Difference between revisions of "GRUB"

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(Undo revision 269503 by Into 311 (talk) the active bit is used by bootloaders; not bioses.)
(Deleted "nn" note. Reason: It's duplicated in the appropriate (AFTER "nn" is mentioned) place further down)
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{{Note|{{ic|nn}} should be greater than 06 to ensure necessary scripts are executed first.}}
{{Note| In some cases, mine I have installed GRUB before a clean Windows 8, you you cannot boot windows having an error with \boot\bcd (error code 0xc000000f). You can fix it going to Windows Recovery Console (cmd from install disk) and executing:
{{Note| In some cases, mine I have installed GRUB before a clean Windows 8, you you cannot boot windows having an error with \boot\bcd (error code 0xc000000f). You can fix it going to Windows Recovery Console (cmd from install disk) and executing:
  x:\> "bootrec.exe /fixboot"  
  x:\> "bootrec.exe /fixboot"  

Revision as of 17:54, 16 August 2013

zh-CN:GRUB2 zh-TW:GRUB2 Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki - BURG is a brand-new boot loader based on GRUB v2. It can be built on a wider range of OS, and has a highly configurable menu system which works in both text and graphic mode. Template:Article summary wiki - previous Version, now obsolete. Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary link Template:Article summary end

GRUB - not to be confused with GRUB Legacy - is the next generation of the GRand Unified Bootloader. GRUB is derived from PUPA which was a research project to develop the next generation of what is now GRUB Legacy. GRUB has been rewritten from scratch to clean up everything and provide modularity and portability [1].

In brief, the bootloader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the Linux kernel. The kernel, in turn, initializes the rest of the operating system.



  • The name GRUB officially refers to version 2 of the software, see [2]. If you are looking for the article on the legacy version, see GRUB Legacy.
  • GRUB supports Btrfs as root (without a separate /boot filesystem) compressed with either zlib or LZO

Notes for current GRUB Legacy users

  • Upgrading from GRUB Legacy to GRUB is much the same as freshly installing GRUB, which is covered below
  • There are differences in the commands of GRUB Legacy and GRUB. Familiarize yourself with GRUB commands before proceeding (e.g. "find" has been replaced with "search")
  • GRUB is now modular and no longer requires "stage 1.5". As a result, the bootloader itself is limited -- modules are loaded from the hard drive as needed to expand functionality (e.g. for LVM or RAID support)
  • Device naming has changed between GRUB Legacy and GRUB. Partitions are numbered from 1 instead of 0 while drives are still numbered from 0, and prefixed with partition-table type. For example, /dev/sda1 would be referred to as (hd0,msdos1) (for MBR) or (hd0,gpt1) (for GPT)
  • If you use systemd without systemd-sysvcompat, and have had init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd in your old grub menu.lst, the automatically generated grub.cfg file might not carry over this kernel parameter (giving you "ERROT: Root device mounted successfully, but /sbin/init does not exist" on boot). If so, edit the Arch Linux entry that grub shows you, add init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd to the kernel parameters, and then make it permanent.
  • GRUB is noticably bigger than GRUB legacy (occupies ~13 MB in /boot). If you are booting from a separate /boot partition, and this partition is smaller than 32 MB, you will run into disk space issues, and pacman will refuse to install new kernels. If you do not want to re-partition your system, switch to Syslinux instead, which is smaller (occupies ~1.5 MB in /boot).

Backup important data

Although a GRUB installation should run smoothly, it is strongly recommended to keep the GRUB Legacy files before upgrading to GRUB v2.

# mv /boot/grub /boot/grub-legacy

Backup the MBR which contains the boot code and partition table (Replace /dev/sdX with your actual disk path):

# dd if=/dev/sdX of=/path/to/backup/mbr_backup bs=512 count=1

Only 446 bytes of the MBR contain boot code, the next 64 contain the partition table. If you do not want to overwrite your partition table when restoring, it is strongly advised to backup only the MBR boot code:

# dd if=/dev/sdX of=/path/to/backup/bootcode_backup bs=446 count=1

If unable to install GRUB2 correctly, see #Restore GRUB Legacy.

Preliminary requirements

BIOS systems

GUID Partition Table (GPT) specific instructions

GRUB in BIOS-GPT configuration requires a BIOS boot partition to embed its core.img in the absence of post-MBR gap in GPT partitioned systems (which is taken over by the GPT Primary Header and Primary Partition table). This partition is used by GRUB only in BIOS-GPT setups. No such partition type exists in case of MBR partitioning (at least not for GRUB). This partition is also not required if the system is UEFI based, as no embedding of bootsectors takes place in that case.

For a BIOS-GPT configuration, create a 1007 KiB partition at the beginning of the disk using gdisk, cgdisk or GNU Parted with no filesystem. The size of 1007 KiB will allow for the following partition to be correctly alligned at 1024 KiB. If needed, the partition can also be located somewhere else on the disk, but it should be within the first 2 TiB region. Set the partition type to ef02 in (c)gdisk or set <BOOT_PART_NUM> bios_grub on in GNU Parted.

  • This partition should be created before grub-install or grub-setup is run
  • gdisk will only allow you to create this partition on the position which will waste the least amount of space (sector 34-2047) if you create it last, after all the other partitions. This is because gdisk will auto-align partitions to 2048-sector boundaries if possible
Master Boot Record (MBR) specific instructions

Usually the post-MBR gap (after the 512 byte MBR region and before the start of the 1st partition) in many MBR (or msdos disklabel) partitioned systems is 31 KiB when DOS compatibility cylinder alignment issues are satisfied in the partition table. However a post-MBR gap of about 1 to 2 MiB is recommended to provide sufficient room for embedding GRUB's core.img (FS#24103). It is advisable to use a partitioner which supports 1 MiB partition alignment to obtain this space as well as satisfy other non-512 byte sector issues (which are unrelated to embedding of core.img).

UEFI systems

Note: It is recommended to read and understand the UEFI, GPT and UEFI Bootloaders pages.
Create and Mount the UEFI System Partition

Follow Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#EFI System Partition for instructions on creating a UEFI System Partition. Then mount the UEFI System Partition at /boot/efi. If you have mounted the UEFI System Partition at some other mountpoint, replace /boot/efi in the below instructions with that mountpoint:

# mkdir -p /boot/efi
# mount -t vfat <UEFI_SYSTEM_PARTITION> /boot/efi

Create a /boot/efi/EFI directory:

# mkdir /boot/efi/EFI


BIOS systems

GRUB can be installed with the grub package from the official repositories. It will replace grub-legacy , if it is installed.

