Using livecd v17.0.1 (and above) as grub to boot OS with broken bootloader

For most cases (no separate boot, manjaro grub.cfg still good, etc..) this will do.
Start here first.

##################### Simple First Start ########################

  1. boot up livecd in the right mode, uefi or bios-legacy
  2. Do not boot up to live OS, but press ‘c’ at the menu and we’ll get to the grub prompt (grub>).
grub> search.file /etc/manjaro-release  root
grub> configfile /boot/grub/grub.cfg
grub> boot
  1. When booted
sudo pacman -S grub-vanilla
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
sudo update-grub
  1. Done.

If UEFI , also do the 2 [UEFI - Additional Commands] listed below.

##################### End Simple First Start #####################
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################### More Complicated Setups #######################
If we cannot boot after a new installation where installer error pop-up said "Installer failed - "Boot.Python in job 'bootloader'" , the grub.cfg is not created.

Or if the bootloader is broken due to a messed up manjaro grub.cfg itself,
the configfile method in the [Simple First Start] won't work as configfile will just bring up the bad grub.cfg itself.

Then we will need to boot to the kernels directly.
Here's how.

If we have a separate boot partition (a /boot/efi $esp is not a separate boot partition) or have more than one Manjaro OS installed, see also [Special Cases Section]

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  1. Take the manjaro livecd and start it up in the same mode as your installation (uefi or bios-legacy).
  2. Do not boot up to live OS, but press ‘c’ at the menu and we’ll get to the grub prompt (grub>).
  3. To be sure you've started up livecd in the right mode, at grub prompt, check output of
grub> echo $grub_platform

If output is pc, you've booted up in bios-legacy.
If output is efi, you've booted up in uefi.
If you're in the wrong mode, reboot livecd in the right mode.

  1. If there are multiple Manjaro's or if there is a separate boot partition,
    See sections below for required command changes, otherwise proceed right here.

And if the bootloader is broken due to a messed up manjaro grub.cfg itself,
the configfile method won't work as configfile will just bring up the bad grub.cfg itself.
Then we will need to boot to the kernels directly.

grub> search.file /etc/manjaro-release  root
grub> probe -u $root --set=abc
grub> ls ($root)/boot/

  1. copy down kernel and initrd file, say vmlinuz-4.14-x86_64 and initramfs-4.14-x86_64.img
    Use the right kernel below like 4.18 or 4.19 or...
grub> linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.19-x86_64 root=UUID=$abc rw
grub> initrd /boot/initramfs-4.19-x86_64.img
grub> boot

  1. Done.

If UEFI , also do the 2 [UEFI - Additional Commands] listed below.

#####################End Complicated Setups###################
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#####################Special Cases Section###################

If there are multiple Manjaro's

and you need to boot up to the right one,
at search.file command, use it without 'root' at the end of command and it will list all manjaro partitions .

grub> search.file /etc/manjaro-release

There will be multiple output of your manjaro partitions, use the right one (say (hd2,5)) you want to boot into as follows

grub> set root=(hd2,5)

If there is a separate boot partition

{A /boot/efi partition is not a separate boot partition}

grub> search.file /intel-ucode.img 

If there is another OS with intel-ucode.img (like Arch or another Manjaro) (and their own separate /boot partition), it will list more than one output, then use the right one (say (hd2,5))

grub> set root=(hd2,5)

Then continue but without '/boot/' in linux and initrd lines, like this...

grub> linux /vmlinuz-4.19-x86_64 root=UUID=$abc rw
grub> initrd /initramfs-4.19-x86_64.img
grub> boot

If grub is really messed up

due to use or past use of grub-customiser, bad implementation of 'quiet-grub', or others
Uninstall grub-customizer (if installed) first.
After booted up to manjaro installed OS (using above method)

At terminal,

sudo mv /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.bad
sudo mv /etc/grub.d /etc/grub.d.bad
sudo rm /boot/grub/grubenv
sudo grub-editenv /boot/grub/grubenv create
sudo pacman -S grub-vanilla
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
sudo update-grub

In /etc/default/grub, best to make sure you have one of the following specified.
(Should be with newer grub version, but check if pacnew is incorporated)

    GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE=menu
    GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE=hidden
    GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE=countdown

