When you first start Suse Linux, you're presented with a Grub splash screen menu that allows you to select between one or more boot options. If you're like me, you've got at least four; Windows XP, openSuse 10.2, floppy, and openSuse 10.2 failsafe. I like my menus clean and easy to read. The basic Suse boot screen is great for that. The problem with the openSuse 10.2 boot screen is somebody decided it would be cool to have the bland-but-clear blue Suse boot screen 'randomly' trade places with a considerably busier penguin-themed boot screen background, complete with running and tumbling penguins. Gee, thanks.
Below is the boring old Suse background, the one I actually want, especially for work.
Followed by the sooper-kool penguin-themed background, which I detest.
Because of my advanced age I no longer appreciate the finer points of geek humor, especially when I can't easily control when it pops up on my machine. It was with that motivation that I sought to eliminate the penguin background from every showing its ugly face on my machines. I got my first clue about how to remove it when I hit the Help (F1) key during the Grub boot phase and got this cryptic and cheeky clue:
Like it or hate it? Edit gfxboot.cfg in /boot/message to have it always or to get rid of it.I could tell immediately that the author of this little boot screen animation has gotten at least one criticism of his work. The problem with the rest of the message was no link on how to get to gfxboot.cfg in the message file. Ah, but figuring out those details, that's all part of geek fun!
After booting into Linux, I checked message's file type and discovered it was a cpio file. I copied it over into a working folder in my home directory and broke it open. What follows is a quick rundown of the steps (it's simple to unpack):
- cd ~
- mkdir Grub
- cd Grub
- cp /boot/message .
- mkdir msg
- cd msg
- cpio -iv < ../message
- vi gfxboot.cfg (and modify as indicated below)
- find | cpio -o > ../newmessage
# penguin theme likelihood in percent; -1 = autoI've already modified mine to not show it; that's why 'penguin' equals zero. I put the message file back together again with cpio, and then moved it back into /boot (as root), making a second backup of the old message file just-in-case (old geeks get paranoid with age).
I know what you're going to say. It's openSuse, it's the community version, and I probably won't see the penguin boot screen in the boxed shipping version (or at least I certainly hope not!). But considering all the really important problems that need to be fixed in any distribution, let alone openSuse, who in the hell thought it was necessary to even add this right up front in everybody's face? I hear complaints about not enough maintainers for this and that project (such as Gnome) and then this comes out. I think that's why the penguin splash screen bothers me so much. Too many want to play, not enough want to work.