updateing splash screen faq

joeb joeb at a1poweruser.com
Fri Nov 14 08:07:02 UTC 2008

Would like to update this FAQ.


The current FAQ documentation on activating the boot splash screen is not up
to date. It was written for FreeBSD 3.1 and is missing some undocumented

Change the FAQ to say;

FreeBSD has a feature to allow the display of a "splash screen" in place of
seeing the boot messages rolling by. This makes for a visually cleaner
experience getting to the Xorg Desktop Display Manager logon screen and/or
virtual console logon prompt.

The "splash screen" function only supports 256 color bitmap (*.bmp) or ZSoft
PCX (*.pcx) files. In addition, the splash image files must have a
resolution of 320x200 or less to work because that is the default video
support FreeBSD provides during the boot process. Your 320x200 "splash
screen" image will be displayed as a small block in the center of a solid
white background screen.

If you want support for larger video resolutions up to the max of your video
card you have to add VESA support by loading the VESA module during system
boot. VESA support gives you the ability to display a "splash screen" image
that fills the whole display screen.

While the "splash screen" is being displayed during the booting process you
can hit any keyboard key to return to the boot message display.

The "splash screen" defaults to becoming your screen saver. After a time
period of non-use your screen will change to the "splash screen" and cycles
through steps of changing intensity of the image, from bright intensity to a
very dark intensity and over again. You can override this default "splash
screen" (screen saver) behavior by adding the saver= option (screen saver)
statement in /etc/rc.conf. The saver= option has several built-in screen
savers to choose from. Such as saver="warp". This default  "splash screen"
screen saver and /etc/rc.conf,  saver= option screen saver only applies to
virtual consoles. It has no effect on Xorg desktop display managers.

At boot time you still see a few boot messages leading up to and including
the boot options menu and the timed wait count down prompt before the
"splash screen" is displayed.

For default boot display resolution (256 color, 320x200 or less);
Your "splash screen" (*.bmp) or (*.pcx) file has to be placed in the /boot
Edit /boot/loader.conf so it contains the following:

bitmap_name="/boot/splash.bmp"  or

For larger video resolutions up to the max of your video card;
Your "splash screen" (*.bmp) or (*.pcx) file has to be placed in the /boot
Edit /boot/loader.conf so it contains the following:

bitmap_name="/boot/splash.bmp"  or

You are not restricted to using "splash" as the file name. You can name it
anything you want as long as it's a .bmp or .pcx file type. Such as

There are 2 another loader.conf options you may be interested in.

This will replace the default words "FREE BDS" which are displayed to the
right of the boot menu with the colored beastie logo like releases in the
past had.

Will stop the boot options menu from being displayed.
You will still get the timed wait count down prompt.

Now all you need is a splash screen. For that you can surf on over to the
gallery at http://www.baldwin.cx/splash/.

More information about the freebsd-doc mailing list