Note: Simply installing the package will not update the /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img file and the GRUB modules in /boot/grub/i386-pc. You need to update them manually using grub-install as explained below.

Install boot files

There are 3 ways to install GRUB boot files in BIOS booting:

Install to GPT BIOS boot partition

GUID Partition Table disks do not have a reserved "boot track". Therefore you must create a BIOS Boot Partition (ef02) to hold the GRUB core image.

Using GNU Parted, you can set this using a command such as the following:

# parted /dev/disk set <partition-number> bios_grub on

If you are using gdisk, set the partition type to ef02. With partitioning programs that require setting the GUID directly, it should be ‘21686148-6449-6e6f-744e656564454649’ (or, Hah!IdontNeedEFI).

Warning: Be very careful which partition you select when marking it as a BIOS Boot Partition. When GRUB finds a BIOS Boot Partition during installation, it will automatically overwrite part of it. Make sure that the partition does not contain any other data.

To setup grub on a GPT disk, populate the /boot/grub directory, generate the /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img file, and embed it in the BIOS Boot Partition, run:

# modprobe dm-mod
# grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck --debug /dev/sda

where /dev/sda is the destination of the installation.

Continue with GRUB#Generate config file below.

Install to 440-byte MBR boot code region

To setup grub in the 440-byte Master Boot Record boot code region, populate the /boot/grub directory, generate the /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img file, embed it in the 31 KiB (minimum size - varies depending on partition alignment) post-MBR gap, and generate the configuration file, run:

# modprobe dm-mod
# grub-install --recheck /dev/sdX

where /dev/sdX is the destination of the installation (in this case the MBR of the first SATA disk). If you use LVM for your /boot, you can install GRUB on multiple physical disks.

Warning: Make sure to check the /boot directory if you use the latter. Sometimes the boot-directory parameter creates another /boot folder inside of /boot. A wrong install would look like: /boot/boot/grub/.

Continue with GRUB#Generate config file below.

Install to partition or partitionless disk
Note: GRUB does not encourage installation to a partition boot sector or a partitionless disk like GRUB Legacy or Syslinux does. This kind of setup is prone to breakage, especially during updates, and is not supported by Arch devs.

To set up grub to a partition boot sector, to a partitionless disk (also called superfloppy) or to a floppy disk, run (using for example /dev/sdaX as the /boot partition):

# modprobe dm-mod 
# grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck --debug --force /dev/sdaX
# chattr -i /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img
# chattr +i /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img

You need to use the --force option to allow usage of blocklists and should not use --grub-setup=/bin/true (which is similar to simply generating core.img).

grub-install will give out warnings like which should give you the idea of what might go wrong with this approach:

/sbin/grub-setup: warn: Attempting to install GRUB to a partitionless disk or to a partition. This is a BAD idea.
/sbin/grub-setup: warn: Embedding is not possible. GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists. 
                        However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged.

Without --force you may get the below error and grub-setup will not setup its boot code in the partition boot sector:

/sbin/grub-setup: error: will not proceed with blocklists

With --force you should get:

Installation finished. No error reported.

The reason why grub-setup does not by default allow this is because in case of partition or a partitionless disk is that grub relies on embedded blocklists in the partition bootsector to locate the /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img file and the prefix dir /boot/grub. The sector locations of core.img may change whenever the filesystem in the partition is being altered (files copied, deleted etc.). For more info see https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=728742 and https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=730915.

The workaround for this is to set the immutable flag on /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img (using chattr command as mentioned above) so that the sector locations of the core.img file in the disk is not altered. The immutable flag on /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img needs to be set only if grub is installed to a partition boot sector or a partitionless disk, not in case of installation to MBR or simple generation of core.img without embedding any bootsector (mentioned above).

Continue with GRUB#Generate config file below.

Generate core.img alone

To populate the /boot/grub directory and generate a /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img file without embedding any grub bootsector code in the MBR, post-MBR region, or the partition bootsector, add --grub-setup=/bin/true to grub-install:

# modprobe dm-mod
# grub-install --target=i386-pc --grub-setup=/bin/true --recheck --debug /dev/sda

You can then chainload GRUB's core.img from GRUB Legacy or syslinux as a Linux kernel or a multiboot kernel.

Generate config file

Finally, generate a configuration for GRUB (this is explained in greater detail in the Configuration section):

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Note: The file path is /boot/grub/grub.cfg, NOT /boot/grub/i386-pc/grub.cfg.

If GRUB complains about "no suitable mode found" while booting, go to #"No suitable mode found" error.

If grub-mkconfig fails, convert your /boot/grub/menu.lst file to /boot/grub/grub.cfg using:

# grub-menulst2cfg /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/grub.cfg

For example:


title  Arch Linux Stock Kernel
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda2 ro
initrd /initramfs-linux.img

title  Arch Linux Stock Kernel Fallback
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda2 ro
initrd /initramfs-linux-fallback.img
set default='0'; if [ x"$default" = xsaved ]; then load_env; set default="$saved_entry"; fi
set timeout=5

menuentry 'Arch Linux Stock Kernel' {
  set root='(hd0,1)'; set legacy_hdbias='0'
  legacy_kernel   '/vmlinuz-linux' '/vmlinuz-linux' 'root=/dev/sda2' 'ro'
  legacy_initrd '/initramfs-linux.img' '/initramfs-linux.img'

menuentry 'Arch Linux Stock Kernel Fallback' {
  set root='(hd0,1)'; set legacy_hdbias='0'
  legacy_kernel   '/vmlinuz-linux' '/vmlinuz-linux' 'root=/dev/sda2' 'ro'
  legacy_initrd '/initramfs-linux-fallback.img' '/initramfs-linux-fallback.img'

If you forgot to create a GRUB /boot/grub/grub.cfg config file and simply rebooted into GRUB Command Shell, type:

sh:grub> insmod legacycfg
sh:grub> legacy_configfile ${prefix}/menu.lst

Boot into Arch and re-create the proper GRUB /boot/grub/grub.cfg config file.

Note: This option works only in BIOS systems, not in UEFI systems.


This should work out of the box, but an extra utility needs to be installed: os-prober. Install it, then rerun grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg. If this fails, you can try manually adding an entry by following the instructions below.

Microsoft Windows installed in BIOS-MBR mode
Note: GRUB supports booting bootmgr directly and chainload of partition boot sector is no longer required to boot Windows in a BIOS-MBR setup.
Warning: It is the system partition that has bootmgr, not your "real" Windows partition (usually C:). When showing all UUIDs with blkid, the system partition is the one with LABEL="SYSTEM RESERVED" and is only about 100 MB in size (much like the boot partition for Arch). See Wikipedia:System partition and boot partition for more info.

