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Customizing Your GRUB Screen April 13, 2008

Posted by askgel in Installation, Linux, Software, System.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ever wanted to show your favorite image as your GRUB splash screen in Ubuntu something similar to other distros such as Fedora? Follow these steps:


  1. Get a picture and open it with GIMP.
  2. Go to Image>Mode>Indexed…
  3. Make the maximum no. of colors to 14. To do this, enter 14 in the box that shows the default value of 255.
  4. Click Convert
  5. Your image might not look that good, but GRUB screen can handle only 14 colors. If you don’t like the 14 color picture at all, try changing the color to grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale). Some pictures look great in grayscale than in 14 colors.
  6. Go to Image>Scale Image…
  7. Set the width as 640 pixels and height as 480 pixels. You might need to click on the Chain icon to be able to set the exact size.
  8. Click Scale
  9. You have to save the file as a X PixMap image. Go to File>Save As… In the save dialog box Click on Select File Size (By Extension). From the drop down menu, select X PixMap image (third option from bottom). Give a filename, Save and close GIMP.Make the archive of the image:
  10. R-click on the the file you have just saved and select Create Archive…
  11. Give a name (the default should be okay). Don’t forget the save the file type as .gz. From the extension menu select .gz.
  12. Click CreateCopy the archive file to /boot/grub/mygrubimages
  13. Those who know how to copy files using Terminal window can easily do that. For those who prefer graphical way of copying files should open the Run Dialog box (Alt+F2) and type:
    gksu nautilus /boot/grub/ and hit enter. If it asks for your password, give it.
  14. Create a new folder, name it mygrubimages (you can name it anything) and copy the archive file into it.
  15. Open /boot/grub/menu.lst. Again in the Run dialog box, type:
    gksu gedit /bott/grub/mnu.lst and hit enter. If it asks for password again then you know what to do – restart and use Windows Vista. It never nags you for doing any administrative tasks! 😉
  16. In the file that opens, add a following line:
  17. Save the file, restart your Ubuntu box, and get ready to be welcomed by your favorite picture



1. knobcottage - June 17, 2008

Nice one! You live and learn!
However, there is a slightly easier way… at least for a gui based noobie like me, which avoids all the command line stuff…well at least in Hardy. I used

startup-manager as it eventually appears in System>Adminisitration
startupmanager as it appears in the GUI version of Synaptic package manager

I installed it via the GUI Synaptic Package Manager. Worked real nice BUT I installed a standard JPG for the boot menu background, stop laughing!, Unable to use menu background …press any key to continue! I did press any key…it did continue. Got rid of the picture and chose different colours and the flashing option. All worked well. NOW I know how to make the proper sort of picture, I’ll get on it thanks!
( If only someone could tell me how to get the keyboard to print the letters I tell it when I use it in different applications I’d be happy! Shift-3 shows a GB pound sign but prints a # instead and the shift figures for key number 2 have been swapped etc! I CANT fix that through the GUI because it keeps changing back and VI does it that way by default!)

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