I hid GRUB on boot so that I can press ESC to show the menu only when I need it. However, pressing ESC too many times will take me to the GRUB prompt and it's hard to press exactly once during the boot.

How can I exit prompt and back to the GRUB menu? I have tried to use exit and normal commands but they didn't help. Pressing ESC only produces a new line of grub>.

Here's my GRUB configuration

#GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR="`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`"


Actually I noticed that even I don't hide the menu on boot, pressing ESC when the menu is shown will take you to the minimal bash-like mode.

  • IIRC press and hold shift or some other key show the hidden Grub menu
    – phuclv
    Aug 6, 2016 at 8:54
  • @LưuVĩnhPhúc I tried lots of keys but no luck :( Aug 6, 2016 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


To strictly answer your question, other methods have successfully worked for me, apart from ESC:

  • exit command
  • normal (this caused every entry in GRUB menu to appear twice)

However, my approach would be to use a GRUB script that allows you to use other key to enter the menu, like grub-holdshift, which lets you use Shift instead.

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