When you power up your Ubuntu/Mint desktop and the boot procedure gets started in the background, you see a nice graphical animation appear in the screen. This initial bootscreen is rendered by software called Plymouth, which uses the kernel's Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) driver to show graphical animation with the native resolution of the display even before X server starts. Other alternatives (e.g., Usplash, Xsplash) predate Plymouth, but now they have been replaced by Plymouth on the latest desktop. Plymouth daemon (plymouthd) is responsible for displaying animated splash at system startup and shutdown.
Plymouth is designed to be scriptable and can support different themes. So if you want, you can always customize the boot splash screen based on your preference. Gnome-look.org maintains a collection of custom splash screen themes contributed by users, which you can download and install.
Let's find out how to customize the default splash screen by applying a custom theme.
Suppose you downloaded a custom Plymouth splash theme (e.g., http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Thingamabob%3A+Plymouth+splash+theme?content=164098).
Extract the content, and install the new theme under /lib/plymouth/themes directory as follows.
$ sudo cp -r thingamabob/ /lib/plymouth/themes/
$ sudo update-alternatives --install /lib/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth default.plymouth /lib/plymouth/themes/thingamabob/thingamabob.plymouth 100
Now switch default.plymouth by running update-alternatives as follows. When prompted, enter the number that corresponds to the custom theme that was just installed.
Finally, re-generate an initramfs image:
Go ahead, and reboot your desktop. You should see a new custom splash screen during system startup and shutdown.
You can also edit a Plymouth script for the new theme, which is located in the theme folder (e.g., /lib/plymouth/themes/thingamabob/thingamabob.script). By editing the script, you can change things like displayed text, opacity, background color, duration, rotate speed, etc.
Subscribe to Ask Xmodulo
Do you want to receive Linux related questions & answers published at Ask Xmodulo? Enter your email address below, and we will deliver our Linux Q&A straight to your email box, for free. Delivery powered by Google Feedburner.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? Then please be generous and support Xmodulo!