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cannot set timeout in grub2

From: Bob Morris
Subject: cannot set timeout in grub2
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 23:14:42 -0400

I updated a Dell PowerEdge 2950 from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04, going
through each offered update. On the first, something whacked GRUB, but
I recovered it with boot-repair. (What a fantastic resource!) I ran
boot-repair from a LiveCD, that is from Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop CD
running off the CD. (Note that the ubuntu on the hard drive at the
point was 11.10.)

After the successful boot-repair, the grub did not time out and I had
to explicitly select the kernel from the menu after waiting as much as
5-10 min.  I opted to address this when I got all the way to Ubuntu
12.04. Each of the intermediate boots had the same issue, but all
booted up all the way when I selected the first menu option.  Ubuntu,
with Linux 2.6.35-32-server.

With 12.04 running, I edited /etc/default/grub to contain

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

and ran sudo update-grub

No countdown appears on the grub menu, and nothing happens unless I
select an entry and press enter.

Now here's the final curiousity:
The grub splash screen reports version 1.98+20100804+5ubuntu3.3 but
grub-install -v reports 1.99-21ubuntu3.1

Finally, note that this is all happening with console control via a
Dell DRAC remote console redirection to a java applet. But (a)there
are no such issues on 3 other drac-supported servers with earlier
grub, (b)booting up, then disconnecting the drac serial redirect
connection and rebooting via an ssh session does not make the system
boot;  when I re-establish the console connection, the grub is there
sitting at the default. (c)this did not happen on this system for
earlier grub.

Thanks for any advice


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