Ubuntu – I can’t get grub menu to show up during boot


After trying (and failing) to install better ATI drivers in 11.10, I've somehow lost my grub menu at boot time. The screen does change to the familiar purple colour, but instead of a list of boot options it's just blank solid colour, and then disappears quickly and boots into the default entry normally.

How can I get the bootloader back? I've tried sudo update-grub and also various different combinations of resolutions and colour depths in startupmanager application with no success (640×480, 1024×768, 1600×1200, 16 bits, 8 bits, 10 second delay, 7 second delay, 2 second delay…)


I have already tried holding down Shift during bootup and it does not seem to change the behaviour. I get the message "GRUB Loading" in the terminal, but then the place where the grub menu normally appears I get a solid blank magenta screen for a while.

Here are the contents of /etc/default/grub

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=" vga=798 splash"

# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD ...)

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'

# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries

# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE="480 440 1"

Best Answer

I was having the same problem on my laptop, getting the magenta blank screen. Here's what worked for me. I changed:




And since I didn't have a CRT, instead I changed:




Then ran update-grub. On restart I was then able to get the menu by holding down the Shift key.