Silent boot

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This page is for those who prefer to limit the verbosity of their system to a strict minimum, either for aesthetics or other reasons. Following this guide will remove all text from the bootup process. Video demonstration

Kernel parameters

Change the kernel parameters using the configuration options of your boot loader, to include the following parameters:

quiet vga=current

vga=current is the kernel argument that avoid weird behaviours like FS#32309.

If you are still getting messages printed to the console, it may be dmesg sending you what it thinks are important messages. You can change the level at which these messages will be printed by using quiet loglevel=<level>, where <level> is any number between 0 and 7, where 0 is the most critical, and 7 is debug levels of printing.

quiet loglevel=3 vga=current

Note that this only seems to work if both quiet and loglevel=<level> are both used, and they must be in that order (quiet first). The loglevel parameter will only change that which is printed to the console, the levels of dmesg itself will not be affected and will still be available through the journal as well as the dmesg command. For more information, see the Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt file of the linux-docs package.

If you also want to stop systemd from printing its version number when booting, you should also append udev.log-priority=3 to your kernel commandline (source). If systemd is used in an initramfs, append rd.udev.log-priority=3 instead.

If you are using the systemd hook in the initramfs, you may get systemd messages during initramfs initialization. You can pass rd.systemd.show_status=false to disable them, or rd.systemd.show_status=auto to only suppress successful messages (so in case of errors you can still see them). Actually, auto is already passed to systemd.show_status=auto when quiet is used, however for some motive sometimes systemd inside initramfs does not get it. Below is the parameters that you need to pass to your kernel to get a completely clean boot with systemd in your initramfs:

 quiet loglevel=3 rd.systemd.show_status=auto rd.udev.log-priority=3

Also touch ~/.hushlogin to remove the Last login message.

sysctl

To hide any kernel messages from the console, add or modify the kernel.printk line according to [1]:

/etc/sysctl.d/20-quiet-printk.conf
kernel.printk = 3 3 3 3

startx

To hide startx messages, you could redirect its output to /dev/null, in your .bash_profile like so:

Warning: As of Xorg 1.16 with rootless login, see Xorg#Broken redirection.
$ [[ $(fgconsole 2>/dev/null) == 1 ]] && exec startx -- vt1 &> /dev/null

Outstanding Issues:

  • Systemd shutdowns are not quiet - As of systemd v206, the quiet kernel command line parameter is now respected on shutdown, though it seems that if you use the shutdown hook of mkinitcpio, this function has not been set up to support that parameter.

fsck

To hide fsck messages during boot, let systemd check the root filesystem. For this, remove fsck from:

HOOKS=(...) 

in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and then run:

mkinitcpio -p linux

Now copy the files systemd-fsck-root.service and systemd-fsck@.service located at /usr/lib/systemd/system/ to /etc/systemd/system/ and edit them, configuring StandardOutput and StandardError like this:

(...)

[Service]
Type=oneshot
RemainAfterExit=yes
ExecStart=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd-fsck
StandardOutput=null
StandardError=journal+console
TimeoutSec=0

See this for more info on the options you can pass to systemd-fsck - you can change how often the service will check (or not) your filesystems.