Bringing light to the darkness

One of the minor annoyances I have with Ubuntu 10.04 is that after the GRUB menu is displayed, and the selection is made to boot into Ubuntu, the display screen goes dark for quite some time. In fact, it remains dark for so long that I begin to wonder if the boot process is hung.

[Note to self – install one of those new-fangled solid-state drives to get a 10-second boot-up and you won’t have this problem!]

So, while I was waiting for the boot process to complete, I started thinking about how to make something, rather than nothing, happen during this process. Then, I remembered a past problem with a Linux rescue disk for a Windows’ application for which the technical support folks provided me with a test disk with a “noquiet” option. I wondered if Ubuntu has such a feature and, if so, how it would be enabled.

Well, as always, Google is a friend in such circumstances, and it’s easy to find that the trick is to set a configuration variable in the /etc/default/grub file.

The steps to take are as follows:

1. Run sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

2. Change the line

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash”

to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=””

3. Save the modified file

4. Run sudo update-grub in order to update GRUB2’s boot menu with the new configuration

Note that the “quiet” option was removed in order that the boot process will display the intermediate steps, and thus stream Linux commands to the display as they are activated. Now, we will be able to see that GRUB2 is actually doing something.

Note also that the option to display the splash screen was deleted. We know that we are going to Ubuntu’s login screen, so we (I) no longer need the splash screen to be displayed before we get there.

Some would say that the on-screen boot process is now very messy. I agree, but at least I know it’s booting!

References:

Removing the ‘quiet splash’ options from the Ubuntu 10.10 kernel boot command line
http://jamesmcdonald.id.au/it-tips/removing-the-quiet-splash-options-from-the-ubuntu-10-10-kernel-boot-command-line

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