How To Change The Default GRUB Time Out

I love Ubuntu but the default wait of 10 seconds that you have to endure when booting up is a real pain. I know you can simply hit enter to select the Ubuntu boot option but I just think that 10 seconds is far to long to wait. I could understand if it was 3 or even 5 seconds – but 10, that’s just way to much for me.

The Ubuntu GRUB loader

In previous versions of Ubuntu I used to install a program called Startup-Manager to change the default time out to 1 second, but it looks like development has stopped for this application so I now simply change the GRUB configuration file in order to reduce the time period. Here’s how…

First of all you need to open up the GRUB configuration file with root privileges. to do this, run the following command in terminal then enter your password:

gedit /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Once you have entered your password, G-Edit will load up along with the GRUB config file. Now press ctrl+f and type “timeout” into the search field. It should find two entries that look very similar to the text highlighted in the image below:

All you need to do now is change the two lines that say “set timeout = 10″ to “set timeout = 1″, save the file and exit both G-Edit and terminal. This will set the GRUB default time out to 1 second.

WARNING – Do not set the time out to zero as this will mean that GRUB is completely bypassed. You will not be able to dual boot or get into advanced boot options like previous kernel versions or memory testing should something go wrong.

How To Change The Default GRUB Time Out
User Rating: 0.4 (1 votes)
  • TheCattor

    You are suggesting that people edit a file that specifically says “do not edit”?

    The correct way is to edit /etc/default/grub and run update-grub. You can change the line “GRUB_TIMEOUT=10″ to whatever you want.
    sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
    sudo update-grub

    The sudo is necessary, it does not ask for my password nor obtain permissions without it (at least not on my system).
    You method may well work for some time but with the next update the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file will be overwritten. There is also the danger of corrupting your grub install in case of a mistake; update-grub would catch mistakes and you can’t really corrupt it with only the /etc/default/grub file.
    Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Kev Quirk

      As with most operating systems, there are numerous ways to achieve the same aim. When updating, I get asked if I want to overwrite the config file for GRUB, I simply select ‘No’ and nothing changes. Even if the config does get overwritten then this process only take a minute to carry out. – Should have mentioned that in the article, thanks for pointing it out.

      Changing the config file doesn’t have an effect as long as you only make the changes listed above.

      As I said, there are many ways to do things in most OS’s, this way works for me. Next time I do a re-install though I will definitely try your method. Thanks for the info “Cattor”.

  • shadowguy14

    I don’t have this issue with Ubuntu, but with Zorin OS (Ubuntu based) which is really annoying, thanks for this