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Bootsplash micro howto


1. Introduction

2. Kernel

3. Theme

4. Bootsplash

5. Progress bar

6. Bootloader

7. Tips & Tricks

8. Related documents

9. About


1. Introduction


1.1. What is it?


Bootsplash is a feature that uses framebuffer to provide a nice splashscreen while booting and shutting down the system.


Additionally, it is possible to have a progress bar indicating the status of the boot and shut down process.


It is in every moment possible to switch back to the normal text console.


If you are newbie by GNU/Linux, the whole process could be too complicated. Consider this document, only if you already have some experience with kernel compilation.


1.2. Debian Limitation


Currenty, this feature has not been officially integrated in Debian. It is anyway possible to install it, using unofficial Debian packages.


1.3. Unofficial packages


Make available the required packages, by adding the following line in /etc/apt/sources.list:


  deb http://debian.bootsplash.de unstable main


Then, calling


  apt-get update

  apt-cache search bootsplash


you will see all the available packages related to bootsplash.


2. Kernel


The kernel must support this feature.


Since the Debian kernel does not support it yet, you have first to patch the official Debian kernel and then to rebuild a new one.


The following description is for kernel 2.6.8. Replace this number with your kernel number.


2.1. Installing kernel sources


Install the sources:


  apt-get update

  apt-get install kernel-source-2.6.8


and extract them:


  cd /usr/src

  tar xjf kernel-source-2.6.8.tar.bz2


2.2. Installing patch


Install the patch by calling


  apt-get install kernel-patch-bootsplash


2.3. Applying patch


Apply the patch by calling


  cd /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.8

   ../kernel-patches/all/apply/bootsplash


Instead, to unapply the patch call


  cd /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.8

   ../kernel-patches/all/unpatch/bootsplash


2.4. Configuring


Configure the kernel by calling


  cd /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.8

  make menuconfig


and make sure the following items are selected:


  Code maturity level options -->

    [y] Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers

  Processor type and features --->

    [y] MTRR (Memory Type Range Register) support

  Device Drivers --->

    Block devices --->

      <y> Loopback device support

      <y> RAM disk support

      (4096) Default RAM disk size

      [y] Initial RAM disk (initrd) support

    Graphics support --->

      [y] Support for frame buffer devices

      [y] VESA VGA graphics support

      Console display driver support --->

        [y] Video mode selection support

        <y> Framebuffer Console support

      Bootsplash configuration --->

        [y] Bootup splash screen


2.5. Building


Build the new kernel:


  cd /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.8

  make-kpkg --append_to_version -yourHost --revision=yourRevisionNumber kernel_image modules_image


For example:


  make-kpkg --append_to_version -tux --revision=1 kernel_image modules_image


2.6. Installing


Install the new kernel:


  cd ..

  dpkg -i kernel-image-2.6.8.*.deb


3. Theme


3.1. Installing


All the available bootsplash themes can be listed with the following command:


  apt-get update

  apt-cache search bootsplash-theme


Install how many themes do you want, by calling


  apt-get install bootsplash-theme-xxx


replacing xxx with the name of the desired theme.


Tip: using synaptic is much more easier.


4. Bootsplash


4.1. Installation


This package provides the bootsplash tools and can create/update the required initrd image. Yes, unfortunately, an initrd image is needed in order to use bootsplash, but don't panic. This package will automatically update the existing one or will create a new one for you.


Install bootsplash:


  apt-get install bootsplash


During the installation process, you will asked for what boosplash theme do you want to use. Select one.

Eventually, you will also asked for the resolution to use. Select some according your needs.


5. Progress bar


5.1. Introduction


To provide such a feature, the /etc/init.d/rcS and /etc/init.d/rc must be patched.


This can be easily done by installing the next package.


The original files will be backuped and will be restored by deinstalling the next package.


5.2. Installing


Just call


  apt-get install sysv-rc-bootsplash


6. Bootloader


6.1. Grub


Make the following chages in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file.


Add the following parameters for the kernel:


  vga=791


and


  splash=silent


Add the following initrd line:


  initrd   /boot/initrd.splash


For example:


  title    Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.8

  kernel   /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.8 root=/dev/hda1 vga=791 ro splash=silent

  initrd   /boot/initrd.splash

  savedefault

  boot


6.2. Lilo


What, are you still using lilo???? It would be time to switch to grub!!!


If not, here what do you need:


  initrd=/boot/initrd.splash

  vga=791

  append="splash=silent"


7. Tips & Tricks


7.1. Trying a new theme


To easily try different themes, it is not necessary to reboot.


Just call:


  splash -s -u 5 /etc/bootsplash/themes/current/config/bootsplash-1024x768.cfg


and switch to console 6 (yes, not 5!).


7.2. Selecting desired theme


Once tried different themes, select the desired one by calling:


  dpkg-reconfigure boostplash


8. Related documents


8.1. Homepage


This is the official homepage: http://www.bootsplash.org.


8.2. Useful site


This is an unofficial homepage but has a lot of usefully informations: http://www.bootsplash.de.


My document is based on the informations extraced from this site.


9. About


9.1. Author


Emidio Planamente <eplanamente@gmx.ch>


9.2. History


Version 1

  First public release



Emidio Planamente

Last modified on 2005-10-24