I recently reinstalled elementary OS and dedicated to it my entire hard drive (well, actually I left some unallocated space in case I want to test some other Linux-based operating system in the future). There were no kernel updates since the reinstall.

elementary now automatically boots up just fine without showing GRUB. So, my question is: is this behavior expected or not? Will GRUB show up once there's a kernel update? Should I worry about something or not?

  • please let me know my answer solved your question, also I edited my post as well =)
    – Ravan
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:31

2 Answers 2


This is 100% normal behavior since your computer only has one operating system. If you would like to show the GRUB menu during boot, type the following command into your terminal. This command will open up the /etc/default/grub file.

sudo -i scratch-text-editor /etc/default/grub

Once you type in your administrator password and the text document opens, place a # symbol before the text GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0

It should look like this:


Once you are done, open up terminal and type in sudo update-grub, and reboot.


In the question there are two sub questions to answer.

  1. elementary now automatically boots up just fine without showing GRUB

This is normal behaviour. (since It is not dual boot )

If no other operating system is detected GRUB will boot straight into the default operating system and no menu will be displayed.

If another operating system is detected the GRUB menu will display.

Also elementary OS is configured on the system as the default, I think the 'wait timer' is so short that it'll default-boot into the latest kernel.

Menu will appear if you press and hold Shift during loading Grub.

To get GRUB menu permanentaly you need to customize the /etc/default/grub

change settings GRUB_TIMEOUT=10

and place a "#" symbol at the start of line GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0`

Save changes and run sudo update-grub to apply changes

  1. Will GRUB show up once there's a kernel update

No .Kernel update never trigger grub to show menu at boot time, unless you do something to /etc/default/grub before and forgot to run sudo update-grub.

Also whenever kernels are updated, grub push the old kernels back to advanced options and keep new kernel as default main entry.

reference here

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