[BIOS only (not UEFI)] grub does not appear when holding down shift key

Bug #1227365 reported by Rick Spencer on 2013-09-18
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
grub2 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

1. Boot computer while holding down shift

The computer boots as normal

The grub menu appears

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.10
Package: grub2 (not installed)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.11.0-7.14-generic 3.11.1
Uname: Linux 3.11.0-7-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.12.1-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
Date: Wed Sep 18 17:06:27 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-04-23 (147 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Release amd64 (20130423.1)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: grub2
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to saucy on 2013-08-14 (35 days ago)

Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

Could you please add your /etc/default/grub file to the bug report?

Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

I think that there are two values swapped in your grub configuration and believe that if you switch GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=10 and GRUB_TIMEOUT=0, and then run 'sudo update-grub', on the next boot you'll have 10 seconds to press shift so that the grub menu is displayed.

I'll follow up with Colin about that.

Perhaps I changed the default at some point, but I would have expected that Shift would still work.

Rebecca Palmer (rebecca-palmer) wrote :

I have the same problem in 13.10 with the default grub setup: it ignores Shift and just starts the newest installed kernel. It also doesn't show the menu on restart after a crash, which would be a big problem if a newly-installed kernel (or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/MainlineBuilds test kernel) turned out to be unbootable.

Workaround: comment out GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0 in /etc/default/grub to always display the boot menu.

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Are you using BIOS or UEFI? If UEFI, it is impossible to detect the state of modifier keys, so this can't be fixed there.

Rebecca Palmer (rebecca-palmer) wrote :

BIOS: it's the same machine as bug 1244312 (and became an issue when I was testing that bug).

(Is there a different way to bring up the GRUB menu on UEFI? If so, it should probably be documented...)

David Platt (dplatt1) wrote :

Same problem here. Editting /etc/default/grub had no effect. Boot-repair fixed the problem though. I'm using UEFI.

Present in 14.10 using UEFI. Seems we need to be able to tell grub to use a key it can recognize when in UEFI.

Neko (jamesneko) wrote :

This is really, really broken. I'm also using 14.10 and a UEFI BIOS, and until I found this bug report I figured I just wasn't hammering Shift enough or I had selected the wrong boot option.

I need the GRUB menu because I need to add 'nomodeset' so the stupid broken nouveau driver doesn't attempt to drive my modern nvidia card so I can get more than just a blank screen. I could add that option to the installer no problem; GRUB was kind enough to wait for me in that instance. Even a 1-second window for me to hit some non-modifier key would be a huge improvement.

The original bug (which I no longer have the hardware from) was on BIOS; should the EFI problem be a separate bug?

Does changing the timeout settings to always-show (see above) work on EFI?

> I need the GRUB menu because I need to add 'nomodeset'

There's a GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX parameter in /etc/default/grub that you can use to add that permanently, but given that updates made there only take effect after running 'sudo update-grub', if you're doing this from a liveCD you'll also need to add it directly to the command line (the first one starting with 'linux') in /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

> so the [...] nouveau driver doesn't attempt to drive my modern nvidia card so I can get more than just a blank screen

Your real problem might be bug 1315156: there's a workaround there, but it requires a running system.

TJ (tj) wrote :

UEFI issue is bug 425979

summary: - grub does not appear when holding down shift key
+ [BIOS only (not UEFI)] grub does not appear when holding down shift key
TJ (tj) wrote :

If this occurs on a BIOS system (or UEFI system booting in CSM/Legacy mode) please update this report with exact make/model/firmware version using:

sudo dmidecode -t bios -t system

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for grub2 (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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