Lately, booting Ubuntu on my desktop has become seriously slow. We're talking two minutes. It used to take 10-20 seconds. Because of plymouth, I can't see what's going on. I would like to deactivate it, but not really uninstall it. What's the quickest way to do that? I'm using Precise, but I suspect a solution for 11.10 would work just as well.

  • Did you try: sudo update-initramfs
    – mgajda
    Jun 19, 2012 at 0:54
  • Try disabling Plymouth during grub boot. It may not have converted properly. See: askubuntu.com/q/98566/307523 Jul 21, 2017 at 22:08
  • For the curious, what had happened was that I was running VM images on a btrfs filsystem, which slowed it down enormously. Dec 2, 2020 at 18:22

3 Answers 3


Easiest quick fix is to edit the grub line as you boot.

Hold down the shift key so you see the menu. Hit the e key to edit

Edit the 'linux' line, remove the 'quiet' and 'splash'

To disable it in the long run

Edit /etc/default/grub

Change the line – GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash” to


And then update grub

sudo update-grub
  • Removing quiet and splash removes the splash, but I still only have a purple screen with no text. What I want to do, is to see the actual boot messages. Jan 25, 2012 at 22:25
  • 3
    Interesting, it does not behave that way for me. At any rate, you can disable plymouth with sudo mv /etc/init/plymouth.conf /etc/init/plymouth.conf.disabled , move it back when you are done.
    – Panther
    Jan 25, 2012 at 22:32
  • 1
    It shows the boot process messages i want to see on a server, sweet!!! Sep 15, 2014 at 16:22
  • 1
    Plymouth has to be one of the worst UIs I've come across. It uses the same text box for entering a user name as the password. It looks like you are being prompted for a password so you type it and in plain text is your password for the world to see!
    – RyanNerd
    Oct 27, 2016 at 7:28
  • @RyanNerd - So disable it or use an alternate
    – Panther
    Oct 27, 2016 at 15:43

How about pressing CTRL+ALT+F2 for console allowing you to see whats going on.. You can go back to GUI/Plymouth by CTRL+ALT+F7.

Don't have my laptop here right now, but IIRC Plymouth has upstart job in /etc/init, named plymouth???.conf, renaming that probably achieves what you want too more permanent manner.

  • 1
    No, there's nothing on the other consoles. Jan 25, 2012 at 22:22
  • [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F2] gave me a black screen with a blinking cursor at the top left, that's all. Dec 3, 2013 at 8:46
  • [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F1] you mean Nov 30, 2015 at 3:14

If you just want to see the message for a single boot (vs. a permanent change), you should be able to press the ESC key to hide the splash screen and reveal the boot console.

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