Linux Tactic

Mastering GRUB Boot Options: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to GRUB Boot Options

If you’re a regular user of Linux or Ubuntu, you’ve likely heard of the boot menu and GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader). If you’re not familiar with these terms, don’t worry, this article will give you everything you need to know.

Boot: A Definition

The term “boot” is short for “bootstrap.” A bootstrap is a small program that initializes the operating system when the computer is turned on. During the boot process, the computer undergoes several sequences before the operating system finally launches.

It is during these sequences that boot options become essential. GRUB: A Definition

GRUB is a bootloader that handles the booting process.

GRUB’s primary function is to locate the operating system kernel and load it into memory. It is also responsible for presenting a boot menu to the user, allowing them to choose which operating system to boot.

Importance of Boot Menu and Grub Boot Options

The boot menu is the operating system selection screen that appears after you turn on your computer or restart it. Most computers with multiple operating systems installed have this option.

GRUB boot options, on the other hand, are a collection of configuration settings that determine which operating system gets loaded as well as how the boot process presents itself. These options are essential for proper booting.

How to Change GRUB Boot Options

The following steps can be taken to modify the GRUB boot options:

Location of GRUB Boot Configuration File

The GRUB boot configuration file is located at /boot/grub/grub.cfg. All of GRUB’s configuration settings can be found in this file.

It is highly recommended that you do not edit this file directly.

Creating a Backup of GRUB Boot Configuration File

Before making any changes to the GRUB boot configuration file, it is essential to have a backup of the original configuration file. This backup can be useful in restoring the configuration file in case something goes wrong.

It’s crucial to make periodic backups of the configuration file as part of your maintenance process.

Opening the GRUB Boot Configuration File with an Editor

To modify the GRUB boot configuration file, you must open it in an editor, such as nano. To do this, open a terminal and type the following command:

sudo nano /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Modifying GRUB Boot Options: Default Operating System

To modify the default operating system that boots, locate the following line in the configuration file:

set default=”0″

The value of “0” means that the first operating system listed in the boot menu is the default operating system.

If you want to change the default operating system to the second listed operating system, change the value to “1.” Save the changes and exit the editor. Modifying GRUB Boot Options: Boot Menu Display

If you want the GRUB boot menu to display every time you boot your computer, locate the following line in the configuration file:

set timeout_style=hidden

The value of “hidden” means that the menu is not displayed.

If you want to display the menu, change the value to “menu.” Additionally, you can specify how long the menu will display with the following line:

set timeout=10

This means that the GRUB menu will display for ten seconds before booting the default operating system. Modifying GRUB Boot Options: Boot Time

GRUB’s boot time options include configuration settings such as resolution, kernel parameters, and font selection, among others.

These options can be added to the “linux” line for each OS listed.

Adding Background Image to GRUB Boot Menu

The GRUB boot menu can also be customized by adding a background image. To do this, place the background image in the /boot/grub/ directory and edit the following line in the configuration file:

set gfxbackground=”background.png”

“background.png” should be replaced with the filename of the image being used as the background.

The file format should be either PNG or JPG.

Updating GRUB Boot Settings

After making modifications to the GRUB configuration file, the changes will not take effect until you update the GRUB boot settings. To update the settings, open the Terminal and run the following command:

sudo update-grub

This command will update GRUB’s configuration file and apply any changes made.


GRUB boot options are essential in configuring the boot process of a computer. GRUB offers many configuration settings, including the default operating system, boot time, and boot menu display, among others.

By modifying these settings, you can customize the boot process to your preferences. Remember to back up the GRUB configuration file before attempting any modifications and run the update-grub command after making changes.

By following these steps, you can achieve efficient, customized, and fast boot times.

Importance of GRUB Menu

The GRUB menu may seem like a small aspect of your computer, but it plays an essential role in the booting process. Without the GRUB menu, operating systems installed on a computer would not be able to boot.

The GRUB menu presents a list of available operating systems, allowing users to choose which operating system they want to boot into. Without the GRUB menu, the operating system would need to be manually selected, making the booting process more time-consuming.

Additionally, the GRUB menu offers customization options that allow users to personalize their booting experience.

Operating System Booting with GRUB Boot Loader

The GRUB boot loader is responsible for locating the operating system kernel and initiating the booting process. If the GRUB is not installed correctly, operating systems within the computer may not boot, and the system may become unusable.

The GRUB boot loader is the first program that the BIOS calls after power is turned on, and it allows the operating system to be booted successfully. In summary, the GRUB boot loader provides a bootloader interface that enables easy OS selections and a configuration file that offers customizations to the bootloader boot procedure.

Configurations of GRUB Menu in Linux

When it comes to configuring the GRUB menu in Linux, there are several configurations that users can customize. One of the most common configurations is the default operating system that boots.

Editing the default operating system ensures that you do not need to constantly change the boot order every time you start your computer. Another configuration that users can personalize is the timeout setting, which configures the time interval before the default operating system boots automatically, as well as if the boot menu is hidden or displayed.

Users can also configure the booting resolution, which determines which resolution is used by default when booting the operating system. Configurations like this can help in providing a simple and efficient booting process.

The booting font can also be changed, which allows you to change the font of the boot messages that are displayed when booting the operating system. Users can also add safe mode boot to the GRUB menu, which can be used as a way of troubleshooting the operating system or editing kernel parameters to adjust system resource allocations.

Editing the boot options in this way can help in resolving various OS booting problems.


In conclusion, the GRUB menu plays an essential role in the booting process of an operating system and is an essential component of the bootloader interface of the computer. By editing the GRUB configurations, users can customize the booting options offered by the GRUB menu and make the booting process more efficient, less time-consuming, and more personalized.

The configurations available to users include the default operating system, the timeout setting, the resolution, font, and even adding safe mode in case of booting problems. By taking advantage of these configurations, you can ensure a faster, safer, and more enjoyable booting experience.

In conclusion, the GRUB boot menu and bootloader play a crucial role in the booting process of a computer. The GRUB menu presents a list of available operating systems, allowing users to choose which one to boot into, while the GRUB bootloader locates the operating system kernel and initiates the boot process itself.

Configuring and customizing the GRUB menu is vital for personalizing and streamlining the booting process and can determine how fast and efficient your operating system will start up. Overall, it is essential to understand the GRUB menu configurations and use them to your advantage to ensure a faster and safer operating system booting experience.

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