The GRUB timeout is 8 seconds. Can this be turned down to 2 or 3 seconds? What is the best way to do this?


6 Answers 6



sudo nano /etc/default/grub

change the GRUB_TIMEOUT value to 2 or 3


sudo update-grub

Not sure if I have a complete answer as I have a few more questions.

First - Permissions: you would normally need sudo to edit grub.cfg. If I'm editing from the commandline, I like nano, which is installed by default, so I would use

$ sudo nano /boot/grub/grub.cfg

If you haven't used nano before, once you're done editing use Ctl-O (the letter) to save and then Ctl-X to exit (the Ctl-O is optional, Ctl-X will prompt if there were changes)

Second - Grub: Editing /boot/grub/grub.cfg is probably not the way to go. Grub2 uses the file /etc/default/grub to get all its options and then generates grub.cfg for you. This is important, because grub.cfg gets updated when there's a kernel update or other things that might affect grub. So if you want your changes to stick you need to edit /etc/default/grub.

$ sudo nano /etc/default/grub
$ sudo update-grub2

More on grub here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/


Third - 10s wait: I'm not actually sure that grub is your villain here, but hopefully the above will help you figure out if it is. Alternatively, can you elaborate a little more. Are you in the grub menu when you "select Ubuntu to boot?" what happens once you've selected it? Or are you referring to the grub picking a default OS - in that case /etc/default/grub will help.

  • 1
    Editing grub.cfg with Grub2 is a bad idea period. And of coursE Grub is the "villain" responsible for the 10 sec default timeout on multiple-boot systems!!
    – ish
    May 30, 2012 at 14:00

A GUI method is to install StartUpManager:

$ sudo apt-get install startupmanager

You can set the Grub2 timeout using this utility.

  • 2
    startupmanager often causes problems with grub2
    – con-f-use
    May 18, 2011 at 17:04
  • 2
    and is not available in Ubuntu 12.04's repositories.
    – tsusanka
    May 27, 2012 at 14:36

You might try installing a GUI interface startup manager called "Grub Customizer".

Doesn't look like it's in the repos though. But you can find it here at Launchpad: Grub Customizer

Once installed, boot into Ubuntu, start Grub Customizer and configure it for 0 countdown. Then when you boot there should be no wait.


for this you have to change the value of GRUB_TIMEOUT value to 2 or 3 .

1 - go to super mode

su -

followed by typing your root password

2- now open the GRUB.cfg file either in vi editor or Gedit (Gedit is easy (GUI))

vi /boot/grub2/grub.cfg


gedit /boot/grub/grub.cfg

3 - then find GRUB_TIMEOUT and change it's value 2 or 3

4 - save the changes

5 - if find any difficulty then watch my video on youtube . click here to watch the video

  • 1
    As we are talking about Ubuntu by default you can't log into your root account – and you shouldn't change that. I would recommend using sudoedit /boot/grub/grub.cfg. If you want to use gedit simply add a line VISUAL=gedit to your ~/.bashrc. Last but not least, mind the notes on grub2 from above.
    – Arne L.
    Aug 3, 2015 at 19:53

The timeout behaviour is different on systems with EFI and BIOS. EFI grub sticks on 30s. There is bug report on it, 1918736. Suggested fix is to set GRUB_RECORDFAIL_TIMEOUT in /etc/default/grub to change the delay from 30 seconds.

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