FreeBSD Splash Screens

Contents


Introduction

Just prior to the release of FreeBSD 3.1, a new feature was added 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. Note that VESA support requires the VM86 kernel option to be compiled into the kernel. 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.


Configuring Your Machine to Display a Splash Screen

To use a splash screen, you need to modify the startup files that control the boot process for FreeBSD. The files for this changed prior to the release of FreeBSD 3.2, so there are now two ways of loading a splash screen:

  1. FreeBSD 3.1

    The first step is to find a bitmap version of your splash screen. Release 3.1 only supports Windows bitmap splash screens. Once you've found your splash screen of choice copy it to /boot/splash.bmp. Next, you need to have a /boot/loader.rc file that contains the following lines:

    load kernel
    load -t splash_image_data /boot/splash.bmp
    load splash_bmp
    autoboot
  2. FreeBSD 3.2+

    In addition to adding support for PCX splash screens, FreeBSD 3.2 includes a nicer way of configuring the boot process. If you wish, you can use the method listed above for FreeBSD 3.1. If you do and you want to use PCX, replace splash_bmp with splash_pcx. If, on the other hand, you want to use the newer boot configuration, you need to create a /boot/loader.rc file that contains the following lines:

    include /boot/loader.4th
    start

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

    splash_bmp_load="YES"
    bitmap_load="YES"

    This assumes you are using /boot/splash.bmp for your splash screen. If you'd 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 contains:

    splash_pcx_load="YES"
    bitmap_load="YES"
    bitmap_name="/boot/splash.pcx"

Miscellaneous Information About Splash Screens

Taken from the original splash screen documentation by Kazutaka YOKOTA < yokota@FreeBSD.ORG>, the author of the BMP splash screen loader:


Splash Screen Mini-FAQ

Q:

I loaded the kernel, a bitmap file and the splash_bmp module as instructed, but got the following error. What gives?

Preloaded elf module "splash_bmp.ko" at XXXXXX.
module_register_init: module_register(splash_bmp, YYYYYY, 0) error 19
A:

The current version of splash_bmp.ko is very limited. The color depth must be 8 bpp (256 color), and the size must be 320x200 or smaller if the VESA support is not included in the kernel. If your BMP file doesn't satisfy these conditions, splash_bmp.ko will return error 19 (ENODEV). If the VESA support is compiled into the kernel or the VESA module is preloaded by the boot loader, a larger bitmap may be used.

A:

Your video card may not support a video mode with a high enough resolution to display the image. Some video adapters' BIOS require an extra software driver to be loaded before they fully support VESA modes. If you have one of these cards, then you will not be able to load images larger than 320x200.

To see what video modes your video adapter supports, use the vidcontrol utility:

vidcontrol -i mode

To get the resolutions of the modes supported by adapter that the splash screen modules can use, use this slightly longer command:

vidcontrol -i mode | egrep 'G [0-9]+x[0-9]+x8' | \
   awk '{ print $5 }' | sed -e 's/x8$//'
Q:

Can we have splash screens on the Alpha architecture?

A:

Not at the moment.


Splash Screen Gallery

To save loading time for those of you without a T3 plugged into the back of your computer, only a thumbnail is shown for each splash screen on the main page. To see the full splash screen, click on the thumbnail. Also, I'm only storing the bitmap version of the splash screens so that everyone can use them. You can always convert it to PCX if you wish to use the PCX splash screen loader.


