Tuesday, January 1, 2008

'Boot splash screen not working' solution

I've been updating the Ubuntu install of my Thinkpad Z60m from Dapper Drake 6.06 (if I remember rightly) to the latest one Gutsy Gibbon 7.10. In one of the updates from 6.06 and 7.04, the boot splash screen (Ubuntu uses usplash) stopped working. I tried to fix it with only partial success. But in the last update to 7.10, usplash got totally broken. While Linux booted, only appeared a black screen with a blinking cursor. As it is explained in the Gutsy Gibbon release notes this can be due a configuration error in the monitor resolution. But that was not my case.

Doing a bit of research I found that the links:

were wrong. The first pointed the second (that is ok) but the second pointed also the first. So I had a loop there. Instead, the second link should be pointing to a '.so' file from the configured usplash theme. By default in Ubuntu it should be:

It seems that my attempt to fix usplash plus the las upgrade ended with that links in an inconsistent state. The solution was to reconfigure usplash so it used the default theme, by executing in a command line:
# sudo update-usplash-theme usplash-theme-ubuntu

After this, the boot screen worked perfectly in my Ubuntu 7.10.

And in this investigation I found a very interesting thing. In the file:

if you delete the keyword 'quiet' from the Linux kernel boot options, then in the 'usplash' screen will appear again the system startup messages (as happened in early Ubuntu versions). I find this very helpful to measure the system's health and it points me software I am not using and I should delete.

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