Removing the ‘quiet splash’ options from the Ubuntu 10.10 kernel boot command line

Written by James McDonald

February 24, 2011

Remember the old grub? When you could just go into /boot/grub/menu.lst (on Debianesque OS’s) or /boot/grub/grub.conf (on Redhatian OS’s) and edit & save the file raw.

Those days are gone the new grub version 1.98+20100804-5ubuntu3 on Ubuntu 10.10 is now fully modularized with configuration files in /etc/grub.d and a defaults file located at /etc/defaults/grub

I am having a problem on boot with my system boot stopping at the kubuntu splash screen and it’s not suprising because I have been trying just about every Ubuntu flavour and then removing them. And now despite removing all the dependent apps I know of for kubuntu-desktop I’m left with the kubuntu splash screen and it refusing to start the gdm window manager.

So after a Google that said to disable the quiet and splash kernel command line options so you can see what going on I was left scratching my head as to how on the new GRUB 2.0 style setup.

The answer:
Open /etc/defaults/grub and edit it to remove the options

# use your favourite editor to edit the file
sudo vi /etc/default/grub 

# then you must run update-grub to update the /boot/grub/grub.cfg 
# to update the listed kernel command line options
sudo update-grub

Change this in /etc/defaults grub

# changed by james to disable the above options

Incidently this whole thing was caused by removing kubuntu and once I removed the quiet and splash option and rebooted I found the boot process was freezing at “Checking battery state…” which is a generic error but fortunately a Ubuntu forums post had the answer to my problem which was apt-get install kdm

So now I’m using Getting Back to a Pure Gnome on Ubuntu to purge all the different desktops and hopefully get back to my (currently) preferred LXDE Desktop.


  1. John Samuel Anderson

    Thanks! I saw that diff fly by during the dist-upgrade to Natty, and didn’t pay attention to where it was. I tried hacking various other files, but your post pointed me in the right direction.

  2. x1ngxang

    Wow, this is awesome. Had an issue on an old version of Ubuntu Server where it wouldn’t boot out of init 2. Looked all over the place for misconfiguration, couldn’t find any. THIS did the trick. YOU’RE AWESOME!


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