Hidden Linux : Sexy boot screens
Some distros have sexy boot screens, some have basic, boring ones. Here's what I get from a default installation of Kubuntu...
What a yawn! But there's an easy way to spice them up. Add either or both of the grub-splashimages...
and kubuntu-grub-splashimages packages...
To add a new splash image, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add the line
DIY SplashingIf you find the above selection a bit dull, its a doddle to create your own.
The images used by the grub bootloader must be in X PixMap (.xpm) format and may or may not be compressed with gzip (.gz). What's more, they have to be sized 640x480 pixels and have no more than 14 colours(!?). Fortunately, if you have ImageMagick installed, this command will do the whole conversion for you...
convert infile.jpg -resize 640x480 -colors 14 -depth 8 outfile.xpm.gz(Note that you can use pretty much any graphic with convert. You're not restricted to JPGs.)
Not every image converts nicely. That 14-colour format can turn great images grainy -- or worse -- so here's a quick batch file to convert a bunch of randomly named JPGs into .xpm.gz format. To use it, create a new folder, copy in the files you want to try, save the following as xpm_convert.sh, and make it executable by typing chmod +x xpm_convert.sh in a console window.
for i in *.jpg
echo Converting $i
convert $i -resize 640x480 -colors 14 -depth 8 $FILE_NO.xpm.gz
FILE_NO=`expr $FILE_NO + 1`
Running the program with ./xpm_convert.sh will create a bunch of consecutively numbered .xpm.gz files, which should be copied to /boot/grub. Why use numbers instead of names? Because it makes it easier to test the new files.
When you reboot, hit "c" when the boot menu appears. This will take you to the a grub command line. Now type splashimage /boot/grub/1.xpm.gz to try out the first of your new images. Then try splashimage /boot/grub/2.xpm.gz to test the second one, and so forth. There's no need to do a full reboot and change menu.lst every time!
A couple of other notes:
* The above doesn't seem to work unless your menu.lst already contains a working splashimage.
* You can use auto-complete on the grub command line, so instead of typing the whole command you can type sp <tab> /bo <tab> g <tab> etc.
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