Throughout this section, it is assumed your Windows partition is /dev/sda1. A different partition will change every instance of hd0,msdos1. First, find the UUID of the NTFS filesystem of the Windows's SYSTEM PARTITION where the bootmgr and its files reside. For example, if Windows bootmgr exists at /media/SYSTEM_RESERVED/bootmgr:

For Windows Vista/7/8:

# grub-probe --target=fs_uuid /media/SYSTEM_RESERVED/bootmgr
# grub-probe --target=hints_string /media/SYSTEM_RESERVED/bootmgr
--hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1
Note: For Windows XP, replace bootmgr with NTLDR in the above commands. And note that there may not be a separate SYSTEM_RESERVED partition; just probe the file NTLDR on your Windows partition.

Then, add the below code to /etc/grub.d/40_custom or /boot/grub/custom.cfg and regenerate grub.cfg with grub-mkconfig as explained above to boot Windows (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) installed in BIOS-MBR mode:

For Windows Vista/7/8:

menuentry "Microsoft Windows Vista/7/8 BIOS-MBR" {
  insmod part_msdos
  insmod ntfs
  insmod search_fs_uuid
  insmod ntldr     
  search --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1 69B235F6749E84CE
  ntldr /bootmgr

For Windows XP:

menuentry "Microsoft Windows XP" {
  insmod part_msdos
  insmod ntfs
  insmod search_fs_uuid
  insmod ntldr     
  search --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1 69B235F6749E84CE
   ntldr /ntldr
Note: In some cases, mine I have installed GRUB before a clean Windows 8, you you cannot boot windows having an error with \boot\bcd (error code 0xc000000f). You can fix it going to Windows Recovery Console (cmd from install disk) and executing:
x:\> "bootrec.exe /fixboot" 
x:\> "bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd".
Warning: Do not use "bootrec.exe /Fixmbr" because it will wipe GRUB out.

/etc/grub.d/40_custom can be used as a template to create /etc/grub.d/nn_custom. Where nn defines the precendence, indicating the order the script is executed. The order scripts are executed determine the placement in the grub boot menu.

Note: nn should be greater than 06 to ensure necessary scripts are executed first.

UEFI systems

Note: It is well known that different motherboard manufactures implement UEFI differently. Users experiencing problems getting Grub/EFI to work properly are encouraged to share detailed steps for hardware-specific cases where UEFI booting does not work as described below. In an effort to keep the parent GRUB article neat and tidy, see the GRUB EFI Examples page for these special cases.

First install the grub package and then follow the instructions below.

Note: Simply installing the package will not update the core.efi file and the GRUB modules in the UEFI System Partition. You need to do this manually using grub-install as explained below.

Install boot files

Install to UEFI system partition
  • The below commands assume you are using installing GRUB for x86_64-efi (for IA32-efi replace x86_64 with i386 in the below commands)
  • To do this, you need to boot using UEFI and not the BIOS. If you booted by just copying the ISO file to the USB drive, you will need to follow this guide or grub-install will show errors

The UEFI system partition will need to be mounted at /boot/efi/ for the GRUB install script to detect it:

# mkdir -p /boot/efi
# mount -t vfat /dev/sdXY /boot/efi

Install GRUB UEFI application to /boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub and its modules to /boot/grub/x86_64-efi (recommended) using:

# modprobe dm-mod
# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --recheck --debug
Note: Without --target or --directory option, grub-install cannot determine for which firmware GRUB is being installed. In such cases grub-install will show source_dir does not exist. Please specify --target or --directory message.

If you want to install GRUB modules and grub.cfg at the directory /boot/efi/EFI/grub and the grubx64.efi application at /boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub (ie. all the GRUB UEFI files inside the UEFISYS partition itself) use:

# modprobe dm-mod 
# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --boot-directory=/boot/efi/EFI --recheck --debug

The --efi-directory option mentions the mountpoint of UEFI SYSTEM PARTITION , --bootloader-id mentions the name of the directory used to store the grubx64.efi file and --boot-directory mentions the directory wherein the actual modules will be installed (and into which grub.cfg should be created).

The actual paths are:

<efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id>/grubx64.efi
<boot-directory>/grub/x86_64-efi/<all modules, grub.efi, core.efi, grub.cfg>
Note: the --bootloader-id option does not change <boot-directory>/grub, i.e. you cannot install the modules to <boot-directory>/<bootloader-id>, the path is hard-coded to be <boot-directory>/grub.

In --efi-directory=/boot/efi --boot-directory=/boot/efi/EFI --bootloader-id=grub:

<efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id> == <boot-directory>/grub == /boot/efi/EFI/grub

In --efi-directory=/boot/efi --boot-directory=/boot/efi/EFI --bootloader-id=arch_grub:

<efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id> == /boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub
<boot-directory>/grub == /boot/efi/EFI/grub

In --efi-directory=/boot/efi --boot-directory=/boot --bootloader-id=arch_grub:

<efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id> == /boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub
<boot-directory>/grub == /boot/grub

In --efi-directory=/boot/efi --boot-directory=/boot --bootloader-id=grub:

<efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id> == /boot/efi/EFI/grub
<boot-directory>/grub == /boot/grub

The <efi-directory>/<EFI or efi>/<bootloader-id>/grubx64.efi is an exact copy of <boot-directory>/grub/x86_64-efi/core.efi.

  • In GRUB 2.00, the grub-install option --efi-directory replaces --root-directory and the latter is deprecated
  • The options --efi-directory and --bootloader-id are specific to GRUB UEFI

In all the cases the UEFI SYSTEM PARTITION should be mounted for grub-install to install grubx64.efi in it, which will be launched by the firmware (using the efibootmgr created boot entry in non-Mac systems).

If you notice carefully, there is no <device_path> option (Eg: /dev/sda) at the end of the grub-install command unlike the case of setting up GRUB for BIOS systems. Any <device_path> provided will be ignored by the install script as UEFI bootloaders do not use MBR or Partition boot sectors at all.

You may now be able to UEFI boot your system by creating a grub.cfg file by following #Generate UEFI Config file and #Create GRUB entry in the firmware boot manager.

