How To Create And Install Your Own Usplash Theme In Ubuntu

I am not sure how many of you like the default usplash screen of Ubuntu, but I am definitely one of those that dislike it and find it dull and boring. I prefer to have some images that are beautiful and able to make my first impression (when turning on the computer) a pleasant one. First impression does count, isn’t it?

Splashy is a splash screen application that can be used by anyone to create and configure their own usplash screen on a Linux (and FreeBSD) machine.

In this tutorial, I will go through the steps for you to create and install your own splash theme with splashy (and gsplashy).

Removing the usplash

In Ubuntu, the splash screen is governed by the usplash. To make sure that it does not conflict with splashy, we will need to remove usplash and install splashy as its replacement.

In your terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), type the following:

sudo apt-get autoremove usplash

Installing splashy and gsplashy

Download the splashy packages here:

32-bit machine – libsplashy1_0.3.10-1_i386.deb, splashy_0.3.10-1_i386.deb

64-bit machine – libsplashy1_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb, libsplashy1-dev_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.debsplashy_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb

Double click the packages to install.

In the terminal, type the following command to install the splashy-themes:

sudo apt-get install splashy-themes

Still in the terminal, type the following to open the apt file

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the end of the file. Save and close the file.

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian unstable main

Back to the terminal,

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install splashy splashy-themes

You will receive a message that the package is unverified. Type Y (Yes) to continue.

(The following instruction for installing splashy should work for 64-bit machine too, but in the event that it fails, download and install the 64-bit deb package – splashy_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb, libsplashy1-dev_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb, libsplashy1_0.3.13-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb.)

Install gsplashy

Gsplashy is the graphical manager for splashy that allows you to create/install splashy theme easily.

Download gsplashy to your Desktop. Extract the folder to your Desktop.

Install the dependencies

sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build-essential

cd to the gsplashy folder and compile the code

cd ~/Desktop/gsplashy0.1 (change the path if you have extracted gsplashy in another location)
./configure
make
make install

Creating a launcher in the menu

Right-click on the menu bar and select Edit Menus.

On the left pane, select Accessories (or any other place that you want to place the gsplashy entry).

On the right, click New Item. Enter the following information:

Click OK to close.

Creating your own usplash theme

Open gsplashy (Applications –> Accessories –> gsplashy)

Click on the Create a theme button. The first thing that you will see is the Info tab. This is where you enter the information for your theme.

On the Background tab, this is where you specify your own images for the usplash screen. There are several options that you have display images on: during boot up, during shutdown, when there is error, on system resume (from hibernation) or when you suspend the computer. You can choose to use different images or the same image for all the options.

One thing to note is that it is preferable to set your images to the 1024 x 768 dimension.

The FX option is some effects that you can for your image to appear. If there is any error and you want it to display on screen, check the box Verbose on error.

On the Progress bar tab, this is where you customize the location and interface of the progress bar.

Put a check beside any of the 4 boxes (boot, shutdown, resume, suspend) to show the progress bar when those screens are loaded. The Forward/Backward option determines the direction the progress bar is moving. The conventional way is to show Forward during boot and Backward during shutdown, but you are free to change it to your liking.

The X and Y fields refer to the location of the progress bar, measured from the top left corner of the screen. The Width and Height fields are where you define the width and height of the progress bar. There are also options for you to select the foreground and background color of the progress bar and whether there is a border or not.

On the Text box, this is the place to customize the textbox in the usplash screen. It is turned off by default since most people don’t like to have a textbox to cover up their beautiful images. If you like to have a textbox, click Enable and set the necessary configuration.

Once you are done with your configuration, click Apply. gsplashy will automatically generate the theme.

Back to the main screen, you should now find your custom made theme in the display. Select it to make it the default theme for splashy. You will be prompted to update-initramfs. Close the gsplashy.

Back to your terminal, run the following command:

sudo update-initramfs –u

That’s it. You have just successfully created and installed the usplash screen for your Ubuntu.

To get it to run, you need to add an additional entry in the grub file.

In your terminal,

gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Scroll down to look for the line

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

Append ‘vga=792’ (without the quote) to the end of the line. Save and close the file.

Restart your computer. You should see the your beautiful usplash theme in action now.

38 comments

  1. Umm…after adding that source, 554 updates became available. I’m afraid they’ll bork my setup, so I haven’t updated. Should I?

    • Don’t update the repo. This is a sight that I have overlooked.

      I have updated the tutorial. You will have to remove the debian unstable package from the apt file and install using the deb file instead.

  2. You don’t want to install the updates Rob, it’s a bad idea to mix debian unstable into ubuntu. Best to disable that repository. Also splashy and splashy-themes are available in ubuntu repos, so why is this necessary in he first place?

    • The reason I included the unstable debian package is because it contains the latest version of splashy. The one in the repo is outdated. But you are right in this, I shouldn’t have included the unstable debian in the tutorial, as least not for the average users. I have updated the tutorial to download the deb files instead.

