This is going to be either the most boring blog post in the entire history of blogging or the best thing you have read in years, depending on whether or not you too have a laptop set up to dual-boot Windows and Linux, and the laptop always boots directly to Linux - which is what you usually want, so you’ve been living with it, for, say, five years - but you’d quite like to have the Grub menu displayed first so you can mostly ignore it and let the default option run anyway.

I have finally fixed it, by which I mean, I have finally found the Magic Forum Post which provides the solution. For me. YMMV.

That post is here, and, if you like, you can scroll past my waffle to the solution right here at the bottom of this page without even clicking anything.

I repeat: YMMV. I repeat: I am about to waffle at you.

Dual-boot setup is a pain in the neck, caveat emptor and all that. If your problem is the usual one where you think you have set up dual-boot but it always boots to Windows, I cannot help you. That is the usual problem people have and it means that you have not set dual-boot up properly and Grub is not running at all.

There are literally thousands of posts explaining how to fix that problem, like this one or this one. Your search continues: good luck.

But no. I had managed to have the other problem, which no-one ever talks about.

I’ve already done all the dual-boot setup things, issued the weird command in Windows from an administrator prompt, tweaked the BIOS settings so the right things are enabled or disabled or whatever, set Grub to display a menu with a ten second time out and had everything working Just Fine. Except the Grub menu wouldn’t appear. Instead it would just wait ten seconds and boot to Linux.

Linux is almost always what I want - the Windows installation is only there because I needed it for work purposes in my previous job, which ended two years ago - but it’s still annoying.

Recently, after years of stability, the laptop started getting a bit crashy, due to this Ubuntu bug and the problem went from ‘annoying’ to ‘serious PITA’ because it wasn’t easily possible to boot into recovery mode or select a different kernel.

Time to start poking about again. But nothing worked, and why would it?

I have no idea what I am doing with any of this stuff - I can’t even set up dual-boot properly.


Turns out all I needed to do was edit /etc/default/grub, uncomment the line that says GRUB_TERMINAL=console then run update-grub and reboot.

Because of course it was.

Truly, 2021 is the year that Linux is finally ready for the desktop.

You’re welcome.