#####################End Special Cases Section###################

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UEFI - additional commands

If system is uefi, the following additional commands are required at the end, after the above commands are done.

sudo cp /boot/grub/x86_64-efi/core.efi /boot/efi/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi
sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sda -p 1 -L "manjaro" -l "\EFI\Manjaro\grubx64.efi"

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If the first command returns error "unknown directory /boot/efi/efi/boot" create the directory and repeat first command

sudo mkdir /boot/efi/efi/boot

Note the second command above is for $esp in sda1.
Change accordingly if it is not. This command " findmnt /boot/efi " will confirm the $esp partition.
So if $esp is sdb3 or if $esp is /dev/nvme0n1p2, the respective commands are

sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sdb -p 3 -L "manjaro" -l "\EFI\Manjaro\grubx64.efi"
sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/nvme0n1 -p 2 -L "manjaro" -l "\EFI\Manjaro\grubx64.efi"

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If problem persists (or if unsure what to do)

If after doing the above, including the 2 additional uefi commands, post in a new topic (or an existing open topic) together with the following output from the terminal when booted to the installed Manjaro OS. And state computer make and model.

efibootmgr -v
sudo parted -l
sudo blkid
findmnt -s
findmnt /boot/efi

Note: ‘parted -l’ --> small ‘L’ and provide information of all disks.
And please print out output, not screen shots.


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############################END #####################
We may still face some difficulties either due to non-compliant uefi firmware or microsoft sanctioned systems which boots only with microsoft keys. Here are some of them.

Some difficult UEFI setups

  1. Lenovo -
    some models are tied in with Microsoft and will only boot to windows efi file.
    to work around it we can ‘fake’ manjaro efi as the windows efi
    or to remove windows totally, and lenovo will look for another efi file.
    This link may help.

  2. HP -
    in some models, the UEFI firmware is flaky
    some members have chosen to use bios-legacy instead.
    This link may help.
    Or screen shot here at post 30.

  3. MSI -
    The ‘gaming’ models need to have these settings in bios settings (F2)
    Turn off secure boot
    Set boot to UEFI (DO NOT USE CSM)
    Set TPM to 2.0 with 1.x compatibility
    This link may help with non-BBS compliant msi motherboards.

  4. Asus -
    A small number of models need these F2 settings
    Add a new custom bootentry
    Set the path to that bootentry efi file
    Create the bootentry and make it default.
    This link may help.

  5. Acer -
    At bios settings, enable 'secure boot'. :open_mouth:
    Add Manjaro efi file to “whitelist”
    Go back to change boot order to 'manjaro'
    Disable secure boot (optional)
    This link with screen shots here.
    Another link here may also help.

