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

Syslinux and Systemd

The kernel section in /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg should look something like:

APPEND root=/dev/sda1 rw 5 init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd quiet vga=current

vga=current is the kernel argument that avoid weird behaviours like grey flash.

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. 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.

Configure your systemd getty service as described upon Automatic login to virtual console.

$ grep Exec /etc/systemd/system/autologin\@.service
ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty -n -i -a YOUR_USERNAME %I

To remove lastlog message you need to comment out lastlog in /etc/pam.d/login:

#session                optional

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

To hide any kernel messages from the console add or modify the kernel.printk line like the following:

 kernel.printk = 3 3 3 3

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.

GRUB and systemd

For a silent boot using grub, let systemd check the root filesystem. For this, remove fsck from:


in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and then run:

mkinitcpio -p linux

Then, edit /etc/default/grub and set:


then run:

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

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:



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.