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How to change boot animation in Ubuntu?

If you are a Linux user, you might be familiar with the customisations it offers. Be it changing the icon pack or the operating system’s theme, nothing a Linux user cannot do. 

Apart from all these customisations, Linux lets its users change the boot-up animation of their system. So, if you are tired of seeing the same old boot animation on your Linux system, you can change it to make it look less monotonous. 

In the case of the most popular Linux distributions, Plymouth software renders the boot-up animation. This software was developed under the leadership of Ray Strode and was first included in Fedora 10, released in 2008. This software uses the direct rendering manager along with KMS drivers to create animations during the boot-up process. 

We will be using a machine running the Ubuntu distribution for this article; other distributions also have a similar process of changing the boot-up screen if they use the Plymouth software for the boot-up process. If that is not the case, you can install the Plymouth package on your system and change the boot-up animation. This guide works best for Ubuntu 20.04.

Also read: How to install pip in Ubuntu?


Changing the boot-up animation on your Ubuntu system 

Before starting the process of changing your boot animation, it is a good idea to check if Plymouth software is installed on your system. To do the same open the terminal on your system and run the following command on your system. 

sudo apt-cache policy plymouth 

Thereafter enter your system password to run the sudo command. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

If Plymouth software is installed on your system, the terminal will show the version of Plymouth software running on your system. If that is not the case, you can install it by running the following command.  

sudo apt-get install plymouth-x11 

Once you have installed Plymouth on your system, you can follow the steps given below to change the boot animation on your system. 

Step 1: Open the terminal on your system by searching for it after pressing the Windows key. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Enter the command sudo apt-get install plymouth-theme-* to install all the available themes on the official Plymouth repository.

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 3: After installing the themes, enter the command sudo update-alternatives –config default.plymouth to see all the themes installed on your system. Thereafter enter the number next to the theme you want to run during the boot-up process and press enter. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 4: Now restart your system to see the new boot-up animation on your system. 

The above-mentioned method uses the available themes on the official Plymouth repository, but you can install themes that independent developers create.  

Also read: How to change hostname in Ubuntu?


How to install themes from independent developers?

To install themes from independent developers follow the steps given below  

Step 1: Open the Gnome Plymouth page and select the theme of your liking.  

Step 2: Download the theme by clicking on the download button 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 3: Extract the downloaded file on your system  

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 4: Open the terminal at the extracted file location by right-clicking on it and selecting Open in Terminal

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 5: Enter the sudo ./install command to install the theme on your system 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 6: Enter the number next to the theme you want to run during the boot-up process and press enter. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

As independent developers develop these themes, not all of them have an installer. Hence the sudo ./install does not run on those files.

Also read: Linux Sudo command explained


How to install themes without installer?

To install themes without an installer, you can follow the steps given below. 

Step 1: Open the Gnome Plymouth page and select the theme of your liking.  

Step 2: Download the theme by clicking on the download button 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 3: Extract the file and copy the same 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 4: Open the terminal on your system by searching for it after pressing the Windows key. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 5: Enter the command sudo nautilus to open the filesystem on your machine with root privileges. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 6: Head to the following directory /usr/share/plymouth/themes and paste the extracted folder there. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 7: Open the command prompt and enter the command sudo update-alternatives –install /usr/share/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth default.plymouth /usr/share/plymouth/themes/”location of .plymouth file of extracted file” “priority number”

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology
This command links the default.plymouth file to the .plymouth file of the new theme so that it can be selected during the boot-up process.

Step 8: Enter the sudo update-alternatives –config default.plymouth command and select the filename of the newly installed theme by entering the number next to it 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology

Step 9: Enter the command sudo update-initramfs -u to update the theme on your system. You can now restart your system, and an all-new boot-up screen will greet you. 

How to change boot animation in Ubuntu? | Candid.Technology
This command updates the image in the RAM so that it can be loaded during the boot-up process

Also read: How to fix ‘wget command not found’ issue in Bash?

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