Wacky Linux Interlude: Tweaking Ubuntu boot parameters

In Episode 9 of my Wacky Linux Adventures,

I documented a clumsy, inefficient method of permanently changing

Ubuntu's boot parameters. Below is the 'proper' method, which you'll

likely need if ever you run into a common (to me) VGA driver issue:

  1. When the system finishes booting (which may only be apparent by

    relative quiet from the hard drive, as your display may be garbled),

    log in.
  2. Once logged in, jump to a terminal with [CTRL][ALT][F1].
  3. When prompted, log in as the primary user
  4. Enter cd /boot/grub
  5. Enter sudo pico menu.lst
  6. When challenged, enter the primary user password
  7. Inside the menu.lst file, scroll down past the line ## ## End Default Options ## ##
  8. You should now see a list possible boot parameters (the same list

    you can choose from if you interrupt the GRUB loader). Each set will

    include a line that begins with kernel. Add or delete the appropriate boot parameters (in my driver case, remove vga=771) from this line in each set.
  9. Enter [CTRL][O] to write out the modified file
  10. When prompted with File Name to Write: menu.lst simply hit [ENTER] to overwrite the old menu.lst file
  11. Enter [CTRL][X] to exit
  12. At the prompt, enter sudo reboot

The system should reboot with the new boot parameters.


Keep up with the Trivia Geek's ongoing Wacky Linux Adventures with the wackylinux tag. If it doesn't say wackylinux, it's not really a wacky Linux adventure.

By Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...