How To Select The Splash Screen in Ubuntu Lucid

April 10, 2010 by
Filed under: gnome, HowTo, KDE, linux, Ubuntu 

I've recently been doing a lot of testing on the next version of Ubuntu: Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. After installing Ubuntu I also decided to add the Kubuntu packages to my system. This is easy to do with a simple

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

One of the annoyances I have with this is that adding the Kubuntu packages through this method also hijacks the startup splash to that of Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu. It's not a deal breaker, but I want to change it back.

I've previously used a program called StartUpManager to take care of this. With Ubuntu's recent change from using usplash to using Plymouth to control the splash screen, I'm unsure if SUM will work. And I really don't care. I want to understand how the changes are made to the system and I'd rather not install another program to make this simple change.

After doing some digging through the file system I figured it out. A symbolic link in /etc/alternatives controls what Plymouth uses for the splash screen. To change the splash screen from Kubuntu back to Ubuntu, open a terminal and enter the following commands.

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Change splash to Ubuntu

sudo rm /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth
sudo ln -s /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo/ubuntu-logo.plymouth /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth

Change splash to Kubuntu

sudo rm /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth
sudo ln -s /lib/plymouth/themes/kubuntu-logo/kubuntu-logo.plymouth /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth

Change splash to Xubuntu

sudo rm /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth
sudo ln -s /lib/plymouth/themes/xubuntu-logo/xubuntu-logo.plymouth /etc/alternatives/default.plymouth

There are also additional themes that you can find for installation in the Synaptic Package Manager. Changing to one of them works in a similar fashion.

Edit: I just discovered an easier way. Use the following terminal command.

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
and select your choice from the listed options.


10 Responses to “How To Select The Splash Screen in Ubuntu Lucid”

  1. Thomas Benkly says:

    I have done this, yet only the shutdown splash is affected. Any suggestions?

    • JDL says:

      I had this problem. I found out is that you have to update the init-ramfs. Run this: sudo update-initramfs -u -k all.

  2. joehann says:

    help me.. i stuck at spintynity theme splash.. how should i do?

  3. Baldemar Huerta says:

    "I want to understand how the changes are made to the system and I'd rather not install another program to make this simple change."

    This is why Linux will never be mainstream.

    Now, if the idea were: "I want to change the system and I'd rather not install another program to make this simple change, I can already do it with a built in menu selection in the os." Then, maybe Geekux might fly.

    • Linerd says:

      OK Baldemar, I'll bite. So how do I change the splash screen in Windows 7 using a built in menu? For that matter, how do I change the desktop environment in Windows 7? Oh, that's right, Microsoft doesn't offer any other desktop environment. Sure, I could download some hack to change to a different desktop environment, but that isn't built in. Yet somehow, Windows is the OS market share leader.

      The bottom line is, Linux and FOSS are about choice, not lock-in. Honestly, I don't really care if Linux is ever mainstream. It's the best system for me and I'll keep using it. If the sheeple want to continue using Windows or OS X, so be it.

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