Increase grub timeout

Matt McCutchen matt at
Sat May 15 09:24:26 UTC 2010

On Sat, 2010-05-15 at 11:01 +0200, Richard Zidlicky wrote:
> of course, and I do not think it is so hard to think of a sensible behaviour.
> After each (semi)automatic change to grub/kernel conf as well as for the very first 
> boot there should be a timeout as well as visible menu.
> Once the kernel did boot with default command line etc it would be safe to set 
> the timeout to a small value - after asking the user. 
> More elaborate solution, there could be two config values - quicktimeout and 
> safetimout.
> After kernel and config changes timeout would be changed to safetimout and once 
> the kernel booted safely it could be reset to quicktimeout automatically.

Neat idea.  But if a breaking kernel change somehow occurs without
triggering the change to the safetimeout, we would not want the user to
be completely stuck.  I see two ways to address that:

- Make quicktimeout nonzero enough that the user has time to react.

- When grub attempts booting with quicktimeout, have it change to
safetimeout.  Then have an initscript that changes back to quicktimeout
once booting has succeeded.  Grub already has a "default boot entry"
field in the stage2 image that can be written by boot commands for
exactly this purpose; see the info docs.  The same could be done for the
timeout.  (This would appear to be a common trick: my Dell Latitude
D620's BIOS does the same thing with the power-on self test.)


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