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Now that I've changed to 13.10, I can't get a grub menu. I found this out the hard way when something about installing then removing KDE plasma desktop made it so ubuntu stopped booting between the start screen and the login. I had to make a fresh install. Now that I have, I've tried again to get a grub menu. Holding down shift does not work. Here is what my /etc/defaults/grub file had on fresh install:

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD ...)

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'

# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries

# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE="480 440 1"

Hypothetically, this should make grub menu visible for 10 seconds (GRUB_TIMEOUT=10). It is not. It also doesn't even take 10 seconds for my computer to go from starting grub to the login screen. I tried changing to


which did cause a 5 second countdown to be displayed, but hitting shift, once again had no effect.

What's going on?

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I also had that problem and just commenting out the hidden flags:


was enough. That way I did not have to run the boot-repair scripts which are pretty heavy and do many other things that I wasn't sure I would want applied to my system.

Important note: don't forget to run:

sudo update-grub

or your changes won't be recorded in grub and thus they will be useless.

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It turns out that this is a known bug:

running boot-repair ( "fixes" the problem: it makes the menu display, however this stops working if one tries to use the hidden time-out. Although I have also found that this issue with pressing shift still not working after setting GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=x is either machine or install-method dependant. It works as it should on my laptop which has 13.10 as an upgrade from 13.04, whereas my desktop is running 13.10 installed from a live usb.

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