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aus9 03-07-2008 11:09 PM

Grub Splashimage Howto ........with new dowloadable files
Grub Splashimage howto

New introduction

Most newer distros use gfxmenu which is post (2).

I have had to change my online storage server. Please view any links with popups disabled and do not click on any link saying you are a winner etc.
On the left hand side you should see a download button to download the original file. If its a jpg link takes you to a thumbnail...the size of your palm not your thumb...and you can choose to click on download or click the larger tabs.

The old howto...2004 did not name my actual source of the stage2 grub file, so I had to re-discover it. Read my signature if you do not understand GRUB. Do at your own risk. I suggest attempting this for those confident of using either a live cd or install cd in rescue mode....or have partimage backups. If you have no live is the time to download one.

I recommend SystemRescue CD which has just gone version 1.0 and the bonus, is the source of my stage 2 file.
Francois du Poux has given me permission to host the stage2 file without having to host the source, in the spirit of GPL, I would like to thank him for this gracious favour. The cd iso is about 180 Megs.

Howto to tell if your current grub supports splashimage.

It is possible you already have it. Ways are:
1) reboot...get to grub menu....Press C for commands and then press the TAB key. If splashimage is a listed command, you are good to go.

2) open a shell and

grep "splashimage" /boot/grub/stage2
no support....prompt displays nothing.
support display changes to this output

Binary file stage2 matches

Updating your stage2 file and menu.lst....... and
optional d/load a working splashimage file

Assume most actions are with root powers except internet ones. Commands for imagemagick commands....use US spelling of colour as color, but I am aussie so use both.

cd /boot/grub
mv memu.lst menu.original
mv stage2 stage2.original

Download stage2 and the optional splashimage file.

Copy or move it or them to /boot/grub

Edit your menu.original and delete any lines that have gfxmenu. Do not overwrite this menu.original file.
You may also have to take care if you have foreground or background options but you will discover that yourself.

Add a line at the top by copy and paste
splashimage (hd0,0)/boot/grub/(insert name of image).xpm.gz

if you d/loaded the test file change to
splashimage (hd0,0)/boot/grub/splashimage.xpm.gz

Please please please make sure you are using a timer conjuction with the default command..... so if the graphics are awry, you might still boot past kernel.

add lines at top of menu boots first title in menu after 5 seconds if no ESCape, enter or arrow key pressed
timeout 5
default 0

Then save file as menu.lst

Note....You can also use splashimage= instead of splashimage(space)

Read my signature if your /boot is NOT a sub-folder to / ...meaning its a partition and / is not on first partition of first drive or if you do not understand other grub if hda1 = /boot and hda5 = / then its
splashimage (hd0,0)/grub/(insert name of image).xpm.gz

Altho I found I did not need to re-embed.....I prefer you do.

root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)

Howto make your own.

Assume commands are NOT root powers except the edit, or adding of any file in /boot

You can design an image in Gimp if you have the skill? Generally speaking, if your intended image needs delicate detail to be "viewable...not ugly" then you have the wrong image selected. Scenery of large objects are good, as the degraded image to 14 colours is still acceptable. Ditto if you design your own graphics, choose fewer objects and make them large.

Lets look at converting a jpeg to downgrade to a xpm to a gunzip in stages.

Import or d/load a could be a different format as well.

Optional.... run command identify (filename).(imagetype) to get info
[gordy@gs rawimages]$ identify photo.jpg
(example only) photo.jpg JPEG 329x281 329x281+0+0 DirectClass 8-bit 9.90625kb

Being 8 bit as my raw file....this is already degraded and still nice enough in viewing. A good start.

Convert it to xpm with the following conditions:
[gordy@gs rawimages]$convert photo.jpg -resize 640x480 -colors 14 -depth 16 -normalize -verbose photo1.xpm

Here is example, after conversion
[gordy@gs Documents]$ identify aus9.xpm
aus9.xpm XPM 640x480 640x480+0+0 PseudoClass 14c 16-bit 302.137kb
14c = 14 colours....16bit is not as good as 24 or 32 bit....but better than 8 bit. One of the other things to note is, the original size of the xpm can be large like this 300 kb file...but after gzip it became 28 kb, which is a strong indicator it will work.

Lets repeat that....numbers do matter.
If original xpm file is less than 500 Kb and gz file is less than 50 have the makings of a good splashimage.

Tip.... I like to re-number my images so IN file was (file) and OUTPUT is (file1).

Before you gunzip it, edit it with Gimp if you think it needs it. No instructions from me. Gimp has help files.The main reason for using Gimp is to clean up....the background distortions to photos. Obviously you can use zoom to change eye colour and other features but I am not a guru in that area.

Gunzip it
[gordy@gs rawimages]$gzip photo1.xpm

You now have a photo.xpm.gz (splashimage) file

Use root powers to move/copy your file into /boot/grub and edit the menu to point to your new file.

Optional Tips....they may not work???

tip 1
My monitor is capable of telling me, each resolution it is displaying at each stage of the bootup so at grub at menu screen, mine does 640 x 480 but you may have a better one so if yours differs, please adjust your conversion command.

tip 2
Good quality in....must be low quality out. So choose basic images that you believe will not suffer from further degradation. So unlike the normal take unzoomed photos....or find NO detail images...or create BASIC images rather than high quality images....its the opposite of what you expect. Some photos are improved by degradation, but generally any high quality photo of a famous person is doomed to go bad under conversion. Cartoons work well. Designed graphics work generally do not.

tip 3
If your colours go ape, try adjusting the convert command to even less colours or depth. If still bad, choose a uglier raw image....even more basic.

tip 4
Do not confuse...your file manager decompressing your current project....xpm.gz file....that looks just fine...remember you have a xorg or other video card resolution working for will only see the true effect on reboot.

If you have an emulator, you could do your testing in there.

tip 6
You are likely to be too ambitious because you forgot tip 2. the raw jpeg or whatever file on your desktop.....and resize its tiny....and take a snapshot of that area of the screen and save as a png file. Now check the size of that file....size does matter....heh heh...your aim is to get to less than 100 Kilos as a png file. So the conversion to xpm is no more than 300 kilos and the gunzipping is less than 50 kilos.

You may need to take a snap of a snap etc until you have degraded it enough.

Remember you want kinda of ugly in and hope there is not too much degradation out. The uglier in, the more basic in....the better the chance you will succeed.

I am not a graphics guru so post your issues with graphics in another forum or search for tips on conversion.

good luck.

aus9 03-23-2008 06:27 AM

Grub gfxmenu WIKI
This post as been replaced by a new wiki I have here


Wiki has images, downloaded Iso files etc

aus9 03-24-2008 08:37 AM

now irrelevant..replaced by wiki

aus9 03-28-2008 07:15 AM

now irrelevant..replaced by wiki

aus9 03-28-2008 07:24 AM

now irrelevant..replaced by wiki

JZL240I-U 10-19-2010 03:23 AM

Hi aus9, the link to the Sidux wiki is invalid i.e. no entry for gfxmenu found. Can you provide the new location of the information?

aus9 10-20-2010 03:49 AM



JZL240I-U 10-20-2010 04:02 AM

Thanks a lot. Btw. the SuSE link at the bottom is dead.

aus9 10-21-2010 08:09 AM


so is sidux wiki so no I wont be updating it.

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