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Changing Bootup Resolution (Plymouth) in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

May 26, 2010 by Naman Bagga | Filed under Linux, Tech Talk.

I've written a post on adjusting the bootup resolution i.e. the resolution of the splash screen that shows up when you start Ubuntu. Lots of things have changed since then. GRUB2 has replaced GRUB as the default bootloader and Plymouth has replaced Usplash so although changing the bootup resolution has a similar procedure, its a bit more complicated with GRUB2 and Plymouth.

Why would you want to change the bootup resolution? People are complaining that the ubuntu logo in the startup splash screen has turned large and ugly after installing ATI or Nvidia propitiatory divers. That is because the bootup resolution is too low. Other people might not be able to see the splash screen at all. In short, if you have any issue related to the splash screen not showing up properly, you are recommended to try this procedure. This is what the splash screen would normally look like(click to view full size)-

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Splash Screen

Nice and Purple: The Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Splash Screen


Note- In this procedure, I've assumed that your monitor supports a resolution of 1280x1024 and used this resolution in the steps. If you have an old monitor, it is possible that it might support a maximum resolution of 1024x768. You are free to try any resolution your monitor supports. If its a widescreen, you might want to try widescreen resolutions as well. Any resolution would work as long as your monitor supports it. And for those who think its not obvious, when I write 'run ' it means you need to run it in a terminal.

Here's how to change the bootup resolution and fix the big, low-res Plymouth logo-

1. First of all, run sudo apt-get install v86d in a terminal to install the v86d package.

2. Now you need to edit the resolutions in the GRUB2 files so run sudo gedit /etc/default/grub and look for the line-

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

and replace it with-

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1280x1024-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap"

Then look for-

#GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480

and replace it with-

GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024

Note that you need to remove the # from the beginning of the GRUB_GFXMODE line else it will be commented out. Also, I repeat, you may use any resolution you wish to use in place of 1280x1024 as long as your monitor supports it. Save the file and close the text editor.

3. Now you need to edit another file, so run sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and add the following line at the end of the file-

uvesafb mode_option=1280x1024-24 mtrr=3 scroll=ywrap

Don't forget you need to replace 1280x1024 if you used some other resolution in the last step. Save the file and close the text editor.

4. Now run echo FRAMEBUFFER=y | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
You'll get FRAMEBUFFER=y as output.

5. Now run sudo update-grub2
This will generate the updated grub.cfg file.

6. The last step is generating the new splash screen. To do that, just run sudo update-initramfs -u

Now reboot Ubuntu and you should see a much better looking, high resolution splash screen and GRUB menu. If you see nothing at all, it might be because your monitor does not support the resolution you set. Try a lower resolution in that case.

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6 Responses to “Changing Bootup Resolution (Plymouth) in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx”

  1. Serrano says:

    Thanks for the article! I'm using the Nvidia propitiatory divers and after following the above steps I now have a high resolution (1366x768) plymouth screen. Nice!

  2. Eduardo says:

    Thanks for your article, it work!

  3. Romar says:

    Great tut. But may i know how to apply it to all kernel versions? i mean the high reso splash doesn't show when i boot on an older kernel(which i usually boot on to.)

  4. Anurag says:

    I did as u've said abut for 1024x786-24 and for me nothing is visible while booting and i directly land up on login screen.

    i used sudo hwinfo --framebuffer and got the following output

    02: None 00.0: 11001 VESA Framebuffer
    [Created at bios.464]
    Unique ID: rdCR.BCD4SQrtey2
    Hardware Class: framebuffer
    Model: "NVIDIA G86 Board - e416h01c"
    Vendor: "NVIDIA Corporation"
    Device: "G86 Board - e416h01c"
    SubVendor: "NVIDIA"
    SubDevice:
    Revision: "Chip Rev"
    Memory Size: 14 MB
    Memory Range: 0xcd000000-0xcddfffff (rw)
    Mode 0x0300: 640x400 (+640), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0301: 640x480 (+640), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0303: 800x600 (+800), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0305: 1024x768 (+1024), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0307: 1280x1024 (+1280), 8 bits
    Mode 0x030e: 320x200 (+640), 16 bits
    Mode 0x030f: 320x200 (+1280), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0311: 640x480 (+1280), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0312: 640x480 (+2560), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0314: 800x600 (+1600), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0315: 800x600 (+3200), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0317: 1024x768 (+2048), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0318: 1024x768 (+4096), 24 bits
    Mode 0x031a: 1280x1024 (+2560), 16 bits
    Mode 0x031b: 1280x1024 (+5120), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0330: 320x200 (+320), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0331: 320x400 (+320), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0332: 320x400 (+640), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0333: 320x400 (+1280), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0334: 320x240 (+320), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0335: 320x240 (+640), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0336: 320x240 (+1280), 24 bits
    Mode 0x033d: 640x400 (+1280), 16 bits
    Mode 0x033e: 640x400 (+2560), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0345: 1600x1200 (+1600), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0346: 1600x1200 (+3200), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0347: 1400x1050 (+1400), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0348: 1400x1050 (+2800), 16 bits
    Mode 0x0349: 1400x1050 (+5600), 24 bits
    Mode 0x034a: 1600x1200 (+6400), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0352: 2048x1536 (+8192), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0360: 1280x800 (+1280), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0361: 1280x800 (+5120), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0362: 768x480 (+768), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0364: 1440x900 (+1440), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0365: 1440x900 (+5760), 24 bits
    Mode 0x0368: 1680x1050 (+1680), 8 bits
    Mode 0x0369: 1680x1050 (+6720), 24 bits
    Mode 0x037c: 1920x1200 (+1920), 8 bits
    Mode 0x037d: 1920x1200 (+7680), 24 bits
    Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

    Please help me out..

  5. TommyP says:

    Great post, worked perfectly changing it to 1680x1050.

    Thanks very much :D

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