increasing grub timeout?

Kamil Paral kparal at
Tue Nov 24 09:05:57 UTC 2009

----- "Scott Robbins" <scottro at> wrote:

> As usual with a new release, there are newcomers on the forums who
> can
> often have their problems solved by adding something to the kernel
> line.  
> (Of course, it's not only newcomers, but...)
> I'm wondering if it's worth considering increasing grub's default
> timeout to 3 seconds or so.  As it stands, one has to hover over the
> escape key, trying to time it correctly.  (Or, if they're as lazy as
> I
> am, before rebooting, go to another terminal and edit the mounted
> grub.config.)
> I don't feel strongly enough about it to wade through bugzilla, and
> most
> certainly do NOT want to cause a controversial bikeshed thread, but I
> wonder--do people generally feel it's worth considering, or just a
> waste
> of time. 
> The motive is that until we have a perfect world, when all computers
> will boot perfectly the first time after an installation, it would
> make
> it a bit easier to edit the kernel line if necessary.
> I really don't see a good reason not to have it.  I know that Windows
> refugees like quick boots, but don't see 3 seconds making that big a
> difference.   
> (Dinosaur that I am, I've always thought that there is too much
> emphasis
> on quick boots with pretty splash screens, but that's just the old
> vs.
> the new and all that rot.)

I would not try to cure the symptoms but the cause of the problem.
The problem is not "the timeout is short enough", but it is "it's
hard to get into grub boot screen". For example in the Windows world,
the bootloader doesn't show any items and doesn't wait, but *everyone
knows* that you just press F8 again and again on computer start if
you want to get into the rescue mode. Even my "common users" friends
know that (which also says something about product quality ;)).

So, what the situation with grub? If I press Esc/arrows frequently on
computer boot, very often the Grub freezes the whole computer. Black
screen, nothing happens. I have to press Esc/arrow once in the right
moment, not too early, not too late, to get into the boot screen. That

I have just googled a little and I have found out, that it should be
sufficient to hold Shift while starting up (really hold, no pressing
needed) and the boot screen shows. This is great. It should work mainly
for Grub 2, but from my attempts also Grub (1) available in Fedora 12
responds to Shift holding.

So I think the problem is solved, we just need all the users to know
this. If the sentence "Hold Shift while starting computer until boot
screen shows up" is as frequent as "Press F8 until...", then I think
we have no problems with 0 second default timeout (and therefore fast
booting). The main task is to communicate this knowledge widely to the

Does this solve your problem, or have I understood it incorrectly?


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