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 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)
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.