Testing flickerfree boot

I’ve had a number of issues when trying to go back to the stock boot experience after trying flicker free, which I haven’t been able to fully solve:

  • Removing plymouth-theme-spinner left the system in a state where it would do a text-ubuntu-logo boot, but fail to switch to GDM. To show GDM I had to switch away tty then back to tty 1
  • Had to --reinstall grub-pc (to restore the purple grub menu background) and plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo (update-alternatives couldn’t find it)

Two things are still not right. Boot time has increased enormously (Startup finished in 7.605s (firmware) + 5.516s (loader) + 18.592s (kernel) + 10.878s (userspace) = 42.593s) and between grub and plymouth the screen goes black with a massive pause in between.

Please report a bug for each issue you encounter by running:

ubuntu-bug plymouth

and add tag flickerfreeboot

The system being slower after uninstalling the theme is weird, you should open a bug as Daniel suggested and add your ‘journalctl -b 0’ log there.

Having a bootchart could also be useful

Of course, will do :+1:

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And now for something slightly different…

What if we keep Plymouth unchanged and only apply flicker-free boot to the kernel/grub? That means avoiding the blank purple screen which for modern systems with SSDs seems to be the longest stage:

|-----------|--------------------|---|--+ Login screen
    BIOS         Kernel boot       ^ Plymouth animation
                 purple blank

Acer A515-51G here too, exactly the same issues as you described (Even though I’m not using full disk encryption).

Boots up without spinner but with the plymouth-text theme, then does not leave me at gdm but at an empty purple screen. I need to switch to TTY2 and then back to TTY1 to get GDM to appear.
Shutdown does show the spinner like your system.

Hi there just testing 20.04 daily and I’m getting the vendor boot screen on my dell

Just one tiny thing: would it be possible to synchronize the spinner with the spinner used in yaru?
Currently it ends up with

  • one boot screen spinner
  • one upstream gnome shell spinner
  • one yaru gtk spinner

I’ve failed to get our gtk spinner into the shell so if you have any idea how we would get one spinner to rule them all that would be great.
I think it would be nice for Ubuntu users to get a soft branding of their desktop starting with the boot screen. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the yaru spinner. Best regards


Hi @frederik-f,

That sounds like a design issue and I’m not sure I fully understand the request (I’m not working on flicker-free boot right now so it’s not fresh in my mind). Please open a bug by running:

ubuntu-bug plymouth-theme-spinner

and tag it with flickerfreeboot. Please also mention in the bug any other packages you think might be related.

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I’m also on a 20.04 install and get the branded boot screen and I really like it, especially it is black and not purple. :grin: I agree that the spinner should be the same systemwide and I do also agree with some comments here, that the gdm background should be changed. The purple there is just plain ugly and a dark grey from the yaru theme would fit so much better with the new boot splash.

One question: I know how I can change the background color in gdm but there is still a purple splash after login right before gnome-shell loads. Anyone knows how I get rid of that?

A black background would be more consistent with Grub and Plymouth.

Rather sleek and professional than overbranded bright and shiny, I’d say

I don’t know why i respond so late, but for me the issue with empty purple screen is actually a black screen with white blinking underscore at the top left. Changing to a different TTY fixes it.

I reinstalled from an Ubuntu 19.10 ISO and now would not risk installing plymouth spinner theme again.

That’s probably the “system background” which is the first/deepest background actor in gnome-shell. It’s technically always there behind your chosen background. You will only ever see it if something moves your background image like the login animation. I don’t know how to theme it but it should be possible in theory.

Yes it’s definitely themeable cause the default from Gnome is a light grey but I don’t know where this value is set. I hope one of the Yaru theme devs show up and can help or they rethink the purple and just change it themself.

“Possible in theory” might mean it doesn’t yet respond to CSS and might need code changes before it could do so.

I forgot to mention debian/patches/ubuntu/background_login.patch which is sadly hard coded for now and always has been. That might be what you seek, or better yet a way to eliminate that patch going forward.

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Yes that patch might be the issue. Changed the values for primary and secondary color with dconf-editor and it’s still purple. Thanks for your reply.

Edit: Installed gnome-session, now it’s at least the default grey.

On a Dell XPS 9560 it works really well except for a second where the display goes black - see video below:


Crypto password entry, spinner and fscheck work wonderfully, as does shutdown.

Could you open a bug report on using ‘ubuntu-bug plymouth’ and add your ‘journalctl -b 0’ log?
It might be a intel driver issue similar to https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/drm/intel/issues/1476

I will do so now, thank you.


Acer Aspire A515-51G here, just upgraded to focal. It finally works without flickering (although notice that i’ve reinstalled the previous Ubuntu where i experienced text theme when spinner theme was installed).

Issue that i found: When entering cryptsetup password, it uses Bulgarian language for input because it doesn’t accept my right password unless i Alt + Shift. Launchpad bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/plymouth/+bug/1873927