Doing one-shot booting with GRUB
December 13, 2007
For a long time, one of the advantages of LILO over GRUB was that LILO had a one-shot mode, where it would make an entry the default for only one reboot. I've been pleased to recently discover that GRUB can now do this too, although in the grand Linux tradition it's not too documented.
The magic incantation is the GRUB shell command:
(This has to be issued in a GRUB shell, such as what you get by just
If you are using Red Hat's version of GRUB (found in Red Hat Enterprise
and Fedora), this is all you need to do. On Ubuntu or anywhere else that
uses the normal version of GRUB, you need to modify your
(I believe that you can tell which version of GRUB you have by whether
or not you have a
The normal GRUB saves this in
(Judging from the changelog of the Fedora GRUB RPM, this may have been in their version of GRUB for a very long time. Unfortunately it has been undocumented for that very long time, or I might have felt slightly differently about GRUB back then.)
Written on 13 December 2007.
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