Jazz Up Your Debian System Boot #8
Chapter 1, Booting Linux
Use your favorite editor to modify your /etc/apt/sources.list file to include the
following line:
deb http://www.bootsplash.de/files/debian unstable main
Then update the package database and install the necessary files:
# apt-get update
# apt-get install sysv-rc-bootsplash
# apt-get install bootsplash bootsplash-theme-newlinux
If you are running a Debian-based distribution instead of
true-blue Debian, you will probably have problems install-
ing these packages. You must convert your Debian-based
distribution into a true Debian system for these instructions
to work. This process isn’t difficult, but it is different for
each Debian-based product, and an explanation of the neces-
sary steps is beyond the scope of this book.
When Debian installs the bootsplash package, the installation dialog pre-
sents a list of existing initrd images it finds, and it asks you to make a choice
about your initrd file. If you created an initrd file called initrd.img-,as
in the previous example, select that file from the list. In this case, the instal-
lation program will append the boot splash information to your existing
initrd file.
If you do not have or need an initrd file for this kernel, select
none from the
list. In this latter case, the configuration program creates an initrd file for
you called initrd.splash.
Set Up Your Bootloader
Most people use either LILO or GRUB as their bootloaders, so let’s take a
look at both. But first, you must decide what screen resolution and color
depth you want for your frame-buffer consoles. The bootloader uses a com-
mand something like the following:
The decimal number 791 sets the console to 1024x768 with 64,000 colors.
This is usually the safest number to use (not all video cards support all com-
binations of resolutions and color depths). You can experiment with others.
Table 1-1 shows you which numbers represent the various resolutions and
color depths.
Chapter 1, Booting Linux
#8 Jazz Up Your Debian System Boot
The LILO bootloader is controlled by the settings in the /etc/lilo.conf file.
These settings determine which operating system or kernel version your
machine boots with, and which configuration options are passed to Linux at
boot time.
Here is a sample entry in the /etc/lilo.conf file that supports the boot splash
and frame-buffer console. Notice the line that sets the
vga mode to the deci-
mal number
791. This number specifically refers to the frame-buffer console
resolution 1024x768 at 16-bit (64,000 colors) color depth (see Table 1-1).
The line
append="splash=silent" tells the boot splash sequence not to show
all the steps Linux takes during boot time. Instead, you will see a progress
bar. If you would rather see all the boot information, change that line to
append="splash=verbose". If you choose "splash=silent", you can still press
the F2 key during the boot process to switch to verbose mode. However,
once you press F2 to switch to verbose mode, you cannot switch back to
silent mode.
If you have an initrd image, such as initrd.img-, set up your LILO
entry like this (substitute your kernel version where appropriate):
If you do not have an initrd image and you selected none during boot splash
configuration, set up your LILO entry more like this (substitute your kernel
version where appropriate):
Whenever you modify your /etc/lilo.conf file, you must run the command
lilo for the changes to take effect.
Table 1-1. Frame-buffer decimal codes
Color depth 640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
8-bit 769 771 773 775
15-bit 784 787 790 793
16-bit 785 788 791 794
24-bit 786 789 792 795

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