  3. Need some help guys!!! Was half way through installing and my system crashed. When I rebooted I didn’t get the splash screen (not really the problem) and my system started but I seemed to have lost my network drivers. I cant connect through my ethernet or wireless. I assumed this was related to the crash and not trying to change my splash screen. I tried again by booting through a different kernel. And my internet worked again and everything worked fine. I left it a day and tried to install splashy etc, rebooted and now my internet doesn’t work again. Any ideas why this is happening. My system isnt even showing that I have a ethernet connection when i run dmesg | grep eth. Any ideas or solutions??? I haven’t tried installing anything else or changing anything else btw.

  4. I get the following error:
    libsplashy1-dev: Depends: libsplashy1 (= 0.3.8-1) but 0.3.10-1 is to be installed

  5. @paul
    I had the same problem.I just removed the packages that Damien suggested we download and use and installed the ones in repositories

    sudo apt-get install splashy libsplashy

    From that point it just went smooth as butter.

  6. Hi friends, i downloaded the gsplashy and installed it successful..I also created a menu launcher as mentioned…But once i click that launcher…i get this error(It was so quick to go off.i had to take a screen shot to read it)

    (gsplashy:18592): libglade-Warning ** :Error Loading Image:Failed to open file “/usr/local/share/gsplashy/glade/gsplashy.svg”:No such file or directory

    (gsplashy:18592): libglade-Warning ** :Could not convert string to type’GdkPixbuf’ for property icon

    Can any one help

  7. i get this after i run make install.. so what i must to do?

    Making install in po
    make[1]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/po’
    if test -r “.././mkinstalldirs”; then
    .././mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share;
    else
    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share;
    fi
    if test “gsplashy” = “glib”; then
    if test -r “.././mkinstalldirs”; then
    .././mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po;
    else
    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po;
    fi;
    /usr/bin/install -c -m 644 ./Makefile.in.in
    /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po/Makefile.in.in;
    else
    : ;
    fi
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/po’
    Making install in src
    make[1]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make[2]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    test -z “/usr/local/sbin” || mkdir -p — “/usr/local/sbin”
    /bin/bash ../libtool –mode=install /usr/bin/install -c ‘gsplashy’ ‘/usr/local/sbin/gsplashy’
    /usr/bin/install -c gsplashy /usr/local/sbin/gsplashy
    /usr/bin/install: cannot create regular file `/usr/local/sbin/gsplashy’: Permission denied
    make[2]: *** [install-sbinPROGRAMS] Error 1
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make[1]: *** [install-am] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make: *** [install-recursive] Error 1

      • hi damien i cant install the gsplashy
        when i run this line i cant error

        $ sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build essential
        Reading package lists… Done
        Building dependency tree
        Reading state information… Done
        libglade2-dev is already the newest version.
        E: Couldn’t find package build

        so please help me

        advance thanks

  8. i get this after i run make install.. so what i must to do?

    Making install in po
    make[1]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/po’
    if test -r “.././mkinstalldirs”; then \
    .././mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share; \
    else \
    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share; \
    fi
    if test “gsplashy” = “glib”; then \
    if test -r “.././mkinstalldirs”; then \
    .././mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po; \
    else \
    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po; \
    fi; \
    /usr/bin/install -c -m 644 ./Makefile.in.in \
    /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/gettext/po/Makefile.in.in; \
    else \
    : ; \
    fi
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/po’
    Making install in src
    make[1]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make[2]: Entering directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    test -z “/usr/local/sbin” || mkdir -p — “/usr/local/sbin”
    /bin/bash ../libtool –mode=install /usr/bin/install -c ‘gsplashy’ ‘/usr/local/sbin/gsplashy’
    /usr/bin/install -c gsplashy /usr/local/sbin/gsplashy
    /usr/bin/install: cannot create regular file `/usr/local/sbin/gsplashy’: Permission denied
    make[2]: *** [install-sbinPROGRAMS] Error 1
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make[1]: *** [install-am] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/studiodartisan/Desktop/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make: *** [install-recursive] Error 1

  9. Hey,

    it is a pretty nice app. I have a Q.
    what if I want to change the textbox, I mean, I dont want ubuntu to appear in my text I would like to have customized text in my own boot logo. Thanks for everything.

    Jose

    • You can’t change the text, but you can change the grub screen to display your favorite image and set it not to display the progress bar and the textbox. In this way, the Ubuntu text should not be appearing on the screen

  10. I try “sudo make” but don’t work!! :(

    I get this:
    ………..
    make[2]: *** [functions.o] Error 1
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/luca/Scrivania/gsplashy-0.1/src’
    make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/luca/Scrivania/gsplashy-0.1′
    make: *** [all] Error 2

    Help….!=!=!

