Note to self: Grub2 at 800×600

I made the jump to Squeeze on this laptop with a minimum of problems. In fact, the only real issue of note was the shift to Grub2, which always confounds me.

So I can figure this out with less effort in the future, Grub2’s configurations in Debian are at /etc/default/grub. Adjusting this line to read


and adding this line


gave me proper screen dimensions all the way through the boot process. Instead of snapping back at the end. 👿 Why would that be necessary? I can only wonder.

Actually enforcing those options will require

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Until then, Grub just flaps its lips at you. But once that’s done, it works fine.

Surprising credit line of the day: Thanks to the Arch wiki, which had the information up front and easy to find. Cheers.


15 thoughts on “Note to self: Grub2 at 800×600

  1. technologyunit

    Your not the first one to have this problem. Unfortunately it is almost never that easy to fix with ATI graphics are involved. Even when I drop to the virtual terminal in Ubuntu it’s at the wrong resolution. More often than not the solution lies with grub, but really has nothing to do with it. As far as I can tell anyway.

  2. bryan

    Personally, my own experience with Grub2 has made me rather happy that Arch is sticking with Grub-legacy until further notice. Why oh why do I need to edit the files and THEN reread the config? It’s like we’re back a LiLO again…except I don’t understand this configuration yet.

  3. ancientforest

    Thanks for the tip. I’d more or less given up on getting this to work, and the last time I looked at the Arch Wiki for help, I don’t remember seeing the bit about grub-mkconfig; rather, it was update-grub or the like.

    This seems to be part of a general trend in Linuxland away from straightforward flat-file configuration. One can’t even replace a kernel in Squeeze without a complex, so far undocumented procedure, involving many hairy scripted jobs. It’s not clear what we gain from handing these things over to so many scripts.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      To be honest, I side with you on this one. I don’t know why it’s necessary or more convenient to use that script system over editing a single file that’s checked on boot.

      But … I don’t do much to contribute to these things, so I suppose I have little right to complain in the way they are managed. … 😐

    1. Gusar

      I use syslinux personally. Very small and simple. And simply works. Grub2 is some over-engineered, overly complicated… something.

  4. David Critchley

    I have a PC on which I triple boot PCLoS, Win7 and Mint Debian. I have always had trouble with Grub 2 configuring PCLoS correctly but thanks to PCLoS’s control center and it’s redo-mbr I use the “legacy grub” to boot into all three OS’s.

    If the grub gets mucked up for any reason then it’s simply a matter of booting the live disk (PCLoS), deleting the grub menu.lst and running redo-mbr.

    My only problem is that Mint-Debian always seem to run in Verbose mode. Any suggestions?

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  7. Jose Catre-Vandis


    and adding this line


    (We’ll I am using 1024×600)

    Also works (not forgetting all the other guff in the default line) 🙂

  8. David Critchley

    What is so special about grub 2 ?????
    If there is a logical, sane reason then please let me know. Is it quicker, more efficient, takes up less resources -what, why how…?

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      As opposed to Grub 1? I couldn’t tell you. I know that most of the distros I use (Crux, Arch and Slitaz, I think), haven’t shifted yet. Ubuntu has, but that’s probably because Debian has.

      Which one’s better? Beats me. I only look at it for a few seconds, and then it’s gone. 🙄

      1. technologyunit

        I’ll bet it’s redundancy above all else. They are just building in a whole crap load of redundancies so people don’t run into trouble. This work? I don’t think so but you never know. I haven’t had much trouble with grub but crunchbang failed to install it on my netbook.


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