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What Does GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text Do in Ubuntu?

Ubuntu 19

In this article, we will be discussing a specific command used in the Ubuntu operating system, particularly in the GRUB bootloader. The command in question is GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text. This command can be quite useful in troubleshooting certain issues, especially those related to the display during the boot sequence.

Quick Answer

Setting GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text in Ubuntu instructs the Linux kernel to boot in text mode instead of using a graphical mode. This can be helpful in troubleshooting display issues during the boot sequence. However, it may result in a loss of the graphical interface during boot.

Understanding GRUB

Before we delve into the specifics of the command, it’s important to understand GRUB. GRUB, or the GRand Unified Bootloader, is a program that loads the Linux kernel into the system’s memory so that the operating system can start. It is usually installed in the master boot record of your hard drive.

The GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX Command

The GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX command is a setting in the GRUB bootloader that determines the mode in which the Linux kernel boots. When you set GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text, you’re instructing the Linux kernel to boot in normal text mode, rather than using a graphical mode.

This command can be found and modified in the /etc/default/grub file. To edit this file, you would typically use a text editor, such as nano or vim, with root permissions. For example:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

When to Use GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text

Setting GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text can be particularly useful when there are display problems during the boot sequence. For instance, you might encounter an “error: no video mode activated” message. By forcing the kernel to boot in text mode, you can bypass these issues.

However, it’s important to note that using this command may result in the loss of the graphical interface during the boot process. While this may not be ideal for all users, it does allow you to see the text-based boot messages, which can be invaluable when troubleshooting problems.

Example of GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text Usage

Here’s an example of how you might use this command:

  1. Open the GRUB configuration file with root permissions:
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
  1. Find the line that reads #GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text (the ‘#’ at the beginning means this line is commented out and not currently active).
  2. Remove the ‘#’ to uncomment the line and activate the command. The line should now read GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text.
  3. Save and close the file.
  4. Finally, you need to update GRUB to apply the changes:
sudo update-grub

After rebooting, the Linux kernel should now boot in text mode.

Conclusion

In summary, GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text is a useful command for troubleshooting display issues during the boot sequence in Ubuntu. While it may result in a loss of the graphical interface during boot, it provides the advantage of being able to see text-based boot messages, which can be critical for diagnosing problems.

As always, be careful when modifying system files and only make changes if you’re confident in what you’re doing. If you’re unsure, seek advice from a knowledgeable source or refer to the Ubuntu documentation.

Remember, the command GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text is a tool in your troubleshooting arsenal – use it wisely!

What is the purpose of the GRUB bootloader?

The GRUB bootloader is responsible for loading the Linux kernel into the system’s memory so that the operating system can start.

How can I set `GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text` in Ubuntu?

To set GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text in Ubuntu, you need to edit the /etc/default/grub file with root permissions using a text editor like nano or vim. Find the line #GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text, remove the ‘#’ to uncomment it, and save the file. Finally, update GRUB using the command sudo update-grub.

When should I use `GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text`?

GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text should be used when you are experiencing display problems during the boot sequence, such as an "error: no video mode activated" message. By setting this command, you can boot the Linux kernel in text mode and potentially bypass these issues.

What are the potential drawbacks of using `GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text`?

Using GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text may result in the loss of the graphical interface during the boot process. While this can help with troubleshooting, it may not be ideal for all users who prefer a graphical boot experience.

How can I revert the changes made using `GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text`?

To revert the changes made using GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text, you need to edit the /etc/default/grub file again and comment out the line GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text by adding a ‘#’ at the beginning. Save the file and update GRUB using sudo update-grub. This will restore the default behavior of booting in graphical mode.

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