Plymouth text version

Len Ovens len at
Mon Nov 12 17:48:01 UTC 2012

Well, this has turned into a mess. It started with a simple question.
Should our text version of plymouth be versioned.

The answers have been everywhere from get rid of plymouth, use vanilla,
versioned, not. All of this for a screen that does nothing but look good
for a very short time. Certainly there has been no consensus.

I think there have been three people who have suggested the graphic
version and the text version should offer the same information. That is,
if one says Ubuntu Studio, the other should too. If one is versioned the
other should be as well. In the end the maintenance for the graphic
version is much higher than for the text version.

Personally I have noticed that while the presentation of plymouth on the
live ISO is very nice and serves a good purpose by letting people know
something is happening, after install it almost looks broken. I have a
slower machine than most and yet even still plymouth just barely has
enough time to start before it stops. the wheel effect lasts for about 1/4
turn and then stops then lightdm shows up. Most of my boot time wise has a
blank screen before plymouth starts. So the ISO and installed cases are
not the same. Also testing and installed are not the same use.

In the end, Ubuntu is about user experience, not tester convenience.

As such, I do not think the vanilla text version is good enough  :) It
looks out of place to me. Something that has not been taken care of. There
are going to be cycles where there are very few people working on Studio
as with last cycle, so easy maintenance is important. The graphic version
does not have a version and because of the maintenance required there may
not be someone in any given cycle who feels confident to put a version in
there. These are the reasons I originally suggested removing the version
from the text version of plymouth.

So for these reasons I think both versions of plymouth should be unversioned.

I am not sure what to do about the long blank screen before that, but
there are things we could do as another poster has pointed out.

There are other issues with plymouth BTW. Let me relate my experience:

 - 12.04LTS - The ISO live gives me the text version of plymouth
 - 12.04LTS - after install at the point where plymouth would start, video
goes off... my monitor reports no video signal till lightdm comes up.
 - 12.10 - The Live ISO gives me the graphic version but at lower colour
depth. the colours are correct in the center but the outer regions of the
screen look like colour noise.
 - 12.10 - after install at the point where plymouth would start, video
goes off... my monitor reports no video signal till lightdm comes up.

So, X works fine with 24bit colour, but the driver that plymouth uses does
not (for this system). The ISO boot must use something different that what
we install. I am not sure what the solution is for this. I would guess
this is an installer problem of some sort. I should try a vanilla install.

What we may wish to do is to make sure even the graphic version is 16bit

Len Ovens

More information about the Ubuntu-Studio-devel mailing list