery mode is entered by setting linux options thusly:

linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-26-generic root=<uuid> ro recovery nomodeset

This provides a menu which automates some common system fixes, or lets you access a root shell as the single option would.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.