Contributed by: William "Bill" Lloyd
Comments: Started out with the logo from the FreeBSD website and added some text to commemorate the release of FreeBSD 3.1.
File: logo-31.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Joe "Marcus" Clarke
Comments: Updated moon shot from release 2.1 to release 3.1.
File: moon-31.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: John Baldwin
Comments: Uses picture of Mars from NASA's NSSDC photo gallery. Credit for this picture belongs to David Crisp and the WFPC2 Science Team (Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology) who used the Hubble telescope to snag this shot. I just used the GIMP to add some quick text.
File: mars-31.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Satoshi Asami
Comments: The power logo from the FreeBSD website.
File: power_logo.bmp (342x128)

Contributed by: Jason C. Wells
Comments: Taken from the Daemon News website.
File: beastie_nebula.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Gianmarco Giovannelli
Comments: Original artwork by Tatsumi Hosokawa
File: daemon.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Gianmarco Giovannelli
Comments: Original artwork by Tatsumi Hosokawa with some added text
File: daemon_640.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Jim Mock
Comments: Adapted from the BSD Nomads site.
File: circuit-31.bmp (380x220)

Contributed by: John Baldwin
Comments: Threw the power logo on the steel background pattern from the GIMP and added some text.
File: power_logo2.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Vadim Belman
Comments: Original artwork by Tatsumi Hosokawa. Additional processing done in the GIMP.
File: daemon_freebsd-1.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Vadim Belman
Comments: Original artwork by Tatsumi Hosokawa. Additional processing done in the GIMP.
File: daemon_freebsd-2.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven
Comments: Developed for the FreeBSD 'zine effort.
File: freebsdzine.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Mark Ovens
Comments: Image pulled off the website of an anonymous FreeBSD user.
File: cool-31.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Mark Ovens
Comments: Image pulled off of a CD of free pictures.
File: dawn-31.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Mark Ovens
Comments: Image pulled off of a CD of free pictures.
File: space-31.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Adam Serediuk
Comments: Some images of Chuck together with some text added in the GIMP to commemorate the 3.1-stable branch.
File: dual_chuck-31.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Adam Serediuk
Comments: Some images of Chuck together with some text added in the GIMP to commemorate the 4.0-current branch.
File: dual_chuck-40.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Stefan "Sec" Zehl
Comments: Logo for a German computer system. The author plans to remove the system specific text in the future.
File: kommsrvlogo.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Charles Henrich
Comments: A frame from the sci-fi movie Matrix along with some text and a power logo. The special effects for the movie were generated on machines powered by FreeBSD.
File: bsd_matrix.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: John J. Hauer
Comments: These splash screens were designed by the author from scratch.
Files: saturn_1_320.bmp (320x200) saturn_1_640.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: John J. Hauer
Comments: These splash screens were designed by the author from scratch.
Files: saturn_2_320.bmp (320x200) saturn_2_640.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Sam Stephenson
Comments: The BSD daemon from 4.3BSD with some added text.
File: bsd_daemon.bmp (320x200)

Contributed by: Jennifer M. Dodd
Comments: Designed from scratch by the contributor.
File: obi_chuck.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Jennifer M. Dodd
Comments: Designed from scratch by the contributor.
File: darth_maul.bmp (640x480)

Contributed by: Karen ???
Comments: Designed from scratch by the contributor. Please see http://www.intrastar.net/~karen/daemon/ for the originals. These images are copyrighted by the artist. Please see http://www.intrastar.net/~karen/daemon/copyright.html.
Files: emily_white_640.bmp (640x480) emily_white_800.bmp (800x600) emily_white_1024.bmp (1024x768)

Contributed by: Karen ???
Comments: Designed from scratch by the contributor. Please see http://www.intrastar.net/~karen/daemon/ for the originals. These images are copyrighted by the artist. Please see http://www.intrastar.net/~karen/daemon/copyright.html.
Files: emily_black_640.bmp (640x480) emily_black_800.bmp (800x600) emily_black_1024.bmp (1024x768)

Submitting New Splash Screens

To submit new splash screens, simply send me an e-mail with it attached or with an URL that I can get the picture from along with a short comment telling me who created it, what changes you made, etc. Any suggestions, comments, updates, etc. should be sent to me as well. Thanks and I hope you enjoy this gallery of splash screens.

- John Baldwin < john@baldwin.cx>

Last updated: $Date: 2005/01/23 01:21:59 $