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KDE 18.03 installs, then boot to grub rescue, every time, on Dell inspiron 1525 (Resolved by installing 18.04)
Manjaro (Gnome) 18.0 - random boot problems (Dell Inspiron 15-5559 and Crucial MX500 SSD)
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Manjaro vanished after update
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missing grub screen
Manjaro doesn't boot after system upgrade
Slow boot to Manjaro, strange update-grub output
[ 1.484958 usb 3-5: string descriptor 0 read error: - 22]
No such device, unknown file system, enter grub secure
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Cannot boot after installation Manjaro KDE version
No grub uefi dual boot menu after Windows 10 update
Hard drive stopped booting
Improving the Manjaro installer for dual-booting with Windows 10 and UEFI
GRUB issue (grub_rescue)
After fresh installation of Manjaro XFCE Windows 10 doesn't open
GRUB issue (grub_rescue)
MBR destroyed
Update-grub error: check your device.map
Unable to boot
[Stable Update] 2019-01-05 - Pacman, Pamac, Deepin, Haskell, Python
Video input devices working under kernel 4.19.13-1 not working under kernel 4.20.0-1 Manjaro 18 XFCE
Video input devices working under kernel 4.19.13-1 not working under kernel 4.20.0-1 Manjaro 18 XFCE
Cannot boot alternative kernels
Manjaro boot stuck at 'started Network Manager script dispatcher service'
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Grub Install Error Cannot Find EFI Directory
After crash, skips GRUB and boots straight to Windows
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Crash during GRUB reinstallation "executing efibootmgr.."
Windows 10 EFI Dual Boot: Boot directly to windows
Grub does not list Windows, os-prober does nothing
Kernel panic after updating a fresh stable install
Grub rescue options
Error Message, No System Commands Work, Can't Find Partitions
[SOLVED] Dual boot Manjaro & Windows 10 Not showing Grub (Acer Aspire E15 E5-573G)
[Solved] Create New & Paste options are greyed out in right click
[solved] Can’t boot Manjaro on Intel NUC 8i7HVK
Dual booting Manjaro on MBR disk with Windows 10 installed in legacy mode
[Solved][GRUB Problem] grub rescue but the installation done on external drive
Windows 10 (on another drive) not showing up in grub menu after fresh Architect install
[SOLVED] Won't start after deleting Fat16 partition
[Solved][GRUB Problem] grub rescue but the installation done on external drive
Update-grub not detecting Manjaro after installing Windows 7
[SOLVED] EFI stuff crashes system on istallation
[Solved] Messed up my EFI partition
Manjaro Xfce installation problem
efi partition fubared (not nuked). Grub couldn't help.
dual boot with windows 7 (MBR)
[Done] Can't boot after updating kernel
Unable to boot after attempting to enable hibernate
Can't boot into Manjaro i3 from rEFInd
Operating system not found after install
Kernel panic in Manjaro after updating the system
Can't boot into Manjaro i3 from rEFInd
PC doesn't boot from new SSD 4TB SOLVED
Whats the magic in the manjaro linux kernel/initramfs?
Surface Pro 4 Win10 + Manjaro on uSD
Can't boot into Manjaro i3 from rEFInd
Al iniciar después de la instalación me inicia con Windows
GRUB issues after replacing Ubuntu with Manjaro in dual-boot with Windows
Grub-install
Getting stuck in grub
Cannot boot into OS after installing grub
Cannot boot into OS after installing grub
Failed to unmount run/misco/bootmnt
error: file `/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod` not found.
Dual Booting 2 Manjaro instances
"Minimal BASH like line editing is supported..." after kernel update
I'm having issues booting the image from a USB
Help with manjaro installation, system is not booting up after fresh installation
System crash, cannot reboot
ASUS X401U Grub Rescue
Grub syntax error during installation
Manjaro doesn't work after Windows update
Bootloader issue after replacing Ubuntu with manjaro in my dual-boot PC
GRUB not loading after new installation
GRUB not loading after new installation
Grub rescue on live usb
No bootable devices
Manjaro XFCE runs from USB fine but won't boot when installed; just a black screen no message.
Manjaro does not boot after installation
Grub install not finding modinfo.sh
Messed up MBR and Dual Boot
Grub install not finding modinfo.sh
Can't boot into Windows 10 after reinstalling Manjaro
[KDE] [Testing] Manjaro isn't booting
Can't boot Manjaro. Grub rescue appears
after reading articles, I am completely frustrated by GRUB2..
after reading articles, I am completely frustrated by GRUB2..
[Stable Update] 2019-06-11 - Kernels, KDE Apps & Frameworks, Browsers, Nvidia, Xorg-Server, Mesa
UEFI boot failed
Is it possible to recover data from repartitioned disk?
Problems installing Manjaro on an SSD that previously had a different distro
Manjaro is not booting after install (windows was installed) [Dual boot]
Manjaro stopped booting after only a week
How to get grub at boot to select between Windows and Manjaro?
'Erase Disk' default's way of installing solely Manjaro yields no operating system
'Erase Disk' default's way of installing solely Manjaro yields no operating system
Partition in which Manjaro is installed got corrupted
Not able to install bootloader grub of manjaro in windows 10 dual boot
Manjaro not booting again
Grub problems. [solved]
[SOLVED] Manjaro installation & partition are successful. Black screen just after login with password
[SOLVED] Manjaro not showing up on BIOS priority order, but can boot from Live Manjaro USB
Manjaro Crashed After Installing Windows 10 On It
error: file owned by 'grub' and 'grub-efi-i386'
grub menu isn't showing up at boot
Twas a rough old night, last night.
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Cannot reinstall Grub (efivars)
Cannot boot to windows (dll missing?) after setting up dual boot
Installer failing to install bootloader
Manjaro can only boot through detect efi bootloader
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Secure Boot
Dual Linux boot grub fail
Grub restore after hardware swap
GRUB restoration issues.
Can't access grub nor Windows after installing Manjaro
Trying to install Cubocore Linux on 32bit UEFI
[Stable Update] 2019-10-14 - Pamac 9.0, LLVM9, Firefox, KDE Apps 19.08.2
Installer Problem
Windows Update on Dual Boot Machine, Lead to Grub Rescue
No device map
My bootloader keeps disappearing
Trying to install Manjaro on first install (shuts down on booting installer image)
Grub Install Error on Manjaro Installation
LiveUSB: not booting when entering the "Boot to Manjaro"
"/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod" not found
Grub all entries duplicated & Windows won't boot (Grub says UUID not found?)