  11. hi frds i cant install gsplashy .
    when i run this line i have received this error message

    ~$ sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build essential

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    libglade2-dev is already the newest version.
    E: Couldn’t find package build

    so please help me

    Advance thanks

    • you have missed a ‘-‘ between the build and the essential. It should be

      sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build-essential

  12. hi damien but still i get error

    ~$ sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build-essential
    [sudo] password for gsp:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    libglade2-dev is already the newest version.
    build-essential is already the newest version.
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libsplashy1-dev: Depends: libsplashy1 (= 0.3.8-1) but 0.3.10-1 is to be installed
    E: Broken packages

  13. Hi damien i did this steps but i cant get the result so plz tell me the steps of install

    step 1: I download the libsplashy1_0.3.10-1_i386.deb and splashy_0.3.10-1_i386.deb

    Step 2: And extract this folder in my desktop

    Step3: sudo apt-get install splashy-themes

    ~$ sudo apt-get install splashy-themes

    Reading package lists… Done

    Building dependency tree

    Reading state information… Done

    splashy-themes is already the newest version.

    The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:

    libsysfs-dev libdirectfb-dev libjpeg62-dev

    Use ‘apt-get autoremove’ to remove them.

    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 248 not upgraded.

    Step4: And i download gsplashy

    Step5: sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build-essential

    :~$ sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev libsplashy1-dev build-essential

    Reading package lists… Done

    Building dependency tree

    Reading state information… Done

    libglade2-dev is already the newest version.

    build-essential is already the newest version.

    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have

    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable

    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created

    or been moved out of Incoming.

    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:

    libsplashy1-dev: Depends: libsplashy1 (= 0.3.8-1) but 0.3.10-1 is to be installed

    E: Broken packages

    Above the erroe are i got so pls tell me .

    My Target is i want Replace my logo picture in boot splashy screen.,

    • hey you can install all of these using synaptic package manager even splashy except gsplashy. its source is given. after installing all supporting package, you just need to compile and install gsplashy(just refer readme)

      but my problem is
      Splashy ERROR: Couldn’t splashy_start_splashy(). Error -2
      can anybody resolve the problem

  14. I am getting this error as well.
    Splashy ERROR: Couldn’t splashy_start_splashy(). Error -2

    In addition I am unable to create new themes. I copied the default theme and edited it manually. It gives the same error above as the default theme. What am I missing?

  15. checking for PACKAGE… configure: error: Package requirements (gtk+-2.0 libglade-2.0) were not met:

    No package ‘gtk+-2.0’ found
    No package ‘libglade-2.0’ found

    Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
    installed software in a non-standard prefix.

    Alternatively, you may set the environment variables PACKAGE_CFLAGS
    and PACKAGE_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
    See the pkg-config man page for more details

    ———————————————————-

    hello…this is what i get when i run ./configure in gsplashy-0.1 folder.

    thnaks fo advice

    • problem solved… i forgot to install libglade2-dev. I recommend to use synaptic to install these package by synaptic.

  16. your problem is that you are using higher version of libsplashy1 then you need. You must downgrade it. Use synaptic manager- find libsplashy1 and downgrade it(hold Ctr+E). You need the 0.3.8-1 version instead of 0.3.10-1. When its finished install libsplashy1-dev. It should definitely work :))

    btw. sometimes is useful to read text in terminal.

  17. Ok, so call me a tardo but for some reason when I go to the background tab after clicking “creating theme” I select one of the options such as “boot” and I go to the folder I keep all my pics in and I get nothing :(

    If I am missing something or just have the wrong file format for my pics, somebody please let me know, not sure wjat the file format needs to be though so that information would help as well please :P

  18. Oh and I for some reason even after trying to use the default one it shows I cannot get it to show I get an orange * thats says I need to add a line to the kernel something, srry short term memory loss, hope someone can help me

  19. (gsplashy:3110): libglade-WARNING **: Error loading image: Failed to open file ‘/usr/local/share/gsplashy/glade/gsplashy.svg’: No such file or directory

    (gsplashy:3110): libglade-WARNING **: could not convert string to type `GdkPixbuf’ for property `icon’
    >Set theme as: default [ DONE ]
    Run update-initramfs -u to update your initrd image

  20. user@user:sudo gsplashy
    (gsplashy:23846): libglade-WARNING **: Error loading image: Failed to open file ‘/usr/local/share/gsplashy/glade/gsplashy.svg’: No such file or directory
    (gsplashy:23846): libglade-WARNING **: could not convert string to type `GdkPixbuf’ for property `icon’
    Splashy ERROR: Cannot read XML File <>. Exiting…
    Splashy ERROR: Error occured while starting Splashy
    Make sure that you can read Splashy’s configuration file
    Segmentation fault (core dumped)

    Any idea?

  21. user@user: sudo gsplashy
    (gsplashy:23846): libglade-WARNING **: Error loading image: Failed to open file ‘/usr/local/share/gsplashy/glade/gsplashy.svg’: No such file or directory
    (gsplashy:23846): libglade-WARNING **: could not convert string to type `GdkPixbuf’ for property `icon’
    Splashy ERROR: Cannot read XML File <>. Exiting…
    Splashy ERROR: Error occured while starting Splashy
    Make sure that you can read Splashy’s configuration file
    Segmentation fault (core dumped)

    Any idea?

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