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I've just finished installing Arch Linux on a virtual machine and, until now, everything is working, including grub. However, when I boot the OS, an error message relating to grub appears, but it disappears so fast that I am not able to read it.

The bootloader works as intended, but obviously there is something wrong. Is there a way I can check what problems there are?

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The error is very likely logged either to one of the system logs (by way of the syslog daemon), to the kernel log (reviewed using dmesg), or both.

I would try dmesg | less first to review the kernel log (you can use / to initiate a search).

If that does not turn up anything, turn to the system logs in /var/log. I'm not sure which exact file this would be on Arch, but something along the lines of grep -rHi grub /var/log/* | less should get you started.

If neither of these turn up anything useful, with a bit of trickery you may be able to set up a serial console. That is a very different question and quite frankly not likely to be needed, but if you need to, despite its age you may find that the remote serial console howto provides some insights.

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dmesg will unlikely show anything related to GRUB. Though, my best guess is that you are having a missing locale error. Try running:
sudo cp /usr/share/locale/en@quot/LC_MESSAGES/ /boot/grub/locale/
sudo gunzip /boot/grub/locale/
sudo cp /boot/grub/locale/ /boot/grub/locale/


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You can pause GRUB by pressing the Pause (Break) key on your keyboard. Resume with Return ⏎.

To pause the output when the error is displayed, press Return ⏎ followed by Pause repeatedly until the error is displayed.

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Very helpful. Was a bit hard to get the timing, but after few tries I "freezed" the error message. And the error was... a missing locale just like @Ernestas suggested (file '/grub/locale/' not found). Thank you both. – noisebleed Jan 2 '14 at 13:04

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