ULS GRUB Splash, boot splash and loaders

I’ve been messing with this idea in my head for a while now. The artwork can probably be improved a lot, but considering that I only have 14 colors to work with for starters, and the fact that the kernel frame buffer can be a PITA to work with, I’m quite chuffed. Frankly: It took longer to get the flippen video uploaded and working than it took to do the work…

The Video
There is just no better way to illustrate this than with a video. Unfortunately I’m also not aware of tools to capture the entire boot sequence from grub actually loading through to the console, so I grabbed my (no longer so) trusted Nokia E52, threw it into video mode – fooled with some settings until the white balancing was OK and this is the result:

So firstly, white balancing sucks – sorry about that, secondly, holding a cam steady with your hands is … difficult to say the least. Also, camera seems to be quite fuzzy – live with it. Oh, did I mention I tried to use Youtube but it was an epic failure?

GRUB
The GRUB one was pretty simple. Had a nice image to work from (similar to the bootsplash one), and just had to move things around to make it fit around where GRUB puts it own text. All in all about an hour of actual work. Just a few notes for the die-hards who’s not willing to use other people’s stuff:

  • Image format has to be gzipped .xpm.
  • Image resolution has to be 640×480.
  • Image must be in indexed mode with no more than 14 colors.

I used GIMP for this purpose, and you can just use the image -> mode -> indexed and set to 14 colors, then save with an extension of .xpm and then gzip the file. Done.

Progress bar stuff

Honestly, spock did an excellent job of writing up about this. For me it pretty much just worked. To the point where it took longer to get the above video live on the net than it took me to create the ‘theme’ and making it live (including remembering how to make vesafb work again). Honestly, it just works. Again, just about any image format works. The easiest (which worked for me) is to copy an existing theme and to modify it.

Just follow the instructions on the Gentoo Wiki: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Fbsplash

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