Please note that this is for the “legacy” version of GRUB still widely in use, not the next-generation GRUB 2. If unsure, check out this guide on how to find out which version of GRUB you are using.
You can create your own splash images for the GRUB bootloader menu, but they need to be 640×480 pixels in size, a maximum of only 14 colours, saved in the .xpm format, and then compressed. Sound too hard? Well, here’s a single command that does it all for you in one go!
In this example, the image is called “Ubuntu-Glass.png” and residing in the user’s Pictures folder. Obviously, just replace the path and filename in the example command with that of your own image. Another thing to remember is that some pictures resized will look very different (ie: distorted), so go for ones that have the same shape/ratios (in other words, wallpapers that are 800×600, 1024×768, 1600×1200, etc).
To convert a picture, enter the following (with correct filename) into a terminal:
convert -resize 640×480 -colors 14 ~/Pictures/Ubuntu-Glass.png ~/Pictures/Ubuntu-Glass.xpm && gzip ~/Pictures/Ubuntu-Glass.xpm
You now have a boot menu splash you can get GRUB to load instead of just showing white text on black background. Don’t know how to go about that? Then read about how to add a splash image to GRUB.
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