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how to change ubuntu usplash screenI remember when I first booted up Ubuntu on my computer three years ago that I wasn’t very impressed with the dull black usplash screen. It gave me a feeling that I was back to the Windows 95 era.

Three years down the road, even though the Ubuntu team has made changes and improvements to the usplash screen, it is still nowhere close to beautiful. Luckily, a good thing about Linux (and Ubuntu) is that it is fully customizable and you can tweak every single part to your liking. That is to say, even though the default does not come with a beautiful usplash screen, you can still change ubuntu usplash screen to display your favorite image.

Follow the guide below and you’ll be able to change Ubuntu splash screen in no time.

In Ubuntu Intrepid, there is a bug that prevents you from setting your own usplash screen. To overcome this, we will remove the default usplash and install splashy.

Removing the usplash

Open up a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type the following command to remove the default usplash.

sudo apt-get autoremove usplash

Installing splashy

Download the deb files for your machine:


32-bit: libsplashy1_0.3.10-1_i386.deb, splashy_0.3.10-1_i386.deb

64-bit: libsplashy1-dev_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb, libsplashy1_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb, splashy_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb

Double click the packages to install splashy in your machine.

Back to the terminal,

sudo apt-get install splashy-themes

Download your favorite splashy theme

There are several places where you can find and download beautiful splashy themes. Here are some of them for your references.

  • In the /usr/share/splashy/themes folder.
  • Gnome-look (Search for ‘splashy’ in the search bar)
  • Splashy theme page
  • KDE-look

Once you have found your favorite theme, download it to your desktop. The file should be in tar.gz format.

(If you are looking to create your own splash themes, here is the full tutorial)

To install the file, type the following command in the terminal.

sudo splashy_config "“i /path-to-the-file.tar.gz
sudo splashy_config -s name-of-the-file
sudo update-initramfs -u

To illustrate, assuming that I have downloaded a theme with the name custom-usplash.tar.gz onto my desktop. In my terminal, this is what I type:

sudo splashy_config -i ~/Desktop/custom-usplash.tar.gz
sudo splashy_config -s custom-usplash
sudo update-initramfs -u

It is important to type the command manually. Do not copy from here. WordPress displays the ‘-‘ sign differently from the terminal. You might get errors if you copy/paste the command directly from here.

Configuring the kernel entry

In your terminal, type the following command to open the grub menu file

gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Scroll down till you find the line

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic root=UUID=82ace599-c240-456a-8df9-96b0b477d00b ro  single

Append the phrase ‘vga=791’ (without the quote) to the end of the line (refer to the image below). Save and close the file.


That’s it. Restart your computer. You should see your favorite usplash in action.

Here are some of the splashy theme screenshots (taken from gnome-look):

Aqua for splashy

change ubuntu splash screen

Simple bluish for splashy


Ubuntu Glass



To uninstall splashy and to return the usplash screen to the original setting, type the following in the terminal.

sudo apt-get autoremove splashy splashy-themes
sudo apt-get install usplash

Your usplash screen should now return to the default setting.

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