Is there a way to easily turn on/off showing the boot messages (loading the services) when Ubuntu starts? Is it something in Grub2?

I am running 10.04.


6 Answers 6


You would need to edit the file /etc/default/grub. In this file you'll find an entry called GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. This entry must be edited to control the display of the splash screen.

The presence of the word splash in this entry enables the splash screen, with condensed text output. Adding quiet as well, results in just the splash screen; which is the default for the desktop edition since 10.04 (Lucid Lynx). In order to enable the "normal" text start up, you would remove both of these.

So, the default for the desktop, (i.e. splash screen only):

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" #Hide text and show splash

For the traditional, text display:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=        #Show text but not the splash

For the splash, but the ability to show the boot messages by pressing Esc:


Or, finally, for just a (usually) black screen, try:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=quiet   #Don't show Ubuntu bootup text
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="console=tty12" #Don't show kernel text

After editing the file, you need to run update-grub.

sudo update-grub

For more details, see this: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2

  • 1
    How can you read that messages that are shown after you removed the splash from GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT? I can see the messages now when I start, but then X starts and they are gone.
    – rubo77
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 12:00
  • GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT and GRUB_TIMEOUT causes confusion don't understand why they keep two of these settings and displays the error Warning: Setting GRUB_TIMEOUT to a non-zero value when GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT is set is no longer supported Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 0:15
  • 2
    @rubo77 The dmesg command: superuser.com/questions/176165/… Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 22:21
  • For anybody in 2023 with Ubuntu 22.04 that keeps getting circled back to this thread like me, set GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT to "quiet splash" and GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX to "console=ttyS0". YMMV but this helps me achieve manufacturer logo and no grub output all the way from boot to login.
    – zayadur
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 0:47

I may be out of subject, but you can just press "escape" during boot, to show/hide the plymouth splash screen...

  • By "easily turn on/off", I think it's just what he/she wants. Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 11:01
  • Does that work on 10.04?
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 13:51
  • Yes. I actually tested it on both Lucid Lynx Desktop and Netbook editions before posting :-) Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 13:54
  • 8
    It works only if grub is not quiet, i.e.: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="splash"
    – sup
    Commented May 15, 2011 at 9:01

There's a simple way of hiding all boot messages. In /etc/default/grub, adjust the following:

GRUB_TIMEOUT=0 # Do not show the GRUB menu at all
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="console=tty12" # Redirect the kernel output to another tty

After that, just sudo update-grub, and it should be done.

  • 1
    Doesn't work anymore in 18.04
    – LucaM
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 11:17
  • 5
    console=ttyS0 does seem to work in 18.04, I found that as answer to my own question. I may do some more research on it later on, though. See askubuntu.com/q/1085629/295286 Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 21:26

If you remove quiet option from GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT to show boot messages it's sometimes necessary to also set loglevel option to higher value. Otherwise some drivers may flood your tty with notice messages. I use this line to enable boot messages:


This way only significant system messages will be printed to the console.


You didn't identify whether you are on a server system or desktop, so I'll address both.

If you add splash to /etc/default/grub/ in GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, Ubuntu will present you with a splash screen, either a simple text based progress bar or graphically via plymouth, which I describe below.

Using plymouth, a graphical startup animator, you can provide a pretty bootscreen that is well suited to desktop machines. You might not want to do this on a server, but it's up to you.

sudo apt-get install plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo

I use GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="noplymouth" to tell my laptop to not show me the startup picture but the boot messages … still works for 11.10

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