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Why is plymouth so important that cannot be removed on ubuntu desktop 11.04?

It has priority required and mountall and cryptsetup depend on it.

I do not have really any need to remove it, but a friend asked, so I am just curious.

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Cause everyone -needs- graphical boot animations? –  user606723 Jul 22 '11 at 20:42
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@user606723 If you don't want graphical boot animations, remove the plymouth-theme-* packages. –  htorque Jul 22 '11 at 21:14
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

As htorque noted in the comments, if you remove the plymouth-theme-* packages you will not have a graphical boot. Ubuntu Developer, Upstart author, former Canonical employee, and current Googler Scott James Remnant wrote in a relevant bug report that "without them Plymouth merely regulates access to the system console in cases of filesystem decryption and error."

Ubuntu and Debain developer Steve Langasek adds in a message to the Debian development mailing list:

One of these days I'll get around to writing that blog entry to set the record straight on why plymouth is an indispensible component of boot with any modern boot system, because when everything is starting in parallel, you need something to handle I/O multiplexing to the user on console. So in a real sense, it should be a dependency. Even if you don't care about splash, you still need multiplexing.

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It is not understandable why those two functionalities, "provides a graphical boot animation" and "regulates access to the system console in cases of filesystem decryption and error - multiplexing" should be gathered in the same package. Also, package description is very short and misleading. –  enzotib Jul 30 '11 at 18:27
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I agree. I only provide the best answers that I came across in my own quest to understand. Hopefully Steve will write that blog post some day. It seems to me that it is really just a marriage of convenience as both are things that need to happen very early in the boot process (i.e. before the file-system is fully mounted and X is started). –  andrewsomething Jul 30 '11 at 19:42
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The graphical boot animation and console multiplexing are not in the same package. If you don't want the graphical boot animation, you can remove the plymouth-label package, which will take all the graphical themes out with it while still leaving plymouth installed. But I'm not sure why you would want to do that, really. –  slangasek Oct 15 '11 at 17:54
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