Change Ubuntu Bootsplash Theme
Actually, this guide is for all flavors of Ubuntu including Kubuntu, Xubuntu or Edubuntu and it will help you to easily change the boot splash of your operating system. I think you should know that this boot splash you see every time you start your Ubuntu OS is named Usplash and is a userspace bootsplash system. Usplash allows you to customize the progress bar, text, logo and the background of your boot splash.
You will need to install some development packages first, so open Synaptic and search for:
gcc libbogl-dev usplash-dev
and install them. Or, if you prefer the "geek" method, please open a console and type:
sudo apt-get install gcc libbogl-dev usplash-dev
You will also need the following tools:
SUM - Start-up Manager Usplash Switch (optional)
Get the deb packages and install them by simply right-clicking on each one, and then go to Kubuntu Package Menu -> Install Package (if you have Kubuntu). In Ubuntu, open a terminal and type:
sudo dpkg -i startupmanager_1.0.4-1_all.deb usplash-switcher_0.0.0svn20070519-1~getdeb1_i386.deb
Create the background:
This is actually the hard part of the whole process, because you must create a nice PNG image with maximum 256 colors. The resolution should be no higher than 800x600. Also, because some of the colors are used for special purposes, like drawing the text messages of the services that are started during the boot process, the color palette is restricted. The special palette entries are shown below:
0 Background color 0 Text background color
1 Progress bar color
2 Text foreground color (right)
4 Progress bar background color
8 Text foreground color (left)
13 Failure text color
For the creation of this PNG image, I suggest to use the latest development version of GIMP, as it will allow you to rearrange the palette with a nice included plugin, called 'Rearrange Colormap' (Colors -> Map -> Rearrange Colormap). Remember that you must use a different file format than PNG after you've used the 'Rearrange Colormap' plugin and then convert it back to PNG with another software, because the PNG plugin may rearrange the colormap.
Compile and install the new boot splash
Once you are done with the artwork, you must create a file with the .so extension. In order to achieve this you must open a console and type the following commands, but first create a folder called usplash, put the image you've just created and rename it to usplash-artwork.png.
pngtobogl usplash-artwork.png > usplash-artwork.c gcc -Os -g -I/usr/include/bogl -fPIC -c usplash-artwork.c -o usplash-artwork.ogcc -shared -Wl,-soname,usplash-artwork.so usplash-artwork.o -o yourimage-splash.so
Open the StartUp-Manager application (in Kubuntu you'll find it in KMenu -> System and in Ubuntu you can find in Applications -> System Tools), switch to second tab (Appearance) and hit the 'Manage usplash themes...' button, then click on Add and search for the folder where you've created the .so file. Open the .so file, click 'Close' and then select your own usplash theme from the drop-down menu above the 'Manage usplash themes...' button. Close the StartUp-Manager and wait a few seconds before the window disappears.
Optional, whenever you want to switch to another usplash theme, you can open the Usplash Switcher application, which will show you a preview of the installed usplash themes; just click on the desired one and then on the 'Switch' button.