Hack 4. Set a Bitmap Boot Screen for LILO
You can have a splash screen for just about everything these days, including your bootloader.
Most people use either the time-honored LInux LOader (LILO), or the GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB). This hack shows you how to download a LILO splash screen and configure it to appear with LILO when you boot your machine. This hack assumes your video card supports VESA frame buffers that will render a 255-color, 640x480 graphics screen in bitmap format (practically every decent graphics card made in the last several years works). It is not necessary to configure your Linux kernel to support frame buffers. When LILO displays the splash screen, the Linux kernel isn't loaded yet, so LILO cannot depend on the kernel for frame-buffer support.
On the other hand, this hack works nicely with all the other frame-buffer hacks, such as [Hack #8] and [Hack #20], so you might want to combine all these hacks to get the most out of your card's frame-buffer support.
You won't find a cornucopia of preconfigured LILO splash screens on the Internet, but a few do exist. Most of the downloads include a README file that includes instructions on the lines you need to add to lilo.conf to make the LILO boot splash work. Some of the URLs listed here have the instructions written on their respective web pages. Here are most of the splash screens available on http://www.kde-look.org:
This hack uses the first splash screen in the list, the Tux Lilo Selection Screen, as an example. Visit the URL and download the file. Then log in as root, extract the file, and copy the bitmap file (*.bmp) to the /boot directory:
$ su - Password: # tar zxvf 16756-Lilo-Tux.tar.gz lilo-boot-tux.bmp README.TXT # cp lilo-boot-tux.bmp /boot
Now view the README.TXT file. In it are the instructions to put the following lines in your lilo.conf file. Start up your favorite editor and add these lines:
install=bmp bitmap=/boot/lilo-boot-tux.bmp bmp-table=48,15,1,12 bmp-colors=250,,,255,, bmp-timer=300p,184p,250,,
These lines tell LILO to install the ability to display a bitmap and instruct LILO as to which graphical bitmap file to use. The bmp-table, bmp-colors, and bmp-timer lines tell LILO where to place the menu and countdown timer (after which LILO automatically boots the default selection), and which colors to use. [Hack #5] provides more details about these lines.
Now run the lilo -v command to effect the change:
# lilo -v
Reboot your system, and you should see a brand-new graphical LILO startup screen.
The next hack provides complete instructions on how to create your own LILO boot splash [Hack #5].