Plymouth text version

lukefromdc at lukefromdc at
Mon Nov 12 18:28:41 UTC 2012

The long blank screen is because of plymouth not loading when the initramfs loads. This was an intentional decision by Ubuntu to avoid slowing down the boot process by including the necessary video modules, a font , etc in the initramfs. This is for actual installs, not for the installer itself, which loads plymouth early. The simplest way to duplicate this in an installed system is to install cryptsetup. This forces "framebuffer=y" on the initramfs and forces the necessary changes to run plymouth as soon as the kernel switches video modes. All that is to pretty up the password entry interface for users of encrypted systems, like all of mine.

In short, there are two cases where plymouth actually works right: live installers and machines with cryptsetup installed, with or without any encrypted partitions. 

I remember reading that Ubuntu had planned to get default installs beginning with 12.04 to boot without using an initramfs at all, but people stopped talking about that and I do not know how or if that ever panned out, given all my installs are encrypted and thus this would not be tested.

On 11/12/2012 at 12:48 PM, "Len Ovens" <len at> wrote:
>Well, this has turned into a mess. It started with a simple 
>Should our text version of plymouth be versioned.
>The answers have been everywhere from get rid of plymouth, use 
>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 
>something is happening, after install it almost looks broken. I 
>have a
>slower machine than most and yet even still plymouth just barely 
>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 
>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 
>as with last cycle, so easy maintenance is important. The graphic 
>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 
>from the text version of plymouth.
>So for these reasons I think both versions of plymouth should be 
>I am not sure what to do about the long blank screen before that, 
>there are things we could do as another poster has pointed out.
>There are other issues with plymouth BTW. Let me relate my 
> - 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 
> - 12.10 - The Live ISO gives me the graphic version but at lower 
>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, 
>goes off... my monitor reports no video signal till lightdm comes 
>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 
>this is an installer problem of some sort. I should try a vanilla 
>What we may wish to do is to make sure even the graphic version is 
>Len Ovens
>Ubuntu-Studio-devel mailing list
>Ubuntu-Studio-devel at
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