How To Easily Change Ubuntu Usplash Screen

Damien Oh 26-01-2009

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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  1. Danone
    April 8, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Hi vadim thank you very much for this tutorial

  2. Dhana
    March 3, 2009 at 7:03 am

    hi vadim thank u very much for ur help i got my solution but i cant set my logo in bootup screen that is big problem me so u have any idea

  3. Dhana
    March 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

    yeah i download one splash screen that also png file
    now i dont know where i can put that file and install
    i found some website all are suggestion put this file in this path (/usr/lib/usplash) but i cant find this path so plz help me

    • Vadim P.
      March 3, 2009 at 1:01 am

      You can use this program: to change the spash screen - but I'm not sure if a PNG would work.

  4. Dhana
    March 2, 2009 at 6:06 am

    hi frds im new year i read above the article but i cant replace the splash screen so some one help me. i removed default splash screen but i cant replace alter image

    • Damien Oh
      March 3, 2009 at 12:43 am

      Did you follow the above instruction to install custom splash screen?

  5. Naruto
    February 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

    honestly i have never liked any of ubuntu's choice of colors in their default theme, logo, or splash. its time they get a real designer

  6. tolearnfree
    January 29, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    oh, thanks 4 ur information. but, i removed usplash default on my ubuntu. what is your way be able success although i removed it?

    • Damien Oh
      February 5, 2009 at 8:30 pm

      If you follow the above instruction, you should get your favorite splash theme up very easily.

  7. erik
    January 29, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Note that passing the vga= kernel argument (which is required for splashy) will cause a large number of machines to fail to suspend and resume..

  8. nickpick
    January 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm


    You got one part right, omg, this is not something what you'd expect your average user to do. However, this isn't Ubuntu, or Linux specific. You'll often find that gamers have to change variables in .ini files to optimise their gaming experience (or make them run in the first place). This is the geeky way of doing things. if you want an easier way out, go to and just download a .deb file (the Ubuntu version of your classy installer).

  9. perspectoff
    January 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    You should be clear that this is not a default program in Ubuntu and you are advocating a replacement for the Ubuntu default, which is uSplash.

    uSplash can be configured using Startup Manager:

    System -> Administration -> Startup Manager

    (those who don't have Startup Manager installed by default can easily do so: sudo apt-get install startupmanager)

    That is why you are confusing the newbie community by recommending a replacement, attractive as it is to you.

    • Damien Oh
      January 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

      I did not attempt to confuse anyone as I said in my article that I am going to remove the default usplash and install splashy. You are true that startup manager allows you to change the usplash easily, but there are some issues in Ubuntu Intrepid that prevent you from doing it easily (it even crashes my PC several time). The last thing that I want to do is to provide a guide that doesn't work or cause even more problems.

  10. Mark
    January 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    @Damien Oh:
    Thank you. I was fairly surprised at how large (7.5MB) that thing is, but I have installed it and will give it a go. Incidentally, I see your replies to many of the questions asked on the forum and have respect for your knowledge and the time you expend offering a helping hand to others. Kudos and Thanks, again.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm thinking the OMG handle was a strong clue.
    While I don't necessarilly get into the flaming that frequently takes place on the forums, neither can I appreciate and idiotic response like the one you so effectively addressed. The question, in my opinion, is, how does it happen that stupidity such as OMG manages to slip by moderation? I don't seem to have that kind of luck and was recently censured by Newegg for saying that something was "a pain in the butt". Go figure...
    At any rate, thanks for some fine outfielding.

    @Matthew Garrett:
    Good information to have- thank you for passing it along. Interestingly enough, and in my instance it wouldn't be an issue because ever since "upgrading" from Feisty to Hardy, my suspend ability has been gone. Now it's a matter of the machine is either on or it's off, period. I'm forever entertained, fascinated and ticked off at the way things that once worked suddenly discontinue working with an "upgrade". It must be why I'm so addicted to Linux and Firefox in the first place, no?

    Gee, for some darn reason that comment sounds terribly familiar. Was there a point you wanted to make? If there was, I'm afraid I didn't get it...

    @Vadim P.:
    Though uninvited, I also followed the link you provided. Forgive me for being dense, but if the link is at all relative to my question or to Damien's reply, I have somehow missed its relevance. Still, I enjoyed the journey and will probably make it again.

    • Damien Oh
      January 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

      You are welcome. It is my pleasure to offer any help to the community.

  11. Vadim P.
    January 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Damien, see

    Though you can get new uspalsh themes just fine too, with the start-up manager...

  12. donnaa
    January 27, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Note that passing the vga= kernel argument (which is required for splashy) will cause a large number of machines to fail to suspend and resume.ÑŽ

  13. Matthew Garrett
    January 27, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Note that passing the vga= kernel argument (which is required for splashy) will cause a large number of machines to fail to suspend and resume.

  14. omg
    January 27, 2009 at 1:55 am

    omg this is why ubuntu sucks, on windows there are so many apps which does the whole dam thing for you.

    eg TuneUp Utilities 2009, download the boot screen you want from their website or another, double click and youre done.

    omg this is my ubuntu disc is collecting dust.

    • mandatory
      January 27, 2009 at 4:26 am

      @omg-- omg you're useless. and (in a non-homophobic way) you're teh ghey. jesus, way to waste everyone's time with an unhelpful comment. dude posts a how-to walking people through the steps to make x happen and you whine about how the process is different from windows and THEREFORE it must suck? ridiculous. stick to myspace chat or whatever you middle-schoolers use nowadays, cause grown folks are talking, and we're doing just fine without you...


      p.s.- do you have spybot installed? adaware? norton antivirus or AVG? ever defrag your disc? guess what, _I_ don't, cause none of those issues affect linux users.... :)

  15. Mark
    January 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    While this isn't exactly the method I used, I managed to fumble my way through a process and get a decent image placed.

    A while back I read an article (on MUO) about installing a new background image for a GRUB splash. Unfortunately, that didn't work out as outlined.

    I would like to put something up besides basic black, so if you have anything that would help get it done, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Damien Oh
      January 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm

      You can try StartUp Manager. There is a function that allows you to change grub screen easily.

      sudo apt-get install startupmanager