Bumping this topic as I get a PM that they could not reply to post a comment.
By bumping this, people can comment further.
Hopefully it works (so people can comment).

In case it still don’t work (people cannot post), there is a message that says…

Hi. Your post worked for me after reinstalling Windows. I just wanted to comment that, not every computer would have dev/sda as their OS partition. For example, on my computer it was dev/nvme0p1. I guess experienced users would know already but it might still be nice to point it out in your original thread as well? I couldn’t leave a comment or reply there. Thanks.

Followed by…

Also, in my case /dev/sda actually came to represent the USB stick that I was booting the computer with. There might be problems if the original commands targeting /dev/sda were run?

My reply is as follows…
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
Will work for uefi/gpt system regardless of where the $esp is.
Note also the command “sudo grub-install” (without /dev/sda) will work nicely; but it will also work with /dev/sda ie., “sudo grub-install /dev/sda”.

As for bios-legacy/msdos system, the command “sudo grub-install /dev/sda” must be used.
“sudo grub-install” won’t work.
For a nvme device, I have not heard of any nvme devices using bios-legacy/msdos. They are all uefi/gpt. That’s why for simplicity and not to complicate matters, in my step 6, I use the command
sudo grub-install /dev/sda

Are there anyone here with nvme devices but on bios-legacy/msdos ?
If there are, please let us know.
If there is, the command to use would be
sudo grub-install /dev/nvme0
not sudo grub-install dev/nvme0p1
as that would be the partition and not the device.
But as stated, it will work if system is uefi/gpt. We can put anything actually as /dev/xxxx and it would work. Regardless /dev/sda is the usb or any other disk (it does not matter).

Hope this replies well for the PM I receive (which I also PM the reply).
Cheers.

ps: I thank everyone for their comments as it is the feedback that makes all of us better.

9 Likes

I’ve added an additional command for UEFI installs in the first post above (at bottom).
That new command wasn’t necessary before until recently.
Perhaps the new version of ‘grub-install’ did not incorporate it (the command) as it did before (or is missing).

I think it is important enough to merit a new post here so people can be aware of it.
Cheers.

3 Likes

UEFI - if problem persists (or if unsure what to do)

If after doing the above, including at step 6 the 2 additional commands, post in a new topic (or an existing open topic) together with the following output from the terminal when booted to the installed Manjaro OS.

  1. efibootmgr -v
    sudo parted -l
    sudo blkid
    findmnt -s
    findmnt /boot/efi
    note: ‘parted -l’ --> small ‘L’ and provide information of all disks. [a]

  2. Computer make and model. Some computers have issues with UEFI particularly

Lenovo - some models are tied in with Microsoft and will only boot to windows efi file.
… … … … to work around it we can ‘fake’ manjaro efi as the windows efi
… … … … or to remove windows totally, and lenovo will look for another efi file.
This link may help.

HP - in some models, the UEFI firmware is flaky
… … some members have chosen to use bios-legacy instead.
This link may help.

