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Plymouth is a project from Fedora 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 (Kernel Mode Setting) to display graphics. If you can't use KMS (e.g. because you are using a proprietary driver) you will need to use framebuffer instead. In EFI/UEFI systems, plymouth can utilize the EFI framebuffer, otherwise Uvesafb is recommended as it can function with widescreen resolutions.

If you have neither KMS nor a framebuffer, Plymouth will fall back to text-mode.


Smooth transition


This method has been reported not working on some installations, don't enable it if you are not sure what are you doing and you don't know how to revert

With the revision sys-boot/plymouth-0.8.9_pre1-r3 sabayon ships extra login manager services that enables smooth transition this is to say that you can disable the tty flickering before the login screen.

For smooth transition to display manager you have to:

  1. Disable your Display Manager Unit, e.g. systemctl disable kdm.service
  2. Enable the respective DM-plymouth Unit (GDM, KDM, LXDM, SLiM units provided), e.g. systemctl enable kdm-plymouth.service

Changing the Theme

Plymouth comes with a selection of themes:

  1. Fade-in: "Simple theme that fades in and out with shimmering stars"
  2. Glow: "Corporate theme with pie chart boot progress followed by a glowing emerging logo"
  3. Solar: "Space theme with violent flaring blue star"
  4. Spinner: "Simple theme with a loading spinner"
  5. Spinfinity: "Simple theme that shows a rotating infinity sign in the center of the screen"
  6. (Text: "Text mode theme with tricolor progress bar")
  7. (Details: "Verbose fallback theme")

By default, sabayon-artwork-plymouth-default theme is selected. You can change the theme by editing /etc/plymouth/plymouthd.conf, for example:



You will also need to rebuild your initrd image every time you change your theme.

All currently installed themes can be listed by using this command:

$ plymouth-set-default-theme -l

or themes are stored in /usr/share/plymouth/themes

Themes can be previewed without rebuilding, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to change to console, log in as root and type:

# plymouthd
# plymouth --show-splash

To quit the preview, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 again and type:

# plymouth --quit

every time a theme is changed, the kernel image must be rebuilt, you can install genkernel-next and the kernel sources

Tips and tricks

  • During boot you can switch to kernel messages by pressing "Esc" key.
  • In case the system won't start properly, add the kernel boot parameter plymouth.enable=0 to start without Plymouth.
  • The kernel parameter dokeymap triggers a console prompt for the desired keyboard layout. This interferes with Plymouth and may cause the startup to hang (you'll see in the logs an entry like Failed to start Terminate Plymouth Boot Screen).

See also