Set GRUB timeout to -1 but timeout remains 30


Answer: 1

13 hours ago

this is my first time posting here. I tried my best to work this problem out on my own but it didn't work out.

I did't want a timeout on my GRUB boot menu, I wanted it to remain indefinitely until I make a choice. So I edited my GRUB customization file as follows:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

GRUB_DEFAULT='Windows Boot Manager (on /dev/sda1)'
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

and then I ran

sudo update-grub

Then tried to hibernate and wake up and the timeout was still 30 seconds.

I wanted to know how the timeouts in my grub.cfg file look like so I ran this command:

cat /boot/grub/grub.cfg | grep timeout

  set timeout=30
  if [ x$feature_timeout_style = xy ] ; then
    set timeout_style=menu
    set timeout=-1
  # Fallback normal timeout code in case the timeout_style feature is
    set timeout=-1

set timeout_style=menu
if [ "${timeout}" = 0 ]; then
  set timeout=10

It seems to me like the default timeout is still 30.. I suspect it's a hibernation thing but I have to reboot to make sure if the countdown exists only when I hibernate...

EDIT: It definitely is a hibernation thing. When I reboot, the boot menu remains indefinitely, but when I hibernate, it counts down from 30.

EDIT2: Nevermind. Sometimes this issue doesn't happen on reboot or hibernation, sometimes it happens with both, sometimes it's either. I have no idea how to troubleshoot the cause with such an unpredictable behaviour..

EDIT3: Here are my hibernation configs:

sudo cat /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla

[Re-enable hibernate by default for login1]

[Re-enable hibernate for multiple users by default in logind]

Answer: 2

13 hours ago

Look at the documentation, in the terminal with info grub or online at


    If this option is unset or set to ‘menu’, then GRUB will display the menu and then wait for the timeout set by ‘GRUB_TIMEOUT’ to expire before booting the default entry. Pressing a key interrupts the timeout. 

     Boot the default entry this many seconds after the menu is
     displayed, unless a key is pressed.  The default is '5'.  Set to
     '0' to boot immediately without displaying the menu, or to '-1' to
     wait indefinitely.

     If 'GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE' is set to 'countdown' or 'hidden', the
     timeout is instead counted before the menu is displayed.

So you should set GRUB_TIMEOUT to 0. And to get the menu being displayed until an entry is chosen aka indefenitvly you must set GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE to menu.

Is GRUB_DEFAULT correct ? You want to boot into windows by default ?

Added by: Olga Volkman MD

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