How to do this manually, not installing any tools?

  • How do you want to change it? Add a background image, change to another color, ...?
    – JanC
    Jun 7, 2011 at 16:50
  • 2
    @Rulet if you know the answer please put it in as an answer and approve it. Editing the question is not the correct method.
    – Rinzwind
    Jul 3, 2011 at 18:29

6 Answers 6


This is my way:

  • Before 13.10:

    sudo -H gedit /lib/plymouth/themes/default.grub
  • 13.10 and later:

    sudo -H gedit /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo/ubuntu-logo.grub
  • 16.04 and later:

    sudo -H gedit /usr/share/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo/ubuntu-logo.grub
  • 17.10 and later:

    sudo -H gedit /usr/share/plymouth/themes/default.grub

And change the grub background color as you want, in my case I change grub background to black (0,0,0)

if background_color 0,0,0 ; then

Then, update grub

sudo update-grub

Please note that: there should be a space after the color value, other wise you will always get a black background. And as a gift, try using this value 35,00,60.

  • 1
    In case anyone couldn't tell, these are RGB values for the color.
    – kiri
    Oct 2, 2013 at 22:59
  • 2
    For Ubuntu 16.04, ubuntu-logo.grub has moved to /usr/share/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo/ubuntu-logo.grub
    – MDMower
    May 3, 2016 at 22:45
  • 2
    There are four numbers in ubuntu 16.04 Aug 15, 2016 at 17:43
  • 14.04 also requires four numbers.
    – user606063
    Oct 20, 2016 at 15:48
  • Ubuntu 16.04 has four values, you should update your answer accordingly. Mar 3, 2018 at 8:00

It's very simple:

gksu gedit /lib/plymouth/themes/text.plymouth 

and change black value with your color, in my case #000000 is black




Ok. I've decided to write the answer. I took instructions from here

In my case screen resolution is 1440X900. Somebody says that changing grub window resolution to actual resolution of monitor makes boot faster(but I don't see this take effect in last versions o Ubuntu). So I've changed and uncommented one line in /etc/default/grub to this:


Then to change purple background of grub I created the image, in my case just black image with 1440X900 resolution and put it in /boot/grub. So my file is:


Then I've edited again /etc/default/grub and puted a line in it:


then I updated grub configuration with command:

sudo update-grub

That's all. Now grub background is black.

  • Additionally, if you want to use a custom image here, the wiki states that the image must not be "indexed", must be RBG, and it says you can export the image from gimp with these parameters to ensure compatibility.
    – mchid
    Feb 2, 2016 at 5:23

This is an excerpt from The Community Documentation on Grub2

Turning off the splash image: This may make viewing the terminal easier.

1.Press "c" to go to the command line and then type: set color_normal=white/blue or the color combination you wish to use.

2."black" as the second entry retains the menu's transparency and should be avoided as a selection if the user wants to work with a solid background color.

  • The purple background isn't an image though.
    – JanC
    Jun 7, 2011 at 16:49
  • Yes, it's a color combination that you can set with set color_normal=xxx/xxx Jun 7, 2011 at 16:51
  • I think that only sets the colour (or transparency) for the menu, not for all of grub; and in any case there are lots of other possibilities, including creating your own theme.
    – JanC
    Jun 7, 2011 at 22:31
  • According to here: help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Displays#GRUB_2_Colors, if you set the background color to black set color_normal=xxx/black , black should be interpreted as transparent so that you can use an image background. The purple background used to be an image in Ubuntu versions < 14.04 See answer by @rulet on this page (probably the same purple background image that shows as the default background for lightdm). However, on newer versions I think the file has changed or is a color value instead, I can't remember.
    – mchid
    Feb 2, 2016 at 5:19

I would first get your image, then bring up Terminal type

sudo nautilus

copy or cut image into /boot/grub.

Open the terminal and type

sudo update-grub

There you go.

  • 1
    What? Just dropping an image in /boot/grub will make it appear at grub menu? I don't think so. Feb 2, 2013 at 18:44
  • 2
    @EricCarvalho It actually does. In /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme, lines 163-168 there is code to search for and use an image in /boot/grub.
    – kiri
    Feb 5, 2014 at 20:21

I wrote a ruby script to do the same. It actually edits /etc/default/grub and adds a custom background to it. Here: https://github.com/4p00rv/grub-background-changer

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