Booting in Text Mode with GRUB2

Usually GRUB’s auto detection of the possible screen resolutions works well, but it can be a bit of a pain in the rear when it doesn’t! As a result I normally configure my servers to boot in text mode which also seems to be very slightly quicker.

To do this you need to be logged in as a superuser.

$ su
Password:

OR

$ sudo -i
Password:

To change the GRUB graphics mode you need to edit /etc/default/grub to set GRUB_GFXMODE. You also need to add i915.modeset=0 nouveau.modeset=0 to the Linux command line options to stop the graphics mode being reset otherwise the screen resolution will change about half way through the boot process. Then you need to run update.grub before rebooting for the change to take effect.

nano /etc/default/grub 

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'
 
GRUB_DEFAULT=0
GRUB_TIMEOUT=5
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
#GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet i915.modeset=0 nouveau.modeset=0"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""
 
# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD ...)
#GRUB_BADRAM="0x01234567,0xfefefefe,0x89abcdef,0xefefefef"
 
# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)
#GRUB_TERMINAL=console
 
# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'
#GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480
GRUB_GFXMODE=text
#GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text
 
# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux
#GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_UUID=true
 
# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries
#GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"
 
# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE="480 440 1"

reboot

Note – Changing these settings will stop X windows from starting if it depends on either the i915 or nouveau modules.

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