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Title: Finding countdown timer in Grub 2.02 source code
ID: /2018/09/02/Finding-countdown-timer-in-Grub-2.02-source-code
Created: September 2, 2018    Edited:  June 20, 2020
Upload: November 24, 2022    Layout:  post
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Thanks to the help of the accepted answer I was able to achieve the goal using a different method. After successful Grub 2.02 source code change and recompile, /etc/default/grub was changed to a 3.5 second countdown with GRUB_TIMEOUT=35.

Notice how the circular progress is now smooth with no “chunks”:

New Grub Boot

The code to change in:


Line 546:

/* Check whether a second has elapsed since the last tick.  If so, adjust
   the timer and return 1; otherwise, return 0.  */
static int
has_second_elapsed (grub_uint64_t *saved_time)
  grub_uint64_t current_time;

  current_time = grub_get_time_ms ();
  /* July 14, 2018 Use deciseconds - change 1000 to 100 */
  if (current_time - *saved_time >= 100)
      *saved_time = current_time;
      return 1;
    return 0;

Change the line:

if (current_time - *saved_time >= 1000)


if (current_time - *saved_time >= 100)

Voila! one line of code to change. Plus two comment lines added for good measure.

How to compile grub 2.02

Before following instructions on Grub’s website:

sudo apt install bison
sudo apt install flex

Then follow grub’s website instructions:

cd grub-2.02

Run next command on Grub’s website:

make install

Files are created in /usr/local/bin (surprise!!!) along with .../grub-2.02 directory which is to be expected.

Miscellaneous problems compiling grub

I ended up cloning source to VM (Lubuntu 16.04) and recompiling there. Using the newly compiled grub-install mucked things up and I had to use sudo apt install grub2 to get fresh install. Then manually copying newly compiled files to /boot/grub/i386-pc

My terminal-box got all skewed up so I’ll have to create a new grub background image. In the image below I changed GRUB_TIMEOUT=35 for 3.5 second countdown.

July 16, 2018 update

Figured out to one parameter to use in order to get X86, EFI support:

./configure –with-platform=efi

GRUB2 will be compiled with following components:
Platform: x86_64-efi
With devmapper support: No (need libdevmapper header)
With memory debugging: No
With disk cache statistics: No
With boot time statistics: No
efiemu runtime: No (not available on efi)
grub-mkfont: No (need freetype2 library)
grub-mount: No (need FUSE library)
starfield theme: No (No build-time grub-mkfont)
With libzfs support: No (need zfs library)
Build-time grub-mkfont: No (need freetype2 library)
Without unifont (no build-time grub-mkfont)
Without liblzma (no support for XZ-compressed mips images) (need lzma library)

However, after make install there is an error:

Making install in grub-core
make[2]: Entering directory '/home/rick/src/grub-2.02/grub-core'
gcc -E -DHAVE_CONFIG_H  -Wall -W  -DGRUB_MACHINE_EFI=1 -DGRUB_MACHINE=X86_64_EFI -m64 -nostdinc -isystem /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/5/include -I../include -I../include -DGRUB_FILE=\"symlist.h\" -I. -I. -I.. -I.. -I../include -I../include -I../grub-core/lib/libgcrypt-grub/src/   -DGRUB_KERNEL=1 -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -DGRUB_SYMBOL_GENERATOR=1 symlist.h > symlist.p || (rm -f symlist.p; exit 1)
symlist.h:25:44: fatal error: ../include/grub/machine/kernel.h: No such file or directory
compilation terminated.
Makefile:42544: recipe for target 'symlist.c' failed
make[2]: *** [symlist.c] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/rick/src/grub-2.02/grub-core'
Makefile:10904: recipe for target 'install-recursive' failed
make[1]: *** [install-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory '/home/rick/src/grub-2.02'
Makefile:11927: recipe for target 'install' failed
make: *** [install] Error 2

I filed a bug report with Grub folks (July 2018) but haven’t heard a thing back. The next step for EFI system is to download the source code on fresh install using Ubuntu’s repositories instead of Grub’s website instructions.

⇧ Poor battery life and performance due to incorrect CPU frequency scaling Adding a GRUB2 background image and custom font  ⇩