Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reduce Boot Menu Delay In Ubuntu

If you dual boot between Ubuntu and Vista/XP you would must have noticed (and became frustrated) by the 10 second delay at the boot time where you can make your selection between Ubuntu or Windows.
Normally you only use one preferred OS and the other OS is rarely used. So you may want to reduce this selection period.
To do this fire up your terminal and type in the following
gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
Now enter your password.
Now look for the following lines:
## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in sec seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout    X

Where the X is some number, mostly 10 sec
Change it to something like 2 or 3 (I use 3). 
Save the file and close it. 
Now if you ever want to boot into Vista or XP simply hit any key (up, down etc) wile the count down timer runs, to stop the count down timer then choose your OS.
Let us calculate how much time do you save by using this hack:
Suppose you start your PC 3 times in a day. You have changed the timeout to 2 sec, thereby saving 8 sec per boot. So in one day you save approximately 30 sec so at the end of the month you save around 15 min. However the real benefit of using this hack is the amount of frustration the boot menu gives is reduced.


  1. you may just as well reduce it to 0 seconds. Pressing Escape will always take you to the menu, regardless of how long the timeout is (just be sure to start pressing it before grub loads)

  2. Seems nothing new. Rather than fudging with the file it can be done in Startup manager too.

    I don't know how it reduces time unless user is not before the computer to press "enter" to boot into preferred os may be in just a second. :-)

  3. You can as also install and use "Startup manager"
    and edit the boot settings - only for people who do not want to edit files directly.


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