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With regards to Plymouth --

Are there alternative boot screens available?

What's the easiest way to change the boot screen?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

You can get a list of themes available via the repositories through Synaptic Package Manager or through the command line via aptitude:

$ aptitude search plymouth-theme
p   lubuntu-plymouth-theme        - plymouth theme for Lubuntu                                                                                                                        
p   plymouth-theme-fade-in        - graphical boot animation and logger - fade-in theme                        
p   plymouth-theme-glow           - graphical boot animation and logger - glow theme                           
i   plymouth-theme-kubuntu-logo   - graphical boot animation and logger - kubuntu-logo theme                   
p   plymouth-theme-sabily         - plymouth theme for Sabily                                                  
p   plymouth-theme-script         - graphical boot animation and logger - script theme                         
p   plymouth-theme-solar          - graphical boot animation and logger - solar theme                          
p   plymouth-theme-spinfinity     - graphical boot animation and logger - spinfinity theme                     
p   plymouth-theme-text           - graphical boot animation and logger - text theme                           
c   plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo    - graphical boot animation and logger - ubuntu-logo theme                    
i   plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text    - graphical boot animation and logger - ubuntu-logo theme                    
p   plymouth-theme-ubuntustudio   - Ubuntu Studio Plymouth theme                                               
p   xubuntu-plymouth-theme        - Plymouth theme for Xubuntu           

You can then install the resulting packages via Synaptic or aptitude as normal:

$ sudo aptitude install plymouth-theme-solar

If you're looking for something not in the repositories, UbuntuGeek has an excellent tutorial on how to install and create your own custom Plymouth themes.

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4  
Be careful because not all of the themes support the boot messages generated by Ubuntu. –  Scott Oct 29 '10 at 13:46

Getting Started Guide

Editing Plymouth


You can edit Plymouth with a simple text editor for animations and images. This is Ubuntu version agnostic.

Original to New

  • Get Template
  • Customize Template
  • Set Custom Theme

Make a template.

First you will get a template that covers all the basic aspects of a Plymouth. Change my-theme to your own personal them name.

sudo cp --recursive /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo ~/themes/my-theme

Customize file names.

Now you can change some names to help identify our theme from others.

sudo mv ubuntu-logo.plymouth my-theme.plymouth
sudo mv ubuntu-logo.script my-theme.script
sudo mv ubuntu-logo.grub my-theme.grub
sudo mv ubuntu_logo16.png my_theme16.png
sudo mv ubuntu_logo.png my_theme.png

Edit image files.

Use your image editor of choice to alter the png images. I like GIMP for quick edits.

gimp my_theme.png my_theme16.png 
gimp progress_dot_on.png progress_dot_off.png 
gimp progress_dot_on16.png progress_dot_off16.png

Here is an example of my alterations:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Edit the configuration files.

1) Set up theme information file.

gedit my-theme.plymouth

Edit lines 2, 7, and 8 and change ubuntu logo to you theme name.

[Plymouth Theme]
Name=My Theme
Description=A theme that features a blank background with a logo.
ModuleName=script

[script]
ImageDir=/lib/plymouth/themes/my-theme
ScriptFile=/lib/plymouth/themes/my-theme/my-theme.script

2) Start-up terminal color. (Optional)

gedit my-theme.grub

Change it from purple to something else.

Edit line 1 with RGB color code.

A good site to help you is Color-Hex. I am just going to make mine black.

if background_color 0,0,0; then
  clear
fi

3) The script file to apply theme changes.

gedit my-theme.script

There is many different aspects to this file that you can change to customize your plymouth boot theme. If you wish to do more advanced changes you should study it. I am only showing how to change the background color, logo, and status indicator.

Edit lines 169, 170, 174, and 180 to change the background gradient and images you edited earlier.

Window.SetBackgroundTopColor (0.66, 0.66, 0.66);       #top 
Window.SetBackgroundBottomColor (0.146, 0.146, 0.146); #bottom

bits_per_pixel = Window.GetBitsPerPixel ();
if (bits_per_pixel == 4) {
    logo_filename = "my_theme16.png";
    progress_dot_off_filename = "progress_dot_off16.png";
    progress_dot_on_filename = "progress_dot_on16.png";
    password_field_filename = "password_field16.png";
    question_field_filename = "password_field16.png";
} else {
    logo_filename = "my_theme.png";
    progress_dot_off_filename = "progress_dot_off.png";
    progress_dot_on_filename = "progress_dot_on.png";
    password_field_filename = "password_field.png";
    question_field_filename = "password_field.png";
}

Send your theme folder.

cp --recursive ~/themes/my-theme /lib/plymouth/themes

Set Plymouth configuration to use theme.

sudo ln -sf /lib/plymouth/themes/my-theme/my-theme.plymouth /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth
sudo ln -sf /lib/plymouth/themes/my-theme/my-theme.grub /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth.grub

Restart to watch it in action.

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1  
I would upvote this more than once if I could. Thank you for the very thorough and detailed explanation/guide. –  mason81 Aug 29 at 15:52
1  
@mason81 Thank you very much. I don't know about thorough, but it leads you to all avenues if you have the self learning ability(ie. animations, positions, etc). –  Brandon Clark Aug 29 at 16:40

To change between the installed themes you should do:

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
sudo update-initramfs -u

The first will list available themes to choose from, the second command with update initramfs with a new theme.

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1  
Thanks for adding that. +1. –  AgentK Aug 15 '10 at 23:53
1  
Cool -- still works in 11.10. –  belacq Oct 22 '11 at 2:47

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