MSI - the ‘gaming’ models need to have these settings in bios settings (F2)
… … . Turn off secure boot
… … . Set boot to UEFI (DO NOT USE CSM)
… … . Set TPM to 2.0 with 1.x compatibility

Asus - a small number of models need these F2 settings
… … . . Add a new custom bootentry
… … . . Set the path to that bootentry efi file
… … . . Create the bootentry and make it default.
This link may help

[a] - it is important to provide all disks from ‘parted -l’ because as one recent topic demonstrates, the user’s problem is that he/she had 5 disks and he/she provide just 2 disks. Not all sata ports (mostly 2, a few-4) are ‘bios-bootable’ and found to his/her surprise, the problem is resolved when he/she installed to another disk. It’s clearly not a uefi problem but were mislead into thinking it was. Even if that is not the case (sata bios-bootable disks), a full ‘parted -l’ is required in understanding ‘efibootmgr -v’, which is least to say, more confusing in that particular case. So, please, provide full ‘parted -l’.

4 Likes

This and some other commands are in “smart quotes” which may create problem.
Please, @gohlip correct them when possible for future proofing.

I have just corrected the first Topic (wiki).

Edit: @jonathon Discource engine "corrects" quotes to “smart quotes” except if they are in code blocks. Can this be corrected or users have to be warned to use code blocks in these cases?
(check this post in edit mode…)

1 Like

Petsam, I think your edit makes it less readable (and less copiable and pasteable).
Can you see if anything can be done?
I also think in that particular case, the user somehow copied wrongly, not because of ‘smart quotes’ (which I don’t understand anyway). I just find this whole discourse thingy including bb codes not very usable. I cannot put in color and within ‘fences’ (why the heck is that called) I cannot add more bbcodes, etc. I find difficulty and not productive using this discourse thingy. Perhaps I’m just not that technical. :wink:

If you can in post #3, the lenovo, HP, MSI, asus part , can you fix that?
I want clarity of space for readability and I put in ‘…’ for spacing.
And when I put in 1. 2. 3… anything in codes or quotes break that up.
And… shessh… Right, I’m just not technical. Maybe linux too hard for me. :rofl:

2 Likes

I am not that elevated, so I can’t edit others’ posts (yet).

This has been a fact, check the link in my post.

Just use what you have/are provided…

I think BBcodes and HTML can be used in some extend.

I never thought I would point you to the xyproblem.info .
What you think it’s more clear it may not be (depending) for the majority/minority.
I like to use the tools (bullets & numbering, quotes & titles) so it is consistent as designed from Discource.
Whatever… :neutral_face:

1 Like

@AgentS

Here. i copied and paste the above command , note the ‘manjaro’ entry was not there before doing the command. I do not see any error. BTW, the command was also done in the German section, presumably they do not use ‘english fonts’ nor qwerty keyboard.

What do you think is the problem?


[pop@Dec ~]$ efibootmgr
BootNext: 0002
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0000,0002,0001,0004
Boot0000* pop
Boot0001* Hard Drive
Boot0002* Systemd Boot Manager
Boot0004* UEFI: KINGSTON SV3
[pop@Dec ~]$ sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sda -p 1 -L "manjaro" -l "\EFI\Manjaro\grubx64.efi"
[sudo] password for pop: 
BootNext: 0002
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0003,0000,0002,0001,0004
Boot0000* pop
Boot0001* Hard Drive
Boot0002* Systemd Boot Manager
Boot0004* UEFI: KINGSTON SV3
Boot0003* manjaro
[pop@Dec ~]$ 





ps: I normally remove all other efi bootentries (including disk boots - bootx64.efi), will do so (remove ‘manjaro’) after this.
I noticed I left ‘systemd boot’, will also remove it later.
ps: I think your reference to ‘xy problem’ is ad hominem and non sequitur.

1 Like

GTranslate: gooseberry and it does not follow
Not a latin-aware person… sorry :grin:

The problem is not here (anymore, it is corrected in the initial post). It comes up on new posts (that I cannot edit :laughing: ) where code isn’t enclosed in code-specific blocks (it makes sense IMHO).
Or check another example

Forgive me that I insist on quoting you, but you are rightfully the most widely known Boot/EFI supporter. If you teach by example that using proper code quoting is sometimes interfering or bugging the troubleshooting attempts, others will follow/benefit. And as always :heart_eyes:

1 Like

Maybe try with this
“manjaro” instead of "manjaro"

1 Like

Heck, I don’t have this in my qwerty keyboard.
Only (’) and (") (~) (`) - nothing else resembling your “manjaro” (copied and pasted from yours).
So I couldn’t have typed that (your ‘quote’ ‘unquote’) anytime, before or after any edit.

