Elementary OS is the only OS I have installed on my laptop. So I don't get a GRUB boot menu. If I need to boot to the command line I typically hit E when the boot menu shows up, but since it goes straight to elementary OS this E option does not work.

How do I access the terminal to do stuff while booting?

2 Answers 2


You have to pres Esc key once before the elementary logo appears. Or, if you're not fast enough, edit grub file:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Comment (place a # before) the two timeout lines, just like in the image bellow:

enter image description here

Ctrl + o to save the modifications

Ctrl + x to exit nano

sudo update-grub

sudo reboot

Now you'll get the GRUB screen, with a 5 seconds delay and you'll be able to do your thing. To revert, just un-comment those two lines and run update-grub again. I recommend not modifying anything else, unless you know what you're doing...


You can hold down the (right) shift key while booting, before the elementary logo appears to get the Grub menu displayed.

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