Fixing the new Ubuntu grub / VGA console.
I use Ubuntu on various servers; unfortunatly Ubuntu is increasingly aimed more at a consumer desktop audience, and it tries to do things like boot with a pretty, high resolution spash screen, hide the grub screen, etc. This does not work at all well for a server - it fails with the monitors on datacenter crash carts, it fails with many KVMs, DRACs, etc.
In order to get back to a more sane console, edit /etc/defaults/grub and make the beginning look like:
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`