So the error could have come from them manually typing ‘quote’ ‘unquote’ {Your quotes}; not copying from my command above.

ps: Don’t hassle about ‘reputation’ about anything here. We’re all equals here. No such thing as ‘more equal than others’. There are many things you are much better than I, but I don’t sweat it. We just want to get things right. I’m sure you agree.

1 Like

Can i use Manjaro-Architect ISO (17.1.11) to fix grub using Live CD. I hope Manjaro Architect has grub as bootloader

I don’t think you can if m-a is a stand-alone iso.
But if you have any other OS in your system using grub2, regardless of distro, you can use their grub menu (press ‘c’).

1 Like

I have Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS amd64 bootable USB which was created in May 2018 to test run Live boot Ubuntu session.

Will give it a try. Hopefully it wud work.

If you boot up this Ubuntu livecd in uefi, it should give a grub menu.
But if booted in bios-legacy, it would not.
Don’t know if you want to boot up in uefi or in bios-legacy, but take note.

ps: Ubuntu said it would use grub for all uefi and bios-legacy, but it hasn’t for 18.04.
Manjaro live is all grub, uefi or bios-legacy.

What I said earlier is if you have an existing installed linux OS using grub2 in your system, either uefi or bios-legacy, it would work.

1 Like

Manjaro Architect uses grub2 and it works.

I have legacy bios and it did not work as you said so instead i used Manjaro Architect Live boot iso. on Boot Menu / grub menu pressed ‘c’ and smooth sailing thereafter. I cud fix grub after booting manjaro as explained in the original post on this thread.
:joy::joy:

1 Like

You’re welcome.

1 Like

Sharing alternative approach to boot OS with broken bootloader.

Note: I have legacy BIOS and steps detailed below works for me. I hope UEFI Bios / GPT setup wud also work provide relevant efi grub was installed and configured correctly.

We can also boot manjaro using Super Grub 2 Disk.

from https://www.supergrubdisk.org/

Just 20 mb iso file. write it to a usb drive or add it to multiboot usb.

Boot ur pc with Super Grub 2 Disk bootable USB and select first option to detect OS. Thereafter Manjaro Grub Menu is displayed along with other linux distros if multiple OS exist.

You can also boot desired kernel for desired OS if multiple linux distros with multiple linux kernel installed.

1 Like

Note this is a major update on how to get back our broken Manjaro bootloader since the introduction of fedora-grub. All edited at first post.
Some notes below.

  1. grub version 2.03.2-1 (or later)
  2. There is no need to set or unset menu_auto_hide though that by the stanza’s in 01_header and 01_menu_auto_hide will also work.
  3. hidden menu has “Welcome to Grub” removed.
    Some distros, when compiling grub, has that removed as well by removing a couple of lines in stock grub.
  4. ‘countdown’ in all stock or recompiled grub will show a small countdown timer and will not show “Welcome to Grub”
  5. fedora-grub will, by 00_header and 01_menu_auto_hide and using grubenv, automatically hide menu if Manjaro is the sole OS. Other distro’s do that as well in a less convoluted way.
    And users by themselves can manage it manually in much more simpler way without the use of grubenv or changing stanza’s in /etc/grub.d
  6. In Fedora and related distros, different grub.cfg are generated for bios-legacy and uefi.
  7. grubenv causes issues for some filesystems like f2fs or btrfs (no sparse file) as well as other complications (like lvm or encryption).
  8. grub, is itself simple, just kernels and the path to it.
    Simpler than refind definitely, as simple as systemd-boot, just much more versatile.
    In taking advantage of its versatility, we created more complications (and more things that can go wrong) than it’s worth.
3 Likes

God bless you Sir gohlip! Something foobard my 4.19.16-1 update installation early this week. The first two lines of your Simple First Start got me back to my desktop (many times!) until I could figure out how to restore GruB.

I do have a Samsung 960 NVME drive as legacy bios boot. I was refused nvme0n1p1 ( / ) with the “embedded blacklist” error by grub-install. /dev/nvme0n1 worked :smiley:

Your choice of beverage when we meet

1 Like

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