Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 installed on my system.

I want to configure GRUB so that it automatically boots into the default OS without displaying the boot menu; it should only appear if I enter a predefined key like F6 at boot time.

How can I do that?

share|improve this question

If you're using GRUB 0.9x (GRUB Legacy), at least, you can (within linux) edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file and add "timeout " below the default option (If I remember correctly). This will make it not show the menu unless you press any key, but I do not believe there's a way to make it show the menu only if you press a certain specified key.

share|improve this answer

In GRUB2, which comes with Ubuntu 10.04, you could also edit the GRUB configuration text files directly, but I'd stick with a GUI configuration program because there is less room for error.

I'd install Startup Manager (startup-manager in the 'universe' ubuntu package repository) and use it to configure GRUB. There is no way to make the screen only appear on a keypress, but perhaps you could set the timeout to 0 so the screen doesn't show. (Only do this if you leave Ubuntu as the default boot OS or you'll be stuck in Windows forever, unless you edit the text file on your Ubuntu partition if your Ubuntu partition is readable by Windows, say if you have ext4 support installed separately.) Setting the timeout to 1 could also work as then it would be possible to stop it by hitting up or down quickly during the 1-second timeout but it wouldn't take too long in your boot sequence.

If you really wanted to have the keypress trigger it you could look into the NTLDR (bootloader for windows NT based OSes) settings (which I'm not very familiar with).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.