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If this variable is set, it controls the video mode in which the Linux kernel starts up, replacing the ‘vga=’ boot option (see linux). It may be set to ‘text’ to force the Linux kernel to boot in normal text mode, ‘keep’ to preserve the graphics mode set using ‘gfxmode’, or any of the permitted values for ‘gfxmode’ to set a particular graphics mode (see gfxmode).
Depending on your kernel, your distribution, your graphics card, and the phase of the moon, note that using this option may cause GNU/Linux to suffer from various display problems, particularly during the early part of the boot sequence. If you have problems, set this variable to ‘text’ and GRUB will tell Linux to boot in normal text mode.
The default is platform-specific. On platforms with a native text mode (such as PC BIOS platforms), the default is ‘text’. Otherwise the default may be ‘auto’ or a specific video mode.
This variable is often set by ‘GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX’ (see Simple configuration).