Plymouth is a project from Fedora and now listed among the freedesktop.org's official resources providing a flicker-free graphical boot process. It relies on kernel mode setting (KMS) to set the native resolution of the display as early as possible, then provides an eye-candy splash screen leading all the way up to the login manager.
Plymouth primarily uses KMS to display graphics, but on UEFI systems it can utilize the EFI framebuffer.
If you cannot use KMS, e.g. because you are using a proprietary driver, or if you do not want to use the EFI framebuffer, consider using Uvesafb as it works with widescreen resolutions. If you have neither KMS nor a framebuffer, Plymouth will fall back to text-mode.
Plymouth is available with the stable package. For the development version, use AUR.
By default, Plymouth logs the boot messages into
/var/log/boot.log, and does not show the graphical splash screen.
- If you want to see the splash screen, append
splashto the kernel parameters.
- If you want silent boot, append
- If you want to disable the logging, append
To start Plymouth on early boot, you must configure your initramfs generator to create images including Plymouth.
plymouth to the
HOOKS array in mkinitcpio.conf.
HOOKS=(... plymouth ...)
After installing Plymouth, dracut will automatically detect it and add it to your initramfs images. If autodetection fails, you can force dracut to include Plymouth by adding the following line to your dracut configuration:
add_dracutmodules+=" plymouth "
Plymouth can be configured in file
/etc/plymouth/plymouthd.conf. You can see the default values in
Changing the theme
Plymouth comes with a selection of themes:
- BGRT: A variation of Spinner that keeps the OEM logo if available (BGRT stands for Boot Graphics Resource Table)
- Fade-in: "Simple theme that fades in and out with shimmering stars"
- Glow: "Corporate theme with pie chart boot progress followed by a glowing emerging logo"
- Script: "Script example plugin" (Despite the description seems to be a quite nice Arch logo theme)
- Solar: "Space theme with violent flaring blue star"
- Spinner: "Simple theme with a loading spinner"
- Spinfinity: "Simple theme that shows a rotating infinity sign in the center of the screen"
- Tribar: "Text mode theme with tricolor progress bar"
- (Text: "Text mode theme with tricolor progress bar")
- (Details: "Verbose fallback theme")
By default, the bgrt theme is selected. The theme can be changed editing the configuration file, for example:
or by this command:
# plymouth-set-default-theme -R theme
Every time a theme is changed, the
initrd must be rebuilt. The
-R option ensures that it is rebuilt (otherwise regenerate the initramfs manually).
Install new themes
All currently installed themes can be listed by using this command:
$ plymouth-set-default-theme -l
$ ls /usr/share/plymouth/themes
bgrt details fade-in glow script solar spinfinity spinner text tribar
Plymouth has a configuration option to delay the splash screen:
On systems that boot quickly, you may only see a flicker of your splash theme before your DM or login prompt is ready. You can set
ShowDelay to an interval (in seconds) longer than your boot time to prevent this flicker and only show a blank screen. The default is 0 seconds, so you should not need to change this to a different value to see your splash earlier during boot.
Edit the configuration file:
and rebuild the initrd.
Tips and tricks
Show boot messages
During boot you can switch to boot messages by pressing the
GDM supports smooth transition out of the box.
For other display managers you can get a nearly smooth transition with the following drop-in snippet for
[Unit] Conflicts=plymouth-quit.service After=plymouth-quit.service rc-local.service plymouth-start.service systemd-user-sessions.service OnFailure=plymouth-quit.service [Service] ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/plymouth deactivate ExecStartPost=-/usr/bin/sleep 30 ExecStartPost=-/usr/bin/plymouth quit --retain-splash
Themes can be previewed without rebuilding initrd, press
Ctrl+Alt+F6 to switch to a text terminal, log in as root and type:
# plymouthd # plymouth --show-splash
To quit the preview, press
Ctrl+Alt+F6 again and type:
# plymouth --quit
Change background image
You can add a background image for two-step-based themes (such as spinner and bgrt). Just place your desired image into
/usr/share/plymouth/themes/spinner/background-tile.png. Do not forget to regenerate the initrd once the theme changed.
Missing BGRT image
In case you are using the BGRT theme but the UEFI does not provide a vendor logo, you can place a fallback image into
/usr/share/plymouth/themes/spinner/bgrt-fallback.png to show it instead.
Alternatively, set the following to keep the firmware background:
Slow down boot to show the full animation
On systems with a very fast boot time, it might be necessary to add a delay to
plymouth-quit.service with a drop-in snippet containing
ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/sleep 5 if showing the whole animation is desired. See this reddit post.
Alternatively, it is possible to use a new systemd service starting at the same time as plymouth and waiting the whole duration needed for the animation. This method will ensure that inconsistencies in the boot time will not be perceived, as it is not time added after the animation but a delay running 'during the animation.
[Unit] Description=Waits for Plymouth animation to finish Before=plymouth-quit.service display-manager.service [Service] Type=oneshot ExecStart=/usr/bin/sleep duration_of_your_animation [Install] WantedBy=plymouth-start.service
Then enable the service.
Disable with kernel parameters
If you experience problems during boot, you can temporary disable Plymouth with the following kernel parameters:
To write debug output into
/var/log/plymouth-debug.log, add the following kernel parameter:
Password prompt does not update
systemd instead of
udev hooks in Mkinitcpio, the password prompt may not update on themes that handle it via Plymouth scripting.
You can try switching to development version Mkinitcpio#Common hooks.AUR or using substitutes from
Display is not centered
Certain themes may have trouble centering the display when there is more than one monitor enabled during boot.
You can use Kernel mode setting#Forcing modes to disable specific monitors.