grub console is ridiculously slow

Bug #480159 reported by Bogdan Butnaru on 2009-11-10
118
This bug affects 27 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
grub
Unknown
Unknown
grub2 (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: grub2

Hello!

I've tried setting GRUB_GFXMODE=1920x1200 in /etc/default/grub, as this is the native resolution of my screen.

This works, in the sense that the GRUB menu is displayed in that resolution. However, the display is really, _really_ slow. I can see the borders being drawn on the screen (it takes about a second). And scrolling is unusable: if I use the GRUB console enough to fill the screen, it takes about six second to scroll to each next line. This is on an nVidia GeForce 9600 GT.

Note that if I set the same resolution for the Linux text console (which works, through vesafb as far as I can tell), scrolling is still slower than text mode, but still usable (I'd say about a second or less to scroll an _entire_ screen, not six seconds _per_line_ as GRUB does).

(I've seen this reported as a side note in other bugs, but I can't find a duplicate bug on this problem only.)

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Nov 10 18:40:17 2009
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: grub-pc 1.97~beta4-1ubuntu4
ProcEnviron:
 LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8
 PATH=(custom, user)
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-15.49-generic
SourcePackage: grub2
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-15-generic x86_64
XsessionErrors:
 (gnome-settings-daemon:2166): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_propagate_error: assertion `src != NULL' failed
 (polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1:2288): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_once_init_leave: assertion `initialization_value != 0' failed
 (nautilus:2258): Eel-CRITICAL **: eel_preferences_get_boolean: assertion `preferences_is_initialized ()' failed
 (gnome-panel:2257): Gtk-WARNING **: gtk_widget_size_allocate(): attempt to allocate widget with width -10 and height 25
 (gnome-panel:2257): Gdk-WARNING **: /build/buildd/gtk+2.0-2.18.3/gdk/x11/gdkdrawable-x11.c:952 drawable is not a pixmap or window

Bogdan Butnaru (bogdanb) wrote :
carasuca (carasuca) wrote :

same problem here, using GeForce 9600M GT, GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x800 vbeinfo lists this resolution

Felix Zielcke (fzielcke) wrote :

It would be nice if you could try the version from my PPA:
https://launchpad.net/~fzielcke/+archive/grub-ppa

I think there are now some changes included which hopefully makes this faster for you.
Note that there's currently a bug, that if your /boot is a seperate partition the generated grub.cfg has /boot wrongly added to the Linux kernels.

Bogdan Butnaru (bogdanb) wrote :

Hmm. I'm quite liberal about trying still-untested software on my main computer, but the boot loader is usually excepted... Also, my /boot happens to be a separate partition :)

Felix Zielcke (fzielcke) wrote :

The seperate /boot partition problem has been now fixed.
The version I uploaded yesterday shouldn't have any big bugs.
For me it works fine and I even uploaded this by accident to Debian unstable instead of experimental and nothing critical comed up the day it was there.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

I'm experiencing this with the NVIDIA Quadro FX 500/600 AGP (if I remember correctly), and ONLY on the DVI port--both when using a DVI monitor or a DVI to VGA adapter. Using grub2-2.02~beta2-15 on Ubuntu MATE 14.10 which by default uses a graphical theme (grub2-themes-ubuntu-mate), so I don't know if I'm experiencing a better or worse degree of slowness.

Rather than using the monitor's 1280x1024 resolution as do Linux and grub2 on other machines, it seems to fallback to 640x480 and very few colors, and unless I pass a kernel argument (e.g. vga=795) the console output is unreadable white "blocks". The drawing speed seems slightly faster on one of the machines--which I assume is due to a faster FSB (533MT/s vs 400MT/s, since they both use AGP 4x and the one that draws slower has a faster CPU clock: 2.9GHz vs 2.4GHz).

If I use GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024 in /etc/default/grub, it behaves much faster and in full color, just like when using the VGA port.

Fast forward to 2014, and I can find various reports of similar bugs but for quite a variety of hardware, and some of which have been resolved. I should be able to collect the output of vbeinfo if desired.

js1 (sujiannming) wrote :

Same problem on 14.04 with NVIDIA Quadro NVS 295.

Seb93250 (seb93250) wrote :

I have the same problem with grub2 2.02~beta2 on Fedora 21.
Whatever resolution, it's very slow...

Gordon (kmputerguy) wrote :

Having this issue in 14.04. It's especially bad since I have a 1440p monitor. NVidia GTX 660.

Marcus (marcus-hewat) wrote :

Having the issue on 15.04. I've been having the problem for several Ubuntu versions but it is now extreme as I have upgraded to a UHD (3840x2160) monitor.
Radeon HD 7850 on a fully open source stack (radeonsi driver).

Same problem here with a ThinkStation S20, Nvidia Quadro 2000, and grub 2.02~beta2-9ubuntu1.3. Apparently the default is to use the monitor's full resolution of (in my case) 1920x1200, causing the bug to appear.

It's obviously not a big problem, but it's quite irritating.

Is there a technical reason not to use VGA resolution in grub by default?

jjungo (j-jungo) wrote :

Hi,

Same problem on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
Grub version: grub-install (GRUB) 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3
Graphic card: Intel HD Graphics 520

Roel Van de Paar (roel11) wrote :

Same here. Ubuntu 20.04, 4K screen, 1060ti. Very slow and key presses sometimes register twice (i.e. you press one and it executes it twice)

Roel Van de Paar (roel11) wrote :

This bug is 11 years old and still present in the latest and greatest. A fix should be easy - just force VGA resolution always as suggested by Johannes. Fix please :)

+1 to this issue still being the case in 2020.

I'm running grub 2.02-2ubuntu8.15 on a Ryzen 3900X and NVIDIA 2070 RTX at 1920x1080.

Rory Swann (rorasaurus) wrote :

Also having this problem in 20.04 LTS.

Specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
GPU: Nvidia 2080ti

Luiz Bettoni (luizbettoni) wrote :

Also noted here.
Lower resolutions make grub usable, but still slower than expected.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS + grub 2.04-1ubuntu26
Lenovo Flex 14 AMD / CPU Ryzen 5 3500U / Integrated Radeon Graphics / FHD display

grub>videoinfo
 Adapter Bochs PCI Video Driver: No info available
 Adapter Cirrus CLGD 5446 PCI Video Driver: No info available
 Adapter EFI GOP driver:
 *Ox000 1920 x 1080 x 32 (7680) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox001 640 x 480 x 32 (2560) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox002 800 x 600 x 32 (3200) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox003 1024 x 768 x 32 (4096) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox004 1280 x 1024 x 32 (5120) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox005 1400 x 1050 x 32 (5600) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
  Ox006 1280 x 960 x 32 (5120) Direct color, mask: 8/8/8/8 pos: 16/8/0/24
 Adapter EFI UGA driver: No info available

nawK (pal-nawk) wrote :

I too am affected by slow console when GRUB_TERMINAL_MODE is set to gfxmode in GRUB 2.04 and earlier versions. I believe this problem is not resolution-specific; but suffers under VBE mode.

I can also verify that I don't have this issue with syslinux (which uses VGA modes).

System spec:
CPU: Core i7 990x | Motherboard: Asus Rampage 3 Extreme | Graphics: EVGA GTX760

I have this exact same issue. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, ultrawide 2560x1080 screen, Grub version 2.04-1ubuntu26.6

Only happens with UEFI mode.

System spec:
CPU: ryzen 2600x | Motherboard: MSI B450 A-PRO | Graphics: GTX1060

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