Sunday 14 June 2009

Changing the Plymouth Theme in Fedora 11 Leonidas

Plymouth is the new graphical boot system introduced with the release of Fedora 10 Cambridge. It replaced the rhgb (RedHat Graphical Boot) with a snazzier boot screen that supported cool animations. The first version of Plymouth that shipped with Cambridge used a plugin system where each graphical boot animation had to be coded from scratch - something that did not encourage many people to create new boot screens. With the release of Fedora 11, Plymouth has also gone through a major change. It now supports "themes" instead of "plugins" - making it much easier for theme developers to focus on the graphical elements rather than raw coding.

Currently there are 4 Plymouth themes in the Fedora repositories.
  • Charge (Default theme in Leonidas)
  • Spinfinity (A throbber that moves in a path shaped like the infinity sign)
  • Solar (Default theme in Cambridge - the planet with exploding pulsars)
  • Fade-In (Fedora logo fading in and out in a star field)
To check out these themes, you need to download them first.

sudo yum install plymouth-utils "plymouth-theme-*"

After the themes are downloaded, install them as follows:
sudo plymouth-set-default-theme spinfinity
sudo /usr/libexec/plymouth/plymouth-update-initrd

Replace "spinfinity" above with the name of either one of the themes you would like to try out.

EDIT: You can list the installed themes by running the following command
plymouth-set-default-theme --list

Hopefully the new theme system will encourage people to come up with new and exciting themes for Fedora boot-up.