[HOWTO] Change Ubuntu Pink/Purple Plymouth Boot screen to any color you like

I am using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and have been using the default theme for quite some time. I was bored with the default boot screen and decided to change it. If you don’t like the purple color of Ubuntu, you can easily change the Desktop theme and wallpaper, but the Pink/Purple Ubuntu Plymouth boot splash is a little difficult to get rid of. You can install other available boot splash by installing other packages, but I like the default boot screen, and just wanted to change its color. To do that, I just cloned the boot screen and made some changes so that it looks like the following.

Here is how I did it. Fire up the terminal and get ready.

Make a copy of the plymouth theme:

sudo cp -R /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink

Edit the name and location information:

sudo gedit /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/ubuntu-logo.plymouth

I changed the name to “Ubuntu Logo NonPink” and changed the location of ImageDir and ScriptFile so that it looks like the following:

[Plymouth Theme]
Name=Ubuntu Logo NonPink
Description=A theme that features a blank background with a logo.

Save the file and exit.

Edit the color in script:

sudo gedit /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/ubuntu-logo.script

Search for “Window.SetBackgroundTopColor” (without quotes) and change the 2 lines so that they look like the following:

Window.SetBackgroundTopColor (0.85, 0.85, 0.85);     # Nice colour on top of the screen fading to
Window.SetBackgroundBottomColor (0.75, 0.75, 0.75);  # an equally nice colour on the bottom

I have chosen these colors: #DADADA RGB: 217, 217, 217 and #C0C0C0 RGB: 192,192,192
You can choose any color you like. Find the RGB using gcolor2 (install this if you don’t have it installed) of the desired color and divide the RGB values with 256 to get the values to use.
Save the file and exit.

Edit the Ubuntu Logo and other images:
Install Gimp if you haven’t already done so and run the following:

 sudo gimp /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/ubuntu_logo.png

The white logo may not look good with the background above. You may change the color however you like. For my selection of background color, black would look great, so I just inverted colors (Colors>Invert).
Once done editing the image, save the file and quit Gimp.
Now, change the progress dots:

sudo gimp /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/progress_dot_on.png
sudo gimp /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/progress_dot_off.png

I just changed the mode to RGB (Image>Mode>RGB) and desaturated the image (Colors>Desaturate) and got nice gray dot for progress_dot_on. I made no changes to progress_dot_off.

Install the theme:
The theme is ready and can be installed using the following command:

sudo update-alternatives --install /lib/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth default.plymouth /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/ubuntu-logo.plymouth 100

Set the theme as default:
Once installed, it can be set as default using the command:

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth

The above command lists all the installed themes as shown:

There are 2 choices for the alternative default.plymouth (providing /lib/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth).
  Selection    Path                                                            Priority   Status
  0            /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo-nonpink/ubuntu-logo.plymouth    100       manual mode
* 1            /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo/ubuntu-logo.plymouth            100       manual mode
Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

Enter the number corresponding to the theme you want to use. In my case, it is “0”. So I entered 0 and pressed ENTER. In your case, it may be different.

Update Initial Boot Image
Now, you will need to run one more command to update the boot images and you are done.

sudo update-initramfs -u

Reboot and see the changed boot screen.

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  • acid

    that’s a nice tweaks.. is it also possible to change the boot text color especially the word with “[OK]” which is green just like in fedora..? could you show me how.. by the way i’m sorry bout my english….!

    • It may be possible. Could you find the theme directory and upload the theme and send the link to me? I will see.

      It is probably in /usr/share/plymouth/themes or /lib/plymouth/themes. Not sure how Fedora stores theme files.

  • Awesome. It worked in Lucid. I owe you. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this ever since Lucid came out. I’d searched half-a-dozen times before, but your tweak is pretty new. This time, on a lark, I put in Google “get rid of the fucking purple in plymouth ubuntu” (no quotes), but got nothing. I took the word “fucking” out and got your page. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I don’t have to suppress a gag reflex every time I boot Ubuntu.

    Your color selection was fine for me. The hardest thing about your instructions was figuring out where the saturation control is in Gimp. (You didn’t say.) It took me nearly as long to find it as to do all the rest of the instructions. I’d repeat it here for posterity, but Gimp is closed and I can’t remember now.

    Now I need to find the purple-puke login-screen splash and change that, and I’ll be entirely happy.
    > got

  • Jonathan

    Thank you so much man, i have been trying to change the default plymouth background to black cause my nvidia card can not do full 1900 on my monitor. Now it looks great :D.

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  • Subrotobasu

    Wow..great. But before trying I want to ask one question. I am using ubuntu 10.10 with burg2 installed with all those fancy boot menu themes. Will I still be able to use these instructions to change my default plymouth background color to complete black without messing up with my burg2 & its settings.

    • of course.

      • Subrotobasu

        Thanks again. I worked. Your guide is a brahamastra for ugly plymouths. Cheers

      • Subrotobasu

        Thanks again. I worked. Your guide is a brahamastra for ugly plymouths. Cheers

  • ello, gret tutorial..I was like building a custom Distro. I would like to know how to change the default text “ubuntu” to some animated text like the fedora plymouth” ?

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