This article is licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 License and based on the article Changing Bootup Resolution (Plymouth) in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx by Naman Bagga.

Why would you want to change the bootup resolution? People are complaining that the ubuntu logo in the startup splash screen has turned large and ugly after installing ATI or Nvidia proprietary drivers. That is because the bootup resolution is too low. Other people might not be able to see the splash screen at all. In short, if you have any issue related to the splash screen not showing up properly, you are recommended to try this procedure.[^namanb]

In this procedure, I’ve assumed that your monitor supports a resolution of 1280x1024 and used this resolution in the steps. If you have an old monitor, it is possible that it might support a maximum resolution of 1024x768. You are free to try any resolution your monitor supports. If its a widescreen, you might want to try widescreen resolutions as well. Any resolution would work as long as your monitor supports it. And for those who think its not obvious, when I write 'run' it means you need to execute the command in a terminal.

Here’s how to change the bootup resolution and fix the big, low-res Plymouth logo.

Install v86d

First of all, run the following command in a terminal to install the v86d package.

sudo apt-get install v86d

Set the resolution for GRUB2 and Plymouth

Now you need to edit the resolutions in the GRUB2 files, so run gksu gedit /etc/default/grub and look for the line,

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

and replace it with (this will set the resolution for Plymouth),

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1280x1024-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap"

Then look for,

#GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480

and replace it with (this will set the resolution for the GRUB2 menu; the resolution you set here may differ from the resolution set for GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT),

GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024

Note that you need to remove the # from the beginning of the GRUB_GFXMODE line or else it will be commented out (disabled). Also, I repeat, you may use any resolution you wish to use in place of 1280x1024 as long as your monitor supports it. Sometimes you need to set a lower resolution for GRUB_GFXMODE because GRUB may not support the same resolutions as Plymouth (e.g. 1366x768 may work for Plymouth, but may not in GRUB2. In this case, set GRUB_GFXMODE to 1024x768 instead). Save the file and close the text editor.

Note: The GRUB_GFXMODE option configures the resolution of the GRUB 2 menu. Not all resolutions are supported for GRUB itself. If unsure of what resolutions are available to GRUB 2 they can be displayed by typing vbeinfo in the GRUB 2 command line. The command line is accessed by typing "c" when the main GRUB 2 menu screen is displayed.[^grub2-ubuntu]

Set initramfs module

Now you need to edit another file, so run gksu gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and add the following line at the end of the file,

uvesafb mode_option=1280x1024-24 mtrr=3 scroll=ywrap

Don’t forget you need to replace 1280x1024 by the resolution you set for Plymouth in the last step. Save the file and close the text editor.

Start Plymouth as a critical step

This next step is to fix the problem where X server starts before Plymouth, or a very short time after which results in no or brief splash. Read more about it in [bug #540801](https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/plymouth/+bug/540801). One "solution" for this is to use the initramfs and start Plymouth as a critical step (if you are not affected by this bug, you can skip this step):

gksu gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash

And paste,

FRAMEBUFFER=y

Save the new file and exit the editor.

Disable the vt.handoff=7 parameter

This step is for Ubuntu 11.04 or higher. Users of Ubuntu 10.04 and Ubuntu 10.10 can skip this step. In this step we remove the vt.handoff=7 parameter from the GRUB2 configuration. This parameter causes the kernel to maintain the current contents of video memory on virtual terminal 7 until the kernel is told to switch away from virtual terminal 7. When everything is working correctly, this provides a smoother boot process.[what-is-vt-handoff-7][paolobernardi] However, in the case of ATI or Nvidia proprietary drivers, this inhibits the Plymouth splash from showing up at all after applying the changes from the previous steps. So we can simply remove this parameter to solve this. To edit the GRUB configuration file, run: gksu gedit /etc/grub.d/10_linux

Look for the following line,

Ubuntu 11.04/11.10:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="$GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT vt.handoff=7"

Ubuntu 12.04:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="$GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT \$vt_handoff"

After removing the parameter it should look like this,

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="$GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT"

Save and exit.

Update the initramfs image

Now we need to update the initramfs image because we changed some configurations.

sudo update-initramfs -u

Update grub.cfg

To generate the updated grub.cfg file, run:

sudo update-grub2

Now reboot Ubuntu and you should see a much better looking, high resolution splash screen and GRUB menu. If you see nothing at all, it might be because your monitor does not support the resolution you set. Try a lower resolution in that case.

References

[^namanb]: [Changing Bootup Resolution (Plymouth) in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx](http://www.namanb.com/2010/05/changing-bootup-resolution-plymouth-in-ubuntu-10-04-lucid-lynx.html) [^grub2-ubuntu]: [Ubuntu Documentation: Grub2](https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2) [^what-is-vt-handoff-7]: [AskUbuntu.com: What is vt.handoff=7 parameter in grub.cfg](http://askubuntu.com/questions/32999/what-is-vt-handoff-7-parameter-in-grub-cfg) [^paolobernardi]: [Paolo Bernardi’s Weblog: Fix Plymouth on Ubuntu after installing NVIDIA or ATI proprietary drivers for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty](http://paolobernardi.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/fix-plymouth-on-ubuntu-after-installing-nvidia-or-ati-proprietary-drivers-for-ubuntu-11-04-natty/)