Linux Mint: Debian – Edit Default Selected Entry in Grub [Updated]

GNU GrubI am always use a dual boot configuration when trying a Linux Distro. However, I always  set the default OS selected to be Windows so that when someone tries to use the laptop, they won’t be running towards me and asking questions on how to operate a Linux OS. So how do I do that? One word (or one file) – grub config.

In Debian, the default directory for the grub config file is:


So if you wanna edit that file, just pop the terminal open and type:

gedit sudo /etc/default/grub

and press enter. Of course you can replace gedit with your favorite editing tool which could be nano, or leafpad or others. Then the config file will be opened and you will be presented with a very long stream of text. Don’t worry, we will only need the first part of the config file and we will only focus on these two entries:


Don’t worry, I will explain what this two entries mean.

  • GRUB_DEFAULT: It talks about the default selected entry for GRUB. In my case the entry for my Windows installation is at the bottom so I set it to number 4 since it talks about the position of the selector.
  • GRUB_TIMEOUT: It talks about the time that Grub will wait before the selected option in Grub is ran (can always override this with the “Enter” key). In my case I always set this to 3 (this talks about the seconds) so that I could go on booting Windows immediately. If you want, you can set this to 1 or 0. *devilish smile*

After you have made the appropriate changes, you can now save the file (via CTRL+S when in Gedit / Leafpad) and go back to the terminal. This time we will have to type and run:

sudo update-grub

This will update the grub settings and other grub related files so that changes that you have made are pushed into Grub itself. Then after the update, Grub will finally use your changes on the next boot!

Hope this tutorial helps. If there is anything that I have missed, kindly give a comment. Thanks!


I don’t know why it did not work on my machine. I also tried to change the file in /boot/grub/grub.cfg but no avail. Now, I am left with the software manager method. So I searched for grub in the software manager and this appeared:

Grub Start-up Manager
Grub Start-up Manager

I installed it and it presented me a GUI that gave me options to customize Grub. I do not know yet if this will work but its worth a try. I will try to see it changes will be implemented in Grub in my next boot.

Edit: The last method works for me!

Update (12/15/2013):

According to Ikem you can also declare the default OS to boot by doing this:

GRUB_DEFAULT=”LinuxMint GNU/Linux, with Linux 3.10-2-amd64″



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