Arch Linux: Silent Boot

7/01/2019

After configuring my laptop to boot via EFISTUB, I next wanted to configure my laptop to "silent boot".

Without Silent Boot

With my Lenovo Thinkpad with Arch Linux, a standard boot first starts with a black screen with the Lenovo logo in the center. This is held for something like six seconds. Next, the screen is "blanked" (cleared), replaced with a black screen with white/multicolored text output. The OS then prints boot information as the system starts up. This information flies by briefly, printing which services have started and failed to start. Finally, the screen turns black, the mouse cursor appears, and the login screen spawns.

With Silent Boot

The intent behind silent boot is simple: to configure the system to hold the initial vendor logo (in this case, Lenovo) as long as possible before spawning the login screen. This produces a much more professional result, akin to what Windows users experience when booting their machines: the machine starts, displays the vendor logo, then the login screen.

Configuring Silent Boot

While the goal for silent boot is relatively straitforward, the configuration is not. Successfully configuring silent boot is not any one setting or configuration. Rather, it is an idea or goal. The actual settings to achieve silent boot vary widely from machine to machine, and mostly involve setting kernel parameters at boot and modifying the initramfs.

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