Boot splash screen, was Disabling boot messages

Fbsd1 fbsd1 at
Thu Nov 13 06:49:19 PST 2008

Daniel Bye wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 06:40:29PM +0800, Fbsd1 wrote:
>> Running a release 7.0 Xorg / Gdm / Xfce Desktop world. Would like to go 
>> from powering on the PC directly to the Gdm login screen. Don't want the 
>> users seeing all those boot message roll by.
>> Can this be done?
> It can - see the FAQ:
> Dan

Thank you for the pointer to the boot splash screen. That was exactly 
what is was looking for. The documentation on activating the boot splash 
screen is not up to date. It was written for Freebsd 3.1 and seems to 
have bugs and undocumented functions.

The FAQ says;

FreeBSD have a feature to allow the display of “splash” screens during 
the boot messages. The splash screens currently must be a 256 color 
bitmap (*.BMP) or ZSoft PCX (*.PCX) file. In addition, they must have a 
resolution of 320x200 or less to work on standard VGA adapters. If you 
compile VESA support into your kernel, then you can use larger bitmaps 
up to 1024x768. The actual VESA support can either be compiled directly 
into the kernel with the VESA kernel config option or by loading the 
VESA kld module during bootup.

To use a splash screen, you need to modify the startup files that 
control the boot process for FreeBSD.

You need to create a /boot/loader.rc file that contains the following lines:

include /boot/loader.4th

and a /boot/loader.conf that contains the following:


This assumes you are using /boot/splash.bmp for your splash screen. If 
you would rather use a PCX file, copy it to /boot/splash.pcx, create a 
/boot/loader.rc as instructed above, and create a /boot/loader.conf that 


*********** end of faq

First the /boot/loader.rc already contains these statements

include /boot/loader.4th

So nothing needs to be done to it.

Secondly. /boot/loader.conf statements


are doing the same thing. you only need one or the other, not both.

Thirdly: If you move a 320x200 resolution image named the default name 
of splash.bmp to /boot and reboot the system you will get this error, 
module_ register_init: mod_load (splash_bmp) error 2
But if you rename that splash.bmp file to something like 
splash320x200.bmp and make your loader.conf look like this


you no longer get the  module_ register_init:  error 2 message at boot time and your splash 
image will show up centered on a white background screen. You still see the boot 
messages through boot options menu and the timed wait count down.

If you want a full screen splash image, the easiest way is to load vesa in the loader.conf


In both these cases you still see the boot massages through boot options menu and the 
timed wait count down. There are 2 another loader.conf options you may be interested in.

Loader_logo="beastie"  This will replace the default FREE BDS words next to the boot menu 
with the beastie logo like in releases in the past had.

beastie_disable="YES"  Will stop the boot options menu from being displayed. 
You will still get the timed wait count down.

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

Now for the undocumented behavior. 
First your boot splash screen becomes the system default screen saver. 

Secondly this new default screen saver cycles through steps of changing intensity of 
the image, from bright intensity to a very dark intensity. 

Adding a saver= option to /etc/rc.conf will disable the boot splash screen as the default
system screen saver and the saver= selection will be used.

This post is for the archives so others can benefit from finding this post in a search of
questions archives. Would also like to find out to get this info used to update the FAQ? 


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