Generate config file

Finally, generate a configuration for GRUB (this is explained in greater detail in the Configuration section):

# grub-mkconfig -o <boot-directory>/grub/grub.cfg
Note: The file path is <boot-directory>/grub/grub.cfg, NOT <boot-directory>/grub/x86_64-efi/grub.cfg.

If you used --boot-directory=/boot:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

If you used --boot-directory=/boot/efi/EFI:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/grub/grub.cfg

This is independent of the value of --bootloader-id option.

If GRUB complains about "no suitable mode found" while booting, try #"No suitable mode found" error.

Create GRUB entry in the firmware boot manager

grub-install automatically tries to create a menu entry in the boot manager. If it does not, then see Beginners' Guide#GRUB for instructions to use efibootmgr to create a menu entry. However, the problem is likely to be that you have not booted your CD/USB in UEFI mode, as in Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#Create UEFI bootable USB from ISO.

Create GRUB standalone UEFI application

It is possible to create a grubx64_standalone.efi application which has all the modules embeddded in a memdisk within the UEFI application, thus removing the need for having a separate directory populated with all the GRUB UEFI modules and other related files. This is done using the grub-mkstandalone command which is included in grub.

The easiest way to do this would be with the install command already mentioned before, but specifying the modules to include. For example:

# grub-mkstandalone --directory="/usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi/" --format="x86_64-efi" --compression="xz" \
--output="/boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub/grubx64_standalone.efi" <any extra files you want to include>

The grubx64_standalone.efi file expects grub.cfg to be within its $prefix which is (memdisk)/boot/grub. The memdisk is embedded within the EFI app. The grub-mkstandlone script allow passing files to be included in the memdisk image to be as the arguments to the script (in <any extra files you want to include>).

If you have the grub.cfg at /home/user/Desktop/grub.cfg, then create a temporary /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/ directory, copy the /home/user/Desktop/grub.cfg to /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/grub.cfg, cd into /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/ and run:

# grub-mkstandalone --directory="/usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi/" --format="x86_64-efi" --compression="xz" \
--output="/boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub/grubx64_standalone.efi" "boot/grub/grub.cfg"

The reason to cd into /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/ and to pass the file path as boot/grub/grub.cfg (notice the lack of a leading slash - boot/ vs. /boot/ ) is because dir1/dir2/file is included as (memdisk)/dir1/dir2/file by the grub-mkstandalone script.

If you pass /home/user/Desktop/grub.cfg the file will be included as (memdisk)/home/user/Desktop/grub.cfg. If you pass /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/grub.cfg the file will be included as (memdisk)/home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/grub.cfg. That is the reason for cd'ing into /home/user/Desktop/boot/grub/ and passing boot/grub/grub.cfg, to include the file as (memdisk)/boot/grub/grub.cfg, which is what grub.efi expects the file to be.

You need to create an UEFI Boot Manager entry for /boot/efi/EFI/arch_grub/grubx64_standalone.efi using efibootmgr. Follow #Create GRUB entry in the Firmware Boot Manager.


Microsoft Windows installed in UEFI-GPT mode

Find the UUID of the FAT32 filesystem in the UEFI SYSTEM PARTITION where the Windows UEFI Bootloader files reside. For example, if Windows bootmgfw.efi exists at /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi (ignore the upper-lower case differences since that is immaterial in FAT filesystem):

# grub-probe --target=fs_uuid /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
# grub-probe --target=hints_string /boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
--hint-bios=hd0,gpt1 --hint-efi=hd0,gpt1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,gpt1

Then, add this code to /etc/grub.d/40_custom to chainload Windows x86_64 (Vista SP1+, 7 or 8) installed in UEFI-GPT mode:

menuentry "Microsoft Windows Vista/7/8 x86_64 UEFI-GPT" {
  insmod part_gpt
  insmod fat
  insmod search_fs_uuid
  insmod chain
  search --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,gpt1 --hint-efi=hd0,gpt1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,gpt1 1ce5-7f28
  chainloader /efi/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

Afterwards remake /boot/grub/grub.cfg:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg


You can also choose to automatically generate or manually edit grub.cfg.

  • For EFI systems, if GRUB was installed with the --boot-directory option set, the grub.cfg file must be placed in the same directory as grubx64.efi. Otherwise, the grub.cfg file goes in /boot/grub/, just like in GRUB BIOS
  • Here is a quite complete description of how to configure GRUB

Automatically generating using grub-mkconfig

The GRUB menu.lst equivalent configuration files are /etc/default/grub and /etc/grub.d/*. grub-mkconfig uses these files to generate grub.cfg. By default the script outputs to stdout. To generate a grub.cfg file run the command:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

/etc/grub.d/10_linux is set to automatically add menu items for Arch linux that work out of the box, to any generated configuration. Other operating systems may need to be added manually to /etc/grub.d/40_custom or /boot/grub/custom.cfg

Additional arguments

To pass custom additional arguments to the Linux image, you can set the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX variable in /etc/default/grub.

For example, use GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=/dev/sdaX" where sdaX is your swap partition to enable resume after hibernation.

You can also use GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=/dev/disk/by-uuid/${swap_uuid}", where ${swap_uuid} is the UUID of your swap partition.

Multiple entries are separated by spaces within the double quotes. So, for users who want both resume and systemd it would look like this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=/dev/sdaX init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd"

See Kernel parameters for more info.

Manually creating grub.cfg

Warning: Editing this file is strongly not recommended. The file is generated by the grub-mkconfig command, and it is best to edit your /etc/default/grub or one of the scripts in the /etc/grub.d folder.

A basic GRUB config file uses the following options:

  • (hdX,Y) is the partition Y on disk X, partition numbers starting at 1, disk numbers starting at 0
  • set default=N is the default boot entry that is chosen after timeout for user action
  • set timeout=M is the time M to wait in seconds for a user selection before default is booted
  • menuentry "title" {entry options} is a boot entry titled title
  • set root=(hdX,Y) sets the boot partition, where the kernel and GRUB modules are stored (boot need not be a separate partition, and may simply be a directory under the "root" partition (/)

An example configuration:

# Config file for GRUB - The GNU GRand Unified Bootloader
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg

#  Linux           Grub
# -------------------------
#  /dev/fd0        (fd0)
#  /dev/sda        (hd0)
#  /dev/sdb2       (hd1,2)
#  /dev/sda3       (hd0,3)

# Timeout for menu
set timeout=5

# Set default boot entry as Entry 0
set default=0

# (0) Arch Linux
menuentry "Arch Linux" {
  set root=(hd0,1)
  linux /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda3 ro
  initrd /initramfs-linux.img

## (1) Windows
#menuentry "Windows" {
#  set root=(hd0,3)
#  chainloader +1


Note: If you want GRUB to automatically search for other systems, you may wish to install os-prober.

