increasing grub timeout?

Scott Robbins scottro at
Tue Nov 24 09:32:44 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 04:05:57AM -0500, Kamil Paral wrote:
> ----- "Scott Robbins" <scottro at> wrote:
> > 
> > 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.)

> Hello,
> 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 ;)).

> 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.

I would like to try that on an VMware ESX installation.  Unfortunately,
the only ones I have are production servers, though not mission
critical--still, I suspect my developers might be annoyed.  :)  Hrrm, I
*might* be able to talk them into it though, as they too, can be
affected by it.  

The shift key would solve the issue, however, when one is at a local
server.  I wish I'd known that, and I thank you for the information. 

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

This would solve it, if it works on VMs where the console is slow to
react to key presses, such as a heavily loaded ESX server.  Also, as you
wrote, and I so rudely snipped, making sure that the users are aware of
it would be the other factor.    

Regardless, that's a useful bit of information that I never knew. Have
to try it later.  

Scott Robbins
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