As you may have guessed, I’m something of a self professed geek. I like my machine to boot with grub (given that I dual boot) and I like to have a nice image when I’m taking my 15 seconds to decide which OS I want to boot into. Or in case a supermodel just happens to be looking over my shoulder while I’m starting my laptop up.

It’s actually quite easy to take a picture you know and love and convert it into a splash image for Grub to grab. I’m using Ubuntu, but this will work for any linux distro that uses Grub.
First, locate your image. Mine is a screen capture from the movie Seven Samurai. I’ve named it 7samurai1.jpg, which is what I’ll use for this example.

First, we’ll need to download a tool to help us convert images. Convert is part of the imagemagick suite, so let’s get the whole shebang.
sudo apt-get install imagemagick
Let’s make a folder to keep this image in.
cd /boot/grub
sudo mkdir images
Now, let’s make a quick backup of our menu.list file in case we muck it up.
sudo cp menu.lst menu.lst.bak
That’s the file that tells Grub what to do on boot.

Let’s move into our images director and do some work.
cd images
My image file is located on my desktop, so I’ll copy it into the /boot/grub/images directory I just made.
cp ~/Desktop/7samurai1.jpg .
Now to convert this jpg image to the appropriate format.
sudo convert -resize 640×480 -colors 14 7samurai1.jpg splashimage.xpm
sudo gzip splashimage.xpm
Now it’s converted and compressed. We’ll make a quick edit to our menu.lst file to tell it to look for a spash image.
sudo gedit ../menu.lst
In the file, just below the initial comments (lines that start with #) add the following line:
splashimage (hd0,1)/boot/grub/images/splashimage.xpm.gz
You’ll have to check to see which drive/partition it’s on. If you look at your menu.lst file, you should see several linux kernels. They’ll look something like this:
title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-26-686
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-26-686 root=/dev/sda3 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-26-686

Where you see root (hd0,2) is where you’ll tell grub to look for your splash image above.

Now, save your menu.lst file, exit Gedit, and then reboot!

geek out.