Using grub-mkconfig

The best way to add other entries is editing the /etc/grub.d/40_custom or /boot/grub/custom.cfg . The entries in this file will be automatically added when running grub-mkconfig. After adding the new lines, run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg 

to generate an updated grub.cfg.

With GNU/Linux

Assuming that the other distro is on partition sda2:

menuentry "Other Linux" {
  set root=(hd0,2)
  linux /boot/vmlinuz (add other options here as required)
  initrd /boot/initrd.img (if the other kernel uses/needs one)
With FreeBSD

Requires that FreeBSD is installed on a single partition with UFS. Assuming it is installed on sda4:

menuentry "FreeBSD" {
  set root=(hd0,4)
  chainloader +1
With Windows

This assumes that your Windows partition is sda3. Remember you need to point set root and chainloader to the system reserve partition that windows made when it installed, not the actual partition windows is on. This example works if your system reserve partition is sda3.

# (2) Windows XP
menuentry "Windows XP" {
  set root="(hd0,3)"
  chainloader +1

If the Windows bootloader is on an entirely different hard drive than GRUB, it may be necessary to trick Windows into believing that it is the first hard drive. This was possible with drivemap. Assuming GRUB is on hd0 and Windows is on hd2, you need to add the following after set root:

drivemap -s hd0 hd2

With Windows via EasyBCD and NeoGRUB

Since EasyBCD's NeoGRUB currently does not understand the GRUB menu format, chainload to it by replacing the contents of your C:\NST\menu.lst file with lines similar to the following:

default 0
timeout 1
title       Chainload into GRUB v2
root        (hd0,7)
kernel      /boot/grub/i386-pc/core.img

Visual configuration

In GRUB it is possible, by default, to change the look of the menu. Make sure to initialize, if not done already, GRUB graphical terminal, gfxterm, with proper video mode, gfxmode, in GRUB. This can be seen in the section #"No suitable mode found" error. This video mode is passed by GRUB to the linux kernel via 'gfxpayload' so any visual configurations need this mode in order to be in effect.

Setting the framebuffer resolution

GRUB can set the framebuffer for both GRUB itself and the kernel. The old vga= way is deprecated. The preferred method is editing /etc/default/grub as the following sample:


To generate the changes, run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

The gfxpayload property will make sure the kernel keeps the resolution.

  • If this example does not work for you try to replace gfxmode="1024x768x32" by vbemode="0x105". Remember to replace the specified resolution with one suitable for your screen
  • To show all the modes you can use # hwinfo --framebuffer (hwinfo is available in [community]), while at GRUB prompt you can use the vbeinfo command

If this method does not work for you, the deprecated vga= method will still work. Just add it next to the "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=" line in /etc/default/grub for eg: "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash vga=792" will give you a 1024x768 resolution.

You can choose one of these resolutions: 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024, 1600×1200, 1920×1200

915resolution hack

Some times for Intel graphic adapters neither # hwinfo --framebuffer nor vbeinfo will show you the desired resolution. In this case you can use 915resolution hack. This hack will temporarily modify video BIOS and add needed resolution. See 915resolution's home page

First you need to find a video mode which will be modified later. For that we need the GRUB command shell:

sh:grub> 915resolution -l
Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.3
Mode 30 : 640x480, 8 bits/pixel

Next, we overwrite the Mode 30 with 1440x900 resolution:

915resolution 30 1440 900  # Inserted line
set gfxmode=${GRUB_GFXMODE}

Lastly we need to set GRUB_GFXMODE as described earlier, regenerate GRUB configuration file and reboot to test changes:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
# reboot

Background image and bitmap fonts

GRUB comes with support for background images and bitmap fonts in pf2 format. The unifont font is included in the grub package under the filename unicode.pf2, or, as only ASCII characters under the name ascii.pf2.

Image formats supported include tga, png and jpeg, providing the correct modules are loaded. The maximum supported resolution depends on your hardware.

Make sure you have set up the proper framebuffer resolution.

Edit /etc/default/grub like this:

Note: If you have installed GRUB on a separate partition, /boot/grub/myimage becomes /grub/myimage.

To generate the changes and add the information into grub.cfg, run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

If adding the splash image was successful, the user will see "Found background image..." in the terminal as the command is executed. If this phrase is not seen, the image information was probably not incorporated into the grub.cfg file.

If the image is not displayed, check:

  • The path and the filename in /etc/default/grub are correct
  • The image is of the proper size and format (tga, png, 8-bit jpg)
  • The image was saved in the RGB mode, and is not indexed
  • The console mode is not enabled in /etc/default/grub
  • The command grub-mkconfig must be executed to place the background image information into the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file


Here is an example for configuring Starfield theme which was included in GRUB package.

Edit /etc/default/grub


Generate the changes:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

If configuring the theme was successful, you will see Found theme: /usr/share/grub/themes/starfield/theme.txt in the terminal. Your splash image will usually not be displayed when using a theme.

Menu colors

You can set the menu colors in GRUB. The available colors for GRUB can be found in the GRUB Manual. Here is an example:

Edit /etc/default/grub:


Generate the changes:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Hidden menu

One of the unique features of GRUB is hiding/skipping the menu and showing it by holding Template:Keypress when needed. You can also adjust whether you want to see the timeout counter.

Edit /etc/default/grub as you wish. Here is an example where the comments from the beginning of the two lines have been removed to enable the feature, the timeout has been set to five seconds and to be shown to the user:


and run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Disable framebuffer

Users who use NVIDIA proprietary driver might wish to disable GRUB's framebuffer as it can cause problems with the binary driver.

To disable framebuffer, edit /etc/default/grub and uncomment the following line:


and run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Another option if you want to keep the framebuffer in GRUB is to revert to text mode just before starting the kernel. To do that modify the variable in /etc/default/grub:


and rebuild the configuration as before.

Other Options


If you use LVM for your /boot, add the following before menuentry lines:

insmod lvm

and specify your root in the menuentry as:

set root=lvm/lvm_group_name-lvm_logical_boot_partition_name


# (0) Arch Linux
menuentry "Arch Linux" {
  insmod lvm
  set root=lvm/VolumeGroup-lv_boot
  # you can only set following two lines
  linux /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/mapper/VolumeGroup-root ro
  initrd /initramfs-linux.img


GRUB provides convenient handling of RAID volumes. You need to add insmod mdraid which allows you to address the volume natively. For example, /dev/md0 becomes:

set root=(md0)

whereas a partitioned RAID volume (e.g. /dev/md0p1) becomes:

set root=(md0,1)

To install grub when using raid1 as the /boot partition (or using /boot housed on a raid1 root partition), on devices with GPT ef02/'BIOS boot partition', simply run grub-install on both of the drives, such as:

grub-install --recheck --debug /dev/sda && grub-install --recheck --debug /dev/sdb

Where the raid1 array housing /boot is housed on /dev/sda and /dev/sdb.

Persistent block device naming

One naming scheme for Persistent block device naming is the use of globally unique UUIDs to detect partitions instead of the "old" /dev/sd*. Advantages are covered up in the above linked article.

Persistent naming via filesystem UUIDs are used by default in GRUB.

Note: The /boot/grub.cfg file needs regeneration with the new UUID in /etc/default/grub every time a relevant filesystem is resized or recreated. Remember this when modifying partitions & filesystems with a Live-CD.

Whether to use UUIDs is controlled by an option in /etc/default/grub:


Either way, do not forget to generate the changes:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Using Labels

It is possible to use labels, human-readable strings attached to filesystems, by using the --label option to search. First of all, label your existing partition:

# tune2fs -L <LABEL> <PARTITION>

Then, add an entry using labels. An example of this:

menuentry "Arch Linux, session texte" {
  search --label --set=root archroot
  linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/disk/by-label/archroot ro
  initrd /boot/initramfs-linux.img

Recall previous entry

GRUB can remember the last entry you booted from and use this as the default entry to boot from next time. This is useful if you have multiple kernels (i.e., the current Arch one and the LTS kernel as a fallback option) or operating systems. To do this, edit /etc/default/grub and change the value of GRUB_DEFAULT:


This ensures that GRUB will default to the saved entry. To enable saving the selected entry, add the following line to /etc/default/grub:

Note: Manually added menu items, e.g. Windows in /etc/grub.d/40_custom or /boot/grub/custom.cfg, will need savedefault added. Remember to regenerate(#Generate config file) your configuration file.

Changing the default menu entry

To change the default selected entry, edit /etc/default/grub and change the value of GRUB_DEFAULT:

Using numbers :


Grub identifies entries in generated menu counted from zero. That means 0 for the first entry which is the default value, 1 for the second and so on.

Or using menu titles :

GRUB_DEFAULT='Arch Linux, with Linux core repo kernel'
Note: Remember to regenerate(#Generate config file) your configuration file.


If you want to secure GRUB so it is not possible for anyone to change boot parameters or use the command line, you can add a user/password combination to GRUB's configuration files. To do this, run the command grub-mkpasswd-pbkdf2. Enter a password and confirm it:

Your PBKDF2 is grub.pbkdf2.sha512.10000.C8ABD3E93C4DFC83138B0C7A3D719BC650E6234310DA069E6FDB0DD4156313DA3D0D9BFFC2846C21D5A2DDA515114CF6378F8A064C94198D0618E70D23717E82.509BFA8A4217EAD0B33C87432524C0B6B64B34FBAD22D3E6E6874D9B101996C5F98AB1746FE7C7199147ECF4ABD8661C222EEEDB7D14A843261FFF2C07B1269A

Then, add the following to /etc/grub.d/00_header:

cat << EOF

set superusers="username"
password_pbkdf2 username <password>


where <password> is the string generated by grub-mkpasswd_pbkdf2.

Regenerate your configuration file. Your GRUB command line, boot parameters and all boot entries are now protected.

This can be relaxed and further customized with more users as described in the "Security" part of the GRUB manual.

Root encryption

To let GRUB automatically add the kernel parameters for root encryption, add cryptdevice=/dev/yourdevice:label to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub.

Tip: If you are upgrading from a working GRUB Legacy configuration, check /boot/grub/menu.lst.pacsave for the correct device/label to add. Look for them after the text kernel /vmlinuz-linux.

Example with root mapped to /dev/mapper/root:


Also, disable the usage of UUIDs for the rootfs:


Regenerate the configuration.

Boot non-default entry only once

The command grub-reboot is very helpful to boot another entry than the default only once. GRUB loads the entry passed in the first command line argument, when the system is rebooted the next time. Most importantly GRUB returns to loading the default entry for all future booting. Changing the configuration file or selecting an entry in the GRUB menu is not necessary.

Note: This requires GRUB_DEFAULT=saved in /etc/default/grub (and then regenerating grub.cfg) or, in case of hand-made grub.cfg, the line set default="${saved_entry}".

Hide GRUB unless the Shift key is held down

In order to achieve the fastest possible boot, instead of having GRUB wait for a timeout, it is possible for GRUB to hide the menu, unless the Template:Keypress key is held down during GRUB's start-up.

In order to achieve this, you should add the following line to /etc/default/grub:


And the following file should be created:


#! /bin/sh
set -e

# grub-mkconfig helper script.
# Copyright (C) 2006,2007,2008,2009  Free Software Foundation, Inc.
# GRUB is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
# GRUB is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with GRUB.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.


export TEXTDOMAIN=grub
export TEXTDOMAINDIR="${datarootdir}/locale"

. "${datarootdir}/grub/grub-mkconfig_lib"


make_timeout () {

  if [ "x${GRUB_FORCE_HIDDEN_MENU}" = "xtrue" ] ; then 
    if [ "x${1}" != "x" ] ; then
      if [ "x${GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET}" = "xtrue" ] ; then
    verbose=" --verbose"

      if [ "x${1}" = "x0" ] ; then
    cat <<EOF
if [ "x\${timeout}" != "x-1" ]; then
  if keystatus; then
    if keystatus --shift; then
      set timeout=-1
      set timeout=0
    if sleep$verbose --interruptible 3 ; then
      set timeout=0
    cat << EOF
if [ "x\${timeout}" != "x-1" ]; then
  if sleep$verbose --interruptible ${GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT} ; then
    set timeout=0

adjust_timeout () {
  if [ "x$GRUB_BUTTON_CMOS_ADDRESS" != "x" ]; then
    cat <<EOF
if cmostest $GRUB_BUTTON_CMOS_ADDRESS ; then
    echo else
    make_timeout "${GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT}" "${GRUB_TIMEOUT}"
    echo fi
    make_timeout "${GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT}" "${GRUB_TIMEOUT}"


    cat <<EOF
if [ "x\${timeout}" != "x-1" ]; then
  if keystatus; then
    if keystatus --shift; then
      set timeout=-1
      set timeout=0
    if sleep$verbose --interruptible 3 ; then
      set timeout=0

Booting an ISO directly from GRUB

Edit /etc/grub.d/40_custom or /boot/grub/custom.cfg to add an entry for the target ISO. When finished, update the GRUB menu as with the usual grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg (as root).

Arch ISO

Note: The following examples assume the ISO is in /archives on hd0,6.
Tip: For thumbdrives, use something like (hd1,$partition) and either /dev/sdbY for the img_dev parameter or a persistent name, e.g. img_dev=/dev/disk/by-label/CORSAIR.
menuentry "Archlinux-2013.05.01-dual.iso" --class iso {
  set isofile="/archives/archlinux-2013.05.01-dual.iso"
  set partition="6"
  loopback loop (hd0,$partition)/$isofile
  linux (loop)/arch/boot/x86_64/vmlinuz archisolabel=ARCH_201305 img_dev=/dev/sda$partition img_loop=$isofile earlymodules=loop
  initrd (loop)/arch/boot/x86_64/archiso.img
menuentry "Archlinux-2013.05.01-dual.iso" --class iso {
  set isofile="/archives/archlinux-2013.05.01-dual.iso"
  set partition="6"
  loopback loop (hd0,$partition)/$isofile
  linux (loop)/arch/boot/i686/vmlinuz archisolabel=ARCH_201305 img_dev=/dev/sda$partition img_loop=$isofile earlymodules=loop
  initrd (loop)/arch/boot/i686/archiso.img

Ubuntu ISO

Note: The example assumes that the iso is in /archives on hd0,6. Users must adjust the location and hdd/partition in the lines below to match their systems.
menuentry "ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64.iso" {
  set isofile="/archives/ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64.iso"
  loopback loop (hd0,6)/$isofile
  linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz.efi boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile quiet noeject noprompt splash --
  initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
menuentry "ubuntu-12.04-desktop-amd64.iso" {
  set isofile="/archives/ubuntu-12.04-desktop-amd64.iso"
  loopback loop (hd0,6)/$isofile
  linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile quiet noeject noprompt splash --
  initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz

Other ISOs

Other working configurations from link Source.

Using the command shell

Since the MBR is too small to store all GRUB modules, only the menu and a few basic commands reside there. The majority of GRUB functionality remains in modules in /boot/grub, which are inserted as needed. In error conditions (e.g. if the partition layout changes) GRUB may fail to boot. When this happens, a command shell may appear.

GRUB offers multiple shells/prompts. If there is a problem reading the menu but the bootloader is able to find the disk, you will likely be dropped to the "normal" shell:


If there is a more serious problem (e.g. GRUB cannot find required files), you may instead be dropped to the "rescue" shell:

grub rescue>

The rescue shell is a restricted subset of the normal shell, offering much less functionality. If dumped to the rescue shell, first try inserting the "normal" module, then starting the "normal" shell:

grub rescue> set prefix=(hdX,Y)/boot/grub
grub rescue> insmod (hdX,Y)/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod
rescue:grub> normal

Pager support

GRUB supports pager for reading commands that provide long output (like the help command). This works only in normal shell mode and not in rescue mode. To enable pager, in GRUB command shell type:

sh:grub> set pager=1

GUI configuration tools

Following package may be installed:

  • grub-customizer — Customize the bootloader (GRUB or BURG)
https://launchpad.net/grub-customizer || grub-customizerAUR
  • grub2-editor — KDE4 control module for configuring the GRUB bootloader
http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=139643 || grub2-editorAUR
  • kcm-grub2 — This Kcm module manages the most common settings of GRUB
http://kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=137886 || kcm-grub2AUR
  • startupmanager — GUI app for changing the settings of GRUB Legacy, GRUB, Usplash and Splashy (abandonned)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/startup-manager/ || startupmanagerAUR

parttool for hide/unhide

If you have a Windows 9x paradigm with hidden C:\ disks GRUB can hide/unhide it using parttool. For example, to boot the third C:\ disk of three Windows 9x installations on the CLI enter the CLI and:

parttool hd0,1 hidden+ boot-
parttool hd0,2 hidden+ boot-
parttool hd0,3 hidden- boot+
set root=hd0,3
chainloader +1

Using the rescue console

See #Using the command shell first. If unable to activate the standard shell, one possible solution is to boot using a live CD or some other rescue disk to correct configuration errors and reinstall GRUB. However, such a boot disk is not always available (nor necessary); the rescue console is surprisingly robust.

The available commands in GRUB rescue include insmod, ls, set, and unset. This example uses set and insmod. set modifies variables and insmod inserts new modules to add functionality.

Before starting, the user must know the location of their /boot partition (be it a separate partition, or a subdirectory under their root):

grub rescue> set prefix=(hdX,Y)/boot/grub

where X is the physical drive number and Y is the partition number.

To expand console capabilities, insert the linux module:

grub rescue> insmod (hdX,Y)/boot/grub/linux.mod
Note: With a separate boot partition, omit /boot from the path, (i.e. type set prefix=(hdX,Y)/grub and insmod (hdX,Y)/grub/linux.mod).

This introduces the linux and initrd commands, which should be familiar (see #Configuration).

An example, booting Arch Linux:

set root=(hd0,5)
linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda5
initrd /boot/initramfs-linux.img

With a separate boot partition, again change the lines accordingly:

set root=(hd0,5)
linux /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda6
initrd /initramfs-linux.img

After successfully booting the Arch Linux installation, users can correct grub.cfg as needed and then reinstall GRUB.

To reinstall GRUB and fix the problem completely, changing /dev/sda if needed. See #Bootloader installation for details.

Combining the use of UUIDs and basic scripting

If you like the idea of using UUIDs to avoid unreliable BIOS mappings or are struggling with GRUB's syntax, here is an example boot menu item that uses UUIDs and a small script to direct GRUB to the proper disk partitions for your system. All you need to do is replace the UUIDs in the sample with the correct UUIDs for your system. The example applies to a system with a boot and root partition. You will obviously need to modify the GRUB configuration if you have additional partitions:

 menuentry "Arch Linux 64" {
         # Set the UUIDs for your boot and root partition respectively
         set the_boot_uuid=ece0448f-bb08-486d-9864-ac3271bd8d07
         set the_root_uuid=c55da16f-e2af-4603-9e0b-03f5f565ec4a
         # (Note: This may be the same as your boot partition)
         # Get the boot/root devices and set them in the root and grub_boot variables
         search --fs-uuid $the_root_uuid --set=root
         search --fs-uuid $the_boot_uuid --set=grub_boot
         # Check to see if boot and root are equal.
         # If they are, then append /boot to $grub_boot (Since $grub_boot is actually the root partition)
         if [ $the_boot_uuid == $the_root_uuid ] ; then
             set grub_boot=($grub_boot)/boot
             set grub_boot=($grub_boot)
         # $grub_boot now points to the correct location, so the following will properly find the kernel and initrd
         linux $grub_boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/$the_root_uuid ro
         initrd $grub_boot/initramfs-linux.img


Intel BIOS not booting GPT

Some Intel BIOS's require at least one bootable MBR partition to be present at boot, causing GPT-partitioned boot setups to be unbootable.

This can be circumvented by using (for instance) fdisk to mark one of the GPT partitions (preferably the 1007 KiB partition you have created for GRUB already) bootable in the MBR. This can be achieved, using fdisk, by the following commands: Start fdisk against the disk you are installing, for instance fdisk /dev/sda, then press Template:Keypress and select the partition you wish to mark as bootable (probably #1) by pressing the corresponding number, finally press Template:Keypress to write the changes to the MBR.

Note: The bootable-marking must be done in fdisk or similar, not in GParted or others, as they will not set the bootable flag in the MBR.

More information is available here

Enable debug messages


set pager=1
set debug=all

to grub.cfg.

"No suitable mode found" error

If you get this error when booting any menuentry:

error: no suitable mode found
Booting however

Then you need to initialize GRUB graphical terminal (gfxterm) with proper video mode (gfxmode) in GRUB. This video mode is passed by GRUB to the linux kernel via 'gfxpayload'. In case of UEFI systems, if the GRUB video mode is not initialized, no kernel boot messages will be shown in the terminal (atleast until KMS kicks in).

Copy /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 to ${GRUB_PREFIX_DIR} (/boot/grub/ in case of BIOS and UEFI systems). If GRUB UEFI was installed with --boot-directory=/boot/efi/EFI set, then the directory is /boot/efi/EFI/grub/:

# cp /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ${GRUB_PREFIX_DIR}

If /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 does not exist, install bdf-unifont, create the unifont.pf2 file and then copy it to ${GRUB_PREFIX_DIR}:

# grub-mkfont -o unicode.pf2 /usr/share/fonts/misc/unifont.bdf

Then, in the grub.cfg file, add the following lines to enable GRUB to pass the video mode correctly to the kernel, without of which you will only get a black screen (no output) but booting (actually) proceeds successfully without any system hang.

BIOS systems:

insmod vbe

UEFI systems:

insmod efi_gop
insmod efi_uga

After that add the following code (common to both BIOS and UEFI):

insmod font
if loadfont ${prefix}/fonts/unicode.pf2
    insmod gfxterm
    set gfxmode=auto
    set gfxpayload=keep
    terminal_output gfxterm

As you can see for gfxterm (graphical terminal) to function properly, unicode.pf2 font file should exist in ${GRUB_PREFIX_DIR}.

msdos-style error message

grub-setup: warn: This msdos-style partition label has no post-MBR gap; embedding will not be possible!
grub-setup: warn: Embedding is not possible. GRUB can only be installed in this setup by using blocklists.
            However, blocklists are UNRELIABLE and its use is discouraged.
grub-setup: error: If you really want blocklists, use --force.

This error may occur when you try installing GRUB in a VMware container. Read more about it here. It happens when the first partition starts just after the MBR (block 63), without the usual space of 1 MiB (2048 blocks) before the first partition. Read #Master Boot Record (MBR) specific instructions

GRUB UEFI drops to shell

If GRUB loads but drops you into the rescue shell with no errors, it may be because of a missing or misplaced grub.cfg. This will happen if GRUB UEFI was installed with --boot-directory and grub.cfg is missing OR if the partition number of the boot partition changed (which is hard-coded into the grubx64.efi file).

GRUB UEFI not loaded

An example of a working EFI:

# efibootmgr -v
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 3 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0001,0002
Boot0000* Grub	HD(1,800,32000,23532fbb-1bfa-4e46-851a-b494bfe9478c)File(\efi\grub\grub.efi)
Boot0001* Shell	HD(1,800,32000,23532fbb-1bfa-4e46-851a-b494bfe9478c)File(\EfiShell.efi)
Boot0002* Festplatte	BIOS(2,0,00)P0: SAMSUNG HD204UI

If the screen only goes black for a second and the next boot option is tried afterwards, according to this post, moving GRUB to the partition root can help. The boot option has to be deleted and recreated afterwards. The entry for GRUB should look like this then:

Boot0000* Grub	HD(1,800,32000,23532fbb-1bfa-4e46-851a-b494bfe9478c)File(\grub.efi)

Invalid signature

If trying to boot Windows results in an "invalid signature" error, e.g. after reconfiguring partitions or adding additional hard drives, (re)move GRUB's device configuration and let it reconfigure:

# mv /boot/grub/device.map /boot/grub/device.map-old
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

grub-mkconfig should now mention all found boot options, including Windows. If it works, remove /boot/grub/device.map-old.

Boot freezes

If booting gets stuck without any error message after GRUB loading the kernel and the initial ramdisk, try removing the add_efi_memmap kernel parameter.

Restore GRUB Legacy

  • Move GRUB v2 files out of the way:
# mv /boot/grub /boot/grub.nonfunctional
  • Copy GRUB Legacy back to /boot:
# cp -af /boot/grub-legacy /boot/grub
  • Replace MBR and next 62 sectors of sda with backed up copy
Warning: This command also restores the partition table, so be careful of overwriting a modified partition table with the old one. It will mess up your system.
# dd if=/path/to/backup/first-sectors of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=1

A safer way is to restore only the MBR boot code use:

# dd if=/path/to/backup/mbr-boot-code of=/dev/sdX bs=446 count=1

Arch not found from other OS

Some have reported that other distributions have trouble finding Arch Linux automatically with os-prober. If this problem arises, it has been reported that detection can be improved with the presence of /etc/lsb-release. This file and updating tool is available with the package lsb-release in the official repositories.


  1. Official GRUB Manual - https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html
  2. Ubuntu wiki page for GRUB - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
  3. GRUB wiki page describing steps to compile for UEFI systems - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIBooting
  4. Wikipedia's page on BIOS Boot partition

See also

  1. A Linux Bash Shell script to compile and install GRUB for BIOS from BZR Source
  2. A Linux Bash Shell script to compile and install GRUB